USask awarded $5 million to lead new CIHR Indigenous health research networks to address health disparities

University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers have been awarded $5 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) as part of a major new national initiative that aims to create a network of Indigenous research centres driven by and grounded in Indigenous communities.

Dr. Caroline Tait, a USask medical anthropologist and member of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S), has been awarded $3.5 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to establish a Saskatchewan Indigenous health research centre, under CIHR’s Network Environments for Indigenous Health Research (NEIHR). The NEIHR program, with $100.8 million of funding over 16 years, represents the largest-ever single investment in Indigenous health research in Canadian history. It is led by the CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health, and involves the other 12 CIHR national research institutes as partners.
 Additionally, Dr. Tait and colleagues have been awarded $1.5 million to lead the national centre that will co-ordinate health research and training with the leads of the eight other regional Indigenous health research NEIHR networks.
With the CIHR funding and in-kind support from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) and MN-S, Tait will lead the Saskatchewan NEIHR network to foster health research within Indigenous communities, working in partnership with the FSIN, MN-S, the Whitecap Dakota First Nation, and a team of more than 60 researchers and community partners. 

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