Racism in Healthcare Series

The series builds upon an emerging national movement to bring real change to the problem of racism within healthcare, as highlighted by the death of Joyce Echaquan in Quebec in September 2020, and the investigative report In Plain Sight, on Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination in BC healthcare, released by Justice Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond last November. We would like to engage in these discussions within Saskatchewan.In our 3-part webinar series we will explore how racism is addressed in and across health systems, licensing bodies, and organizations. We want to build awareness and action around what healthcare policy improvements are needed to mitigate racism and its inequitable impacts on health outcomes among Indigenous people.

Our goal is to create safe spaces for courageous conversations, to learn from one another in order to collectively inform short- and long-term solutions to racism in our health system, and to lead others into this critical discourse.

  1. Racism in Healthcare: Creating Systems Change (April 15, 2021)
  2. Check back for upcoming dates

Past Webinars

Originally recorded November 25, 2021

Fleur Macqueen Smith and Rhonda Taillon discuss preparing grant budgets. Topics include who you can pay, budget categories, staff and student compensation, materials, supplies and services, and travel. They also touch on how to write budget justification documents and what you're able to do once funding has been awarded.

Originally recorded November 3, 2021

Building Research Together: Introducing nātawihowin and mamawiikikayaahk Research Networks (SK-NEIHR) Community Research Facilitation and Community Partnership Grants 
  • Learn about relationship-building through supportive partnerships with Principal Investigators and Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan.
  • Learn about current grant opportunities, application process.
  • Q&A

Originally recorded Thursday, April 15, 2021 

The nātawihowin and mamawiikikayaahk Research Networks (SK-NEIHR), is hosting a three-part Racism in Healthcare webinar series. 

This, the first webinar in the series focused on the ways in which Indigenous patients navigate our current health system, what processes and pathways they interact with when faced with a racist encounter, how complaints are managed within the health system and across regulatory bodies, and what response mechanisms exist to redress racism at the systems level.

This session was facilitated by Dr. Holly Graham, RN, BA, BScN, MN, PhD, R.D., Psychologist, Indigenous Research Chair in Nursing, Assistant Professor, University of Saskatchewan and opened by Knowledge Keeper Judy Pelly. Dr. Veronica McKinney, MD, CCFP, an Indigenous physician and Director of Northern Medical Services, provides a lay of the land for healthcare in the province.

Panel members (below) were then invited to respond, situating their responses within their own organizational context.

  • Dr. Susan Shaw, MD, FRCPC, CCPE, Chief Medical Officer, Saskatchewan Health Authority
  • Allan Adam, BA, Chief Executive Officer, Athabasca Health Authority
  • Cindy Smith, RN, Executive Director, Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association
  • Andre Letendre, Cultural Systems Advisor, First Nations and Métis Health, SHA
  • Dr. James Stempien, BSc, MD, FCFP, CCFP-EM, CCPE, Provincial Department Head Emergency Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
  • Bonnie Brossart, Chief Executive Officer, Saskatchewan Medical Association
  • Dr. Karen Shaw, MD, Registrar and Chief Medical Officer, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan

Suggested Readings:

Three suggested pre-readings:

  1. Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada:Calls to Action on Health (Calls 18-42). 
  2. In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care, November 2020 
    1. Full Report
    2. Summary
  3. Tait CL, Mussell W, Henry R. Micro-Reconciliation as a Pathway for Transformative Change: Applying a reconciliation strategy to the everyday relationships Indigenous peoples have with the human service sector. International Journal of Indigenous Health, 14:2 (2019). 

Additional Suggested Readings:


Originally recorded March 31, 2021 Dr. Veronica McKinney, MD, CCFP, Métis Nation — Saskatchewan Health Minister Marg Friesen, and Knowledge Keeper Judy Pelly discuss COVID-19 vaccination in Saskatchewan. This event was co-hosted by the nātawihowin and mamawiikikayaahk Research Networks (SK-NEIHR) and Métis Nation—Saskatchewan. Greg Riehl RN, MA, Research Manager of the NEIHR National Coordinating Centre moderates this webinar which includes includes a brief information session, followed by a Question and Answer period.

Dr. Veronica McKinney is the Director of Northern Medical Services, which provides healthcare services to 40,000 people living in Northern Saskatchewan through agreements with the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. McKinney, who has Cree and Métis ancestry, is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan’s medical school, and she has decades of experience as a front-line practitioner, professor, and health care leader in Saskatchewan. She was named Physician Leader of the Year by the Saskatchewan Medical Association in 2020. Dr. McKinney believes strongly in her traditional cultural teachings and applies them to her practice of medicine. She is a strong advocate for Indigenous people’s health, having witnessed and experienced the inequities firsthand.


Originally recorded Thursday, March 18, 2021


Mary Culbertson, Treaty Commissioner of Saskatchewan

Rhett Sangster, Director, Reconciliation and Community Partnerships, Office of the Treaty Commissioner

Using its stature as a neutral provincial facilitator, the Office of the Treaty Commissioner is working to support a provincial movement for Truth and Reconciliation through Treaty Implementation. The OTC has been working since 2013 to build from the grass-roots a vision of successful truth, reconciliation and Treaty implementation, and a methodology that measures true progress. The measurement framework we have developed aims to: 1) measure collective impact towards truth, reconciliation and Treaty Implementation in Saskatchewan; 2) to inspire action within Saskatchewan’s peoples, organizations, and system sectors; and 3) to inform reconciliation learning across the province.

We are looking for researchers and others who would like to collaborate on this work. Hear about the evaluation methods we are developing, our tools for baseline mapping and action planning of Reconciliation efforts in organizations, and our plans to develop a larger research program evaluating Reconciliation and Treaty implementation in Saskatchewan and beyond.  

Co-hosted by the SK-NEIHR, the NEIHR National Coordinating Centre, and the Office of the Treaty Commissioner


Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research (CHASR) Services and Research Supports 

Originally recorded February 11, 2021. At this webinar, CHASR Director Jason Disano introduced CHASR’s services and research supports, and University of Saskatchewan researcher Dr. Stacey Lovo talked about how CHASR supported the Musculoskeletal Health and Access to Care research team on a project working with a Northern community to address chronic back pain. Dr. Lovo is an Assistant Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science and Principal Investigator in the First Nations and Métis Health Research Network.

Jason Disano, Director, Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research (CHASR,

Dr. Stacey Lovo, Assistant Professor, School of Rehabilitation Science, USask, and Principal Applicant, nātawihowin and mamawiikikayaahk Research Networks (SK-NEIHR)


The Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research (CHASR) is a unique university-based research support and consulting service, housed at the University of Saskatchewan. Operating on a cost-recovery basis, CHASR regularly engages and supports academic-based researchers from a variety of disciplines, backgrounds, and institutions, government and NGO clients, and private sector firms. CHASR supports research projects at all stages. It offers research support and consultation at the design phase; data collection through tools including surveys and focus groups; analysis and processing of data; presentation of results through formats such as written reports and visual maps; and customized training services. 

CHASR evolved from the University of Saskatchewan’s Social Sciences Research Laboratories (SSRL), which opened in 2011, and since that time has worked with clients across Canada and internationally, providing access to eight specialized laboratories and experts in social research methods. Last year, CHASR supported more than 500 researchers spanning more than 350 unique projects. 


Originally recorded October 8, 2020. Dr. Caroline Tait has developed a hybrid model for communities holding funds as part of the Saskatchewan NEIHR network, to increase communities' access to research funds and discusses the pros, cons, and other considerations during this webinar. 

This event was co-hosted by the NEIHR National Coordinating Centre, the nātawihowin and mamawiikikayaahk Research Networks (SK-NEIHR), and the Manitoba NEIHR network Kishaadigeh: Indigenous Self Determination through Research for our Future Generations.


This webinar highlights the ways in which the Indigenous Wellness Research Community Network and Wellness Wheel Medical clinic are empowering and strengthening capacity with partner First Nations through prevention, testing, and health promotion strategies. 
With Dr. JoLee Sasakamoose, PhD and Dr. Stuart Skinner, MD, DTMH, FRCPC
Hosted in partnership by the nātawihowin and mamawiikikayaahk Research Networks (SK-NEIHR) and the NEIHR National Coordinating Centre

Originally recorded April 9, 2020
Facilitated by mentor: Dr. Simon Lambert