Research Team

Meet the SK-NEIHR research team - thirteen leading Indigenous and non-Indigenous faculty working in the areas of Indigenous health and wellness.

Caroline Tait, PhD

 Dr. Caroline Tait is a member of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, from MacDowall, near Batoche, and has one adult son. She has a PhD in medical anthropology from McGill, and is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Saskatchewan. She is the nominated principal investigator (NPI) of the CIHR-funded nātawihowin and mamawiikikayaahk Research Networks (SK-NEIHR), the NEIHR National Coordinating Centre, and the Saskatchewan Indigenous Mentorship Network. She has conducted community-based research with First Nations and Métis communities and governments for over 25 years, publishing on FASD, child welfare, mental health, and micro-reconciliation. She meets regularly with a think tank of Elders, knowledge keepers, and healthcare professionals, exploring organ donation and transplantation. Her board memberships include the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan, First Peoples Wellness Circle, and Mental Health Research Canada.  

Heather Foulds, PhD

Dr. Heather Foulds, Métis, is an Assistant Professor in the College of Kinesiology at the UofS. Dr. Foulds is the Early Career Chair of Indigenous Women’s Heart and Brain Health, co-funded by Heart and Stroke and CIHR. This Chair position evaluates the importance of culture and social support as mediators of health for Indigenous women. Dr. Foulds also holds research grants from SHRF and CIHR investigating health benefits of Métis dancing, including the Red River Jig. Dr. Foulds’ research program explores cardiovascular health determinants, with specific focuses on Indigenous populations and women’s cardiovascular health.  Her research combines medical perspectives with physical activity and exercise healthy lifestyle and the social and cultural aspects of health in preventive approaches to cardiovascular disease. 

Holly Graham, RN, PhD, R.D. Psychologist

Dr. Holly Graham is a member of the Thunderchild First Nation, SK. She has worked as a Registered Nurse (RN) in a variety of northern communities, in addition to various other health care environments since 1985. Holly is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing, at the University of Saskatchewan and a CIHR Indigenous Research Chair in Nursing. She maintains an active practice as a Registered Doctoral Psychologist, working primarily with individuals who have experienced trauma and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Holly's research is focused on Indigenous health, mental health, and wellness.



Robert Henry, PhD

Dr. Robert Henry is Métis from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Saskatchewan in the Department of Indigenous Studies. Robert’s research areas include Indigenous street gangs and gang theories, Indigenous masculinities, Indigenous and critical research methodologies, youth mental health and visual research methods. Working closely with community partners, Robert works to create knowledge mobilization outcomes that reflect community needs and wants. He’s published a photovoice narrative collection with Indigenous male gang members titled Brighter Days Ahead (2013) and has recently submitted another collection in partnership with Indigenous females and their involvement in street gangs. Robert has also published in the areas of Indigenous masculinity, Indigenous health, youth subcultures and criminal justice. His current research focuses on the concept of survivance and its applicability within Indigenous research more broadly.

Simon Lambert, PhD

Dr. Simon Lambert is an Indigenous (Māori) researcher from Aotearoa New Zealand and is a member of the Tūhoe and Ngāti Ruapani tribes. He is a faculty member in the Department of Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, and the Executive Director of the NEIHR National Coordinating Centre, which supports the nine NEIHR networks across Canada. Following the 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch, Simon’s research has focused on disaster risk reduction and emergency management with Indigenous communities, with particular interest in urban Indigenous groups. Lately he has been collaborating with international Indigenous colleagues to promote Indigenous voices at the UN Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Pan-American Health Organization-sponsored Indigenous Knowledge and disaster risk reduction network.

Carrie Lavallie, PhD

Dr. Carrie LaVallie is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse.  With over 28 years of experience, Carrie has worked in various non-profit organizations, private practice, and with First Nation communities. She was Interim Executive Coordinator for AIDS Saskatoon, owned PMI Psychosocial and Rehabilitation Services, and was Acting Director Health Sciences/Campus Manager with First Nations University.  Carrie is currently with the department of Indigenous Health Studies at First Nations University of Canada.  She has a Master of Health Studies and completed a PhD in Educational Psychology.  Carrie’s area of research explores the role of spirituality in relapse prevention and her areas of interest are mental health, addictions, and spirituality.

Stacey Lovo, BScPT, MSc, PhD

Dr. Stacey Lovo is an Assistant Professor at the School of Rehabilitation Science, University of Saskatchewan. Stacey’s research interest areas include the use of teams and health technologies to facilitate access to care in rural and remote communities, collaboration with Indigenous communities to determine rehabilitation needs, and collaboration with Indigenous community and stakeholders to develop and educate health care providers and health system workers on culturally responsive care. Stacey’s research consists of mixed methodologies in both clinical and health systems access areas.  Stacey teaches Professional Practice and a component of this curriculum is culturally responsive care, as well as advocacy for healthcare in Indigenous, rural and remote communities. 

Sheri McKinstry, B.Sc., B.Sc.(Dent.), DMD, MPH, M.Dent, FRCDC- Provisional

Wabishki mitadim ojichidaa ikwe / Dr. McKinstry is Anishinaabekwe from Treaty 1 territory, a member of Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, and married with four children. She is an assistant professor in the College of Dentistry at the University of Saskatchewan. She holds a BSc (2001), BSc in Dentistry and Doctor of Dental Medicine (2005) from the University of Manitoba, and Master of Public Health from the University of Victoria, focused on reconciliation and cultural safety in dentistry (2017). She has ten years’ experience providing dental care in First Nation communities. She recently completed the Master of Dentistry / Paediatric Dentistry Residency program at the University of Manitoba, focusing on oral heath experience of First Nations children. Dr. McKinstry is a provisional Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada in paediatric dentistry. 

Sarah Oosman, PhD

Sarah Oosman is an Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science and a Researcher with the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU) at the University of Saskatchewan. She has been a physical therapist since 1998 with clinical experience in both private and public sectors nationally and internationally. Sarah has been working in northern and rural Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan for the past 12+ years. Her research interests include: community-engaged Participatory Action Research in partnership with Métis and First Nations Indigenous communities, implementing and evaluating culture-based health promoting interventions with an intergenerational and life-course focus, applying mixed methods approaches, and developing cultural humility and cultural safety practices among health care professionals and our health system. 

JoLee Sasakamoose, PhD

Dr. JoLee Sasakamoose is Wellness Wheel’s Research Director, responsible for leading the Research Team in supporting Traditional ways of knowing alongside Western approaches to wellbeing. She is a proud Anishinabe (Ojibwe) with membership in M’Chigeeng First Nation in Ontario, an active citizen of Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, and an Associate Professor in Educational Psychology and Counselling at the University of Regina where she teaches Group Counselling, Counselling Girls and Women, Counselling Children and Youth, Indigenous Family Therapies, and Decolonizing Research Methodologies. She co-authored the Indigenous Cultural Responsiveness Theory, and has an exceptional way of working in the “middle ground” between Western and Indigenous ways. When JoLee isn’t busy with Wellness Wheel she can be found gardening, spending time with her son, and volunteering with Elders in the community.

Joel Schindel, MD, CFCP

Dr. Joel Schindel was born and raised in Saskatoon to a Somali father and Canadian mother. He is married and a father of five. He practices as a family physician with a special interest in Indigenous health, is the founder of comprehensive Indigenous community care (CICC) clinics (, and is a hospitalist and an ER physician in both rural Alberta and Saskatchewan. His interest in Indigenous health was sparked during his rural medicine rotation when he was first introduced to the nearby First Nations community. His passion for bringing a unique health care model to these communities is what motivated him to create the CICC Clinic model.Dr. Schindel is also a faculty member in the Department of Academic Family Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine.

Stuart Skinner, MD, DTMH, FRCPC

Dr. Stuart Skinner is an infectious diseases specialist at Regina General Hospital’s Infectious Diseases Clinic, with special expertise in HIV treatment in First Nations communities, which have the highest HIV infection rates in Canada. Dr. Skinner is also a clinical assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan School of Medicine, clinical director of the Saskatchewan HIV Provincial Leadership Team, and clinical director of Wellness Wheel. He received his medical degree from the University of Saskatchewan and holds a Diploma in Topical Medicine and Hygiene from the University of Alabama. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, with a Certificate of special Competence in Infectious Diseases. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, and playing hockey. 

Jaris Swidrovich, PharmD, PhD(c)

Dr. Jaris Swidrovich is an Assistant Professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. He is a Saulteaux First Nations pharmacist from Yellow Quill First Nation. He is the first self-identified First Nations Doctor of Pharmacy in Canada and the first and only self-identified Indigenous faculty member in pharmacy in Canada. He received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Toronto and is currently working toward a PhD in Education at the University of Saskatchewan under the supervision of Dr. Margaret (Maggie) Kovach. He is active in the community and was named one of CBC Saskatchewan’s “Future 40” in 2016.

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