First Nations and Métis health research Funding

The SK-NEIHR: nātawihowin and mamawiikikayaahk Research, Training and Mentorship Networks, have community support funds and knowledge translation funds available on a continuous basis for Saskatchewan researchers and community partners focused on First Nations and Métis health research: Regina, Prince Albert, Pinehouse, Pelican Narrows, and more.

Community Partnership Support Funds: up to $10,000 of seed funding to support researchers and community stakeholders to develop funding applications to the Tri-Councils and other major research funders, on Indigenous health research. These are planning and development funds, intended to support research proposal development, not funding to undertake research projects.

Knowledge Translation Support Funds: up to $10,000 for researchers and community partners to create knowledge translation products and materials to share findings from Indigenous health research projects in Saskatchewan.

These support funds are now available on a continual basis. Applications are peer reviewed. To apply, please send an application to

Funding Webinar

Building Research Together: SK-NEIHR support and funding webinar

Recorded June 8, 2023.  

Hear from Dr. Robert (Bobby) Henry (nominated principal investigator of the SK-NEIHR), Dr. Stacey Lovo, PhD (principal investigator, SK-NEIHR, and Chair of the Communications and Knowledge Translation Committee), Fleur Macqueen Smith (Manager, SK-NEIHR) and other SK-NEIHR staff about the support and funding we offer.  

0:00 to 5:54: Dr. Henry introduces the NEIHR initiative and SK-NEIHR 

5:54 to 9:00:  Fleur Macqueen Smith introduces the SK-NEIHR staff and activities 

9:00 to 14:05: Fleur describes the Community Partnership and Knowledge Translation Research Support Funding  

14:05 to 22:00: Dr. Stacey Lovo on her Community Partnership project, and examples of knowledge translation projects 

22:00 to 23:30: Information on Research Engagement Day, September 28 (see Events tab to register) 

23:30 to 41:00: Q & A 

Previous Funding - Faculty & Community Partners

Kevin Lewis, part of Dr. Angelina Weenie’s project Earth Teachings and Insights from Elders on Culture Camps bends some freshly steamed ribs when making a canoe at kâniyâsihk Culture Camps. Photo credit: Kyle Muzyka, used with permission (source

2023 onward

In 2023, the Community Partnership Support Funds changed to being continuously available, so that applicants could apply at any time. Additionally, the SK-NEIHR added funding for knowledge translation activities. Projects that have been funded since this are listed below.

Community Partnership projects


$10,000 to Dr. Philip McLoughlin, PhD, an associate professor and faculty member in Biology at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Abdullah Al Mamun, PhD, research associate and community coordinator, and their colleagues for a project to address and mitigate the impact of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) on food security in Indigenous communities across the province and the Boreal Plains ecoregion.  Indigenous community and hunter partnerships, utilizing camera traps and sampling, will monitor CWD spread. Involvement of Indigenous Elders and hunters in educating communities and youth about CWD landscapes and engaging in associated research activities is a key strategy to prevent further invasion.


$10,000 to Mark Pollard, Dean, Trades & Industrial (AME shop), Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT)), and Dr. Gordon Sarty, P. Eng, PhD, a professor in Psychology, and Interim Chair of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, along with other USask and Saskatchewan Health Authority colleagues. They are partnering to bring quantum technology to postsecondary Indigenous education centres. Employing compact MRI technology developed over 10 years through a Canadian Space Agency - USask collaboration, SIIT teams will build MRI parts and assemble them. The design will be the working prototype for the lunar Gateway space station with the eventual goal of using this same technology in remote and Northern Indigenous communities to address healthcare needs.

Knowledge Translation projects


$9,734 to Dr. Allyson Stevenson, PhD, Gabriel Dumont Institute Chair in Métis Studies and faculty member in History at the University of Saskatchewan to create a digital community oral history resource that will be housed in the Cumberland House Museum. It captures Cumberland House Métis cultural connections, from Delta Elders, on land, water and kinship in the Saskatchewan River area that were previously disrupted by colonization.  These archived recordings will be as part of the community’s digital repository, and a highlight video is planned for the community's 250th anniversary celebration (Summer 2024).

$10,000 to Dr. JoLee Sasakamoose, PhD, a professor and faculty member in Educational Psychology and Counselling at the University of Regina, and a Principal Investigator in the SK-NEIHR to create KT products from her Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research Learning Health System Indigenous health project.  These products will share mental health and addiction outcomes for First Nations and Métis peoples in Canada while addressing health disparities and promoting culturally appropriate and competent healthcare services. To honour Indigenous knowledge, this project is guided by Elders on a Knowledge Keeper Council, and findings will be presented to them.

$10,000 to Dr. Hassan Vatanparast, MD, PhD, Professor in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition and School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan, and a co-applicant in the SK-NEIHR, and his colleagues to disseminate research findings to Indigenous communities, policymakers, health professionals, and the general public through research publications, presentations (World Public Health Nutrition Congress 2024, London, UK) and a radio story for broadcast on “Unreserved with Rosanna Deerchild,” a show dedicated to sharing Indigenous perspectives, stories, and experiences.

$10,000 to Dr. Jordan Woodsworth, PhD, DVM, Director, Northern Engagement and Community Outreach (NECO), Dean's Office, Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan to undertake KT activities to translate her research results, educational materials, and their currently English-only website into the Cree language.  It will also host, along with the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils, the Atim Maskikhiy Art Gallery tour. The Atim Maskikhiy (“Dog Medicine” in Cree) presents works of seventeen artists local to the La Ronge tri-community area in Northern Saskatchewan, on their interpretations of dog-human relationships. This exhibit will tour throughout Saskatchewan from January 2024 to December 2025.

$10,000 to Dr. Rachel Engler-Stringer, PhD, a Professor in Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan and her colleagues to produce KT products and activities, and to publish a comprehensive final report on the findings of their School Food Development Project. This report will support Meadow Lake Tribal Council’s Education Department in their  applications for funding their next phase of the school food project from funders, including Public Health Agency of Canada’s Healthy Canadians and Communities Fund Implementation Phase.

Fall 2021 competition

The 2021 call for proposals was launched in September 2021, open to any researchers and community partners in Saskatchewan, other than those who had already received funding support. Support of $35,000 was provided in January 2022 to these teams, in alphabetical order:

$5000 to Ms. Delaney King, working with the Métis Faamii Foundation, Beardy’s and Okemasis Cree Nation, and the FASD Network of Saskatchewan, to build an awareness of neurodiversity in Indigenous communities. This project will address how Indigenous people with neurodiversity, including autism, are under-detected and underrepresented, and the history of mistrust of Western medical forms of interventions that reflect the impact of historical oppression and discrimination.

$10,000 to Mr. Kyle Prettyshield, Director, Health and Social Secretariat at FSIN, and his colleagues, for the First Nation Addictions Rehabilitation Foundation to identify traditional games played by First Nations people and to seek guidance from Traditional Knowledge keepers in how this relates to First Nations Health and Wellness landscape.

$10,000 to Ms. Leona Quewezance and colleagues at All Nations Hope Network for their project Traditional food medicines and decolonizing practices of harm reduction: Applying a land-based and community-based organization-focused approach to improving health outcomes through food and plant medicine knowledge in Saskatchewan. The goal of this study is to increase culturally-specific knowledge of traditional food and plant medicines to (w)holistically address the wellbeing of people living with, or affected by, HIV.

$10,000 to Dr. Winona Wheeler, an associate professor in Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan and her colleagues for their project on improving Indigenous mental health and wellbeing through Indigenous language revitalization and rebuilding human-land-animal relations.  Through two Language and Land Visioning Circle Camps, this team will seeking new knowledge and new responses to mental health issues, exploring the connection between Indigenous people’s mental health and their relationships with their land, non-human animal relations, language, and traditional cultural knowledge in all its forms; history, medicines, song, dance, music, art, ceremony.

October 2020 competition

Based on the success of its first call for proposals for Community Partnership funding support, launched in March 2020, the Saskatchewan NEIHR held a second round of funding in the network’s first year, providing $35,313 of support funds. Applications were open to any researchers or community partners in Saskatchewan, other than those funded in the first round, and adjudicated in a blind peer review process. Funded in this competition were (in alphabetical order):

$9985 to Dr. Sherry Arvidson, RN, MN, EdD, an assistant professor with the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Regina, and her colleagues for their project Suicide Prevention in Cote, Keeseekoose and Key First Nations. They will form a partnership to work collaboratively on suicide prevention among the youth and young adults living in the areas of these First Nations in Treaty 4 Territory in Central Saskatchewan. Youth and families in the communities will be actively involved, along with Indigenous knowledge keepers, health directors, band council members, and other researchers and healthcare professionals.

$8328 to Dr. Paul Hackett, PhD, a faculty member in Geography and Planning at the University of Saskatchewan, and co-applicant on the SK-NEIHR and his colleagues for their project Community Engagement for research on TB in Alberta and Saskatchewan.  They will be engaging with community members in Saskatchewan, Alberta and possibly Manitoba on telling the untold story of TB’s incursion and subsequent persistence in the Northern region of the Canadian Prairies. This project builds on the team’s Pathways TB research network (, adding new community partners, and engaging more youth, Elders, LGBTQ2S+, and people affected by TB.

$7000 to Dr. James Stempien, MD, FCFP, CCFP-EM, CCPE, the provincial department head of Emergency Medicine, and clinical associate professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, and his colleagues for their project Equality of Care in Emergency Rooms. They will use sharing/talking circles with Indigenous community members and stakeholders who were seen in the Emergency Department at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon, to identify perceived barriers in the emergency department and attitudes of health care providers towards Indigenous patients. This project will be designed and implemented in collaboration with the First Nations and Métis Health Council of the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

$10,000 to Dr. Angelina Weenie, PhD an associate professor in Indigenous Education at First Nations University of Canada, and her colleagues for their project Earth Teachings and Insights from Elders on Culture Camps. They will hold Elders’ forums with Elders involved in culture camps in two First Nations communities, at kāniysihk Culture Camps at Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation, and at Sturgeon Lake First Nation’s culture camps, to reflect on how culture camps contribute to health and wellbeing, and how they can be improved.

April 2020 competition

Shortly following its official launch in early April 2020, the Saskatchewan NEIHR launched its Community Partnership funding support program, providing $58,808 of support funds to researchers from the University of Saskatchewan, First Nations University of Canada, University of Regina, and two community-based organizations. For this first competition, funding was made available to members of the 100+ members on our research team – principal applicants, co-applicants, principal knowledge users, knowledge users, and collaborators – in recognition of the support we received from them in submitting our successful application for our successful NEIHR application. Applications were adjudicated in a blind peer review process, with funding provided to these groups (in alphabetical order): 

$5000 to Dr. Brenda Green, Assistant Professor in Indigenous Education, Health and Social Work at First Nations University of Canada, and co-applicant in our Network, to work with members of Touchwood File Hills Tribal Council to develop a grant to explore explore opportunities to share stories of traditional birthing and midwifery with Indigenous Elders.

$5000 to Ms. Margaret Kîsikâw Piyêsîs, CEO of All Nations Hope Network, a community partner in our Network, and her colleagues to bring together a group of Kokums (grandmothers) from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to develop a research proposal to share their teachings and experiences of Indigenous birthing and child rearing.

$5000 to Dr. Carrie LaVallie, PhD, Assistant Professor in Indigenous Education, Health and Social Work, First Nations University of Canada, and a Principal Investigator in our Network, to conduct a needs assessment as part  of a research proposal to develop an aftercare centre in Prince Albert for people healing from addiction that supports healing using Indigenous methodologies.

$5000 to Dr. Stacey Lovo, PhD, Assistant Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at the University of Saskatchewan, and a Principal Applicant in our Network , and her colleagues to bring together Elders, Knowledge Keepers and others to develop a research proposal to expand the course content in land-based learning in the Role of Practitioners in Indigenous Wellness Program, an online course for Saskatchewan health practitioners that is grounded in Indigenous worldviews.

$6808 to Dr. Robert Patrick, PhD, Associate Professor in Geography and Planning at the University of Saskatchewan, and a co-applicant in our Network, to engage with partners from the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun, Yukon, to better understand the extent of mining activity in their region, concerns they have about this, and observe the impacts of climate change of health of community members and the local ecosystem.

$5000 to Mr. Rhett Sangster, MA, Director of Reconciliation and Community Partnerships at the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, a community partner in our Network, and his colleagues to develop a research proposal to support the evaluation of the Reconciliation Saskatchewan initiative that they lead throughout Saskatchewan, through Reconciliation Coalitions, facilitating reconciliation action plans, measuring reconciliation progress, and communicating learnings and stories of success.

$8000 to Dr. JoLee Sasakamoose,  PhD, Associate Professor in Educational Psychology and Counselling at the University of Regina,  and a Principal Investigator in our Network, and her colleagues to support infrastructure to develop Virtual Care Clinics in First Nations communities in which they are already providing peer health and advocacy services in HIV, HCV and STBBIs. They plan to expand the range of services offered to diabetes, mental health and addictions, and traditional wellness, all in light of COVID-19. The funding will support infrastructure to develop these clinics and a grant application to evaluate their effectiveness.

$9000 to Dr. Stuart Skinner, MD, DTMH, FRCPC, an infectious disease physician and clinical member of USask’s College of Medicine, and Principal Investigator in our Network, and his colleagues to work in partnership with five Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan for knowledge sharing between Western clinicians and traditional medicine people and knowledge keepers around the prevention, reversal and cure of diabetes.

$10,000 to Dr. Hassan Vatanparast, MD, PhD, Professor in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition and School of Public Health, and a co-applicant in our Network, and his colleagues to engage with First Nations community members in Saskatchewan living off-reserve, for a research proposal comparing dietary patterns, food security, and diet quality of off-reserve First Nations populations, compared to non-Indigenous populations (quantitative and qualitative methods). With this funding, they will be able to work with communities on how to identify facilitators and barriers toward healthy eating and preventing diabetes among off-reserve First Nations people before and during COVID-19.