Think Tank Members

We are a robust and growing team of Elders, Community members, persons with lived experience, researchers, physicians, and students who are all committed to furthering a conversation of Indigenous perspectives on organ donation and transplantation. We feel this topic is particularly salient given the higher representation of Indigenous peoples on transplant wait lists in Saskatchewan, and the announcement of a provincial organ donation registry.

Monica Goulet Lived experience Métis
Nettie Littlechief-King Lived experience Cree
Sandra Youngchief Lived experience Métis
Ernest Sauvé Elder/Thought Leader Cree
Gilbert Kewistep Elder/Thought Leader Sauteaux
Judy Pelly Elder/Thought Leader Cree
Eugene Arcand Elder/Thought Leader Cree/FN
Vivian Meabry  Elder/Thought Leader Métis
Terri Hansen-Gardiner  Elder/Thought Leader Métis
Evelyn Johnson  Elder/Thought Leader Métis
Patti Tait Elder/Thought Leader Anishinaabe
Dr. Michael Moser Transplant Surgeon, Researcher Settler
Dr. Caroline Tait Medical Anthropologist, Researcher Métis
Dr. Joann Kappel Transplant surgeon, Co-Lead CAN-Solve Settler
Dr. Holly Mansel Pharmacist/Pharmacy Researcher Settler
Carmen Levandoski Outreach Worker Settler
Dr. Adam McInnes Physician, Bioengineering PhD student Métis
Joe Neapetung Master's student - Physiology and Pharmacology Sauteaux
Curtis Sanderson UofS Community Engagement office Cree
Rhonda Taillon Network Coordinator Métis


RUH Foundation Grant

Organ Donation and Transplantation: Examining Culturally Safe Public Health Education and Health Care Services with Indigenous Peoples

In March 2019, a research team led by Drs. Tait, Moser and McInnes received a small grant from the Royal University Hospital Foundation to establish a community-based think tank comprised of Indigenous Elders, thought leaders and persons with lived experience of organ donation and/or transplantation. The creation of this think tank is part of an emerging national effort to develop a research and intervention program in public health education and culturally-safe healthcare services for organ donation and transplantation that targets, and involves Indigenous peoples. Twelve people are part of this think tank and have met nine times as of February 2020. Collectively, members have determined that they would like to apply for a larger grant in order to advance research, clinical practice, and public health education focused on organ donation and transplantation among Métis and First Nations people in Saskatchewan.

SHRF/SCPOR Sprout Grant

Donation and Transplantation: Examining Culturally Safe Public Health Education and Health Care Services with Indigenous Peoples

Due to high rates of disease, Saskatchewan First Nations and Metis people are over-represented on organ transplant waiting lists. It is estimated that upwards of 50% of the people in Saskatchewan waiting for a kidney transplant are Indigenous, and approximately 30% will die because a kidney did not become available. However, while Métis and First Nations healthcare leaders identify organ donation and transplantation as an important health issue, they have limited resources to develop culturally safe-public education, -patient-centered care and -family supports. Over the past six months, our Think Tank members observed that Métis and First Nation people in Saskatchewan hold very diverse and complex understandings of organ donation and transplantation, and a range of factors, for example, where a patient lives, whether they have First Nations status or not, and the complexity of their health problems, directly impacts their decisions and experience as it relates to organ donor and transplantation. In our current provincial context, however, the voices of First Nations and Métis persons with lived experience (patients, caregivers and families) are muted. Our Network seeks to bring these voices, and the voices of our knowledge keepers, to the forefront through the expansion of our Think Tank and Network activities. Our work directly contributes to patient-centered research and knowledge translation, and addresses the lack of attention to this health issue in Saskatchewan and Canada generally.

This project supports five intersecting activities:

  1. The Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis Organ Donation and Transplantation Network Think Tank;
  2. A preliminary regional survey on First Nations and Métis perceptions of organ donation and transplantation, including the experience of patients, caregivers and families;
  3. Filmed interviews (6 patients and 6 knowledge keepers) focused on Métis and First Nation perceptions of organ donation and transplantation;
  4. Completion of a series of six painting by a Saskatchewan Woodlands artist that capture visually and artistically the voices of patients and knowledge keepers;
  5. Advance the development of culturally safe public education and patient care for First Nations and Métis patients, caregivers and families, pre- and post-organ donation and transplantation.

Our Partners

  • The Canadian Donation and Transplant Research Program (CDTRP)
  • Métis Nations - Saskatchewan (MN-S)
  • Northern Medical Services
  • Saskatoon Métis Local 126
  • Kidney Foundation of Canada Saskatchewan Branch