A major Indigenous health research facility will soon make its new home at the University of Saskatchewan.

On Oct. 1, the Institute for Indigenous Peoples’ Health will officially open its doors at the U of S.

Scientific director Carrie Bourassa says the direction of research will be community driven.

“I don’t take the funding opportunities based on what I want to do, it’s community-driven,” she says. “So, communities haven’t given me a laundry list, it’s very much about self-determination and the needs of the community.”

Bourassa adds the university is a natural fit for the facility.

“You can tell with all of the activities going on around here with Indigenous health, we feel that there are so many natural connections that will be able to serve Indigenous communities in a better way.”

The facility will be moving from the Health Sciences North Research Institute in Sudbury, Ontario.

Bourassa will have a staff of four and will also serve as a faculty member in the U of S College of Medicine’s community health and epidemiology department.

A Métis scholar, she holds a doctorate in social studies from the University of Regina.

Bourassa also served for more than 15 years as a professor of Indigenous health studies at the First Nations University of Canada.

Over the past two years, IIPH has carried out community engagement across Canada and launched development grants for both the Network of Environments for Indigenous Health Research and the Indigenous Component of Healthy Life Trajectory program.

In the new year, IIPH will launch its five-year strategic plan.

The facility will be one of 13 Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

(PHOTO: Carrie Bourassa. Photo by Fraser Needham)