More respiratory research will be done in the area of Indigenous people’s health with the help of funding from the Lung Association of Saskatchewan (LAS) and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF).

The two organizations are investing $1 million over five years.

“The Indigenous community in Canada is a really important part of our Canadian cultural fabric and has been in some ways overlooked in some big studies,” SHRF-funded researcher Dr. Mark Fenton says. “Indigenous health is very much our priority.”

The funding will also go towards research in areas such as sleep apnea, respiratory disease control and management, patient-caregiver education and cannabis.

The announcement was made on Thursday in Saskatoon but Fenton says none of the projects have been defined and that he hopes Indigenous people will be chosen to help conduct the research.

“The Lung Association as Saskatchewan’s oldest health charity has led research and evaluation studies into all aspects of respiratory health care for decades,” LAS President and CEO Susan Cron says in a press release. “Providing funding to Saskatchewan researchers who are undertaking research in respiratory health is a priority for our organization. Together, with the SHRF we are now able to increase our research capacity and work with a partner who truly understands the value and impact of research on our health care systems. Ultimately, those living with lung disease in our province will benefit the most.”