The national Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has launched a new five-year plan with an investment of approximately $43 million in research.

“It’s about the communities setting the research agenda and that research needs to be focused on strengths, resilience and assets of Indigenous communities,” Dr. Carrie Bourassa, the scientific director at the IIPH says. “We engaged with 12 comminutes across Canada. That informed our strategic plan. Communities want self-determination. They wanted training.”

The plan is for Indigenous people to be a central part of all the research.

“To truly address the serious health inequities that exist in comparison to the general Canadian population, Indigenous people need to lead the Indigenous health research in Canada,” says Bourassa. “We are proud to have developed the strategic plan with community voices and priorities at the forefront. I want to thank everyone—especially the elders, knowledge keepers, and community members who contributed to the development of this plan.”

Canadian Institutes of Health Research funding will now go straight to Indigenous communities as part of the plan.

“As we work in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples, communities, researchers and agencies to improve the health of Indigenous peoples, it is imperative that we recognize Indigenous knowledge and be respectful of Indigenous values, cultures and ways of knowing,” Bourassa adds.

The new plan can be viewed here.

(PHOTO: Dr. Carrie Bourassa. Photo by David Stobbe.)