Dr. Carrie Bourassa assumes the position of Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health

News Release

January 13, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), announced today the appointment of Dr. Carrie Bourassa as incoming Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health. This appointment will take effect on February 1, 2017.

Dr. Bourassa is Chair of Northern & Indigenous Health at the Health Sciences North Research Institute in Sudbury. She has spent the previous 15 years as a professor of Indigenous health studies in the Department of Indigenous Health, Education and Social Work at the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) in Regina. During that time, her research has done much to raise awareness about the impacts of colonization on the health of Indigenous peoples and the need to deliver culturally safe care.

Dr. Bourassa is a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada and a public member of the Royal College Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In 2012, Dr Bourassa won the Wiichihiwayshinawn Foundation Inc. Métis Award in Health and Science. In August 2016, she was named to the CIHR Institutes Advisory Board on Indigenous Peoples' Health.

Dr. Bourassa is Métis and belongs to the Riel Métis Council of Regina Inc. (RMCR, Local #34). She earned her Master of Arts degree in political science and Ph.D. in social studies at the University of Regina.

Dr. Bourassa arrives at a propitious time for the organization, as CIHR has recently announced a series of concrete actions to strengthen its relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and increase its investments in Indigenous health research. As Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health, Dr. Bourassa will work with the Indigenous health research community and stakeholders to help implement this new 10-point plan to "Build a healthier future for Indigenous Peoples." She will also play a critical role in contributing to the development of the next generation of Indigenous researchers through capacity building and mentoring.

Through Dr. Bourassa's appointment, CIHR is achieving a new milestone in establishing for the first time an Institute outside of a large urban centre. This move underscores CIHR's commitment to helping meet the health challenges of Canadians in northern and rural areas. CIHR looks forward to building on its relationship with the Health Sciences North Research Institute, where researchers are engaged in cutting-edge research on healthy aging, cancer care, infectious diseases, precision medicine and northern and Indigenous health.

Quick Facts

  • CIHR is comprised of 13 Institutes, each led by a Scientific Director responsible for championing specific areas of health research, establishing and nurturing partnerships, and promoting the use of research evidence to inform policies that support better health for Canadians.
  • CIHR's Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health fosters the advancement of a national health research agenda to improve and promote the health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada, through research, knowledge translation and capacity building. The Institute's pursuit of research excellence is enhanced by respect for community research priorities and Indigenous knowledge, values and cultures.


"I'm pleased to welcome Dr. Bourassa to the CIHR leadership team. With her wealth of experience in Indigenous health, she is extremely well-suited to help CIHR implement its action plan to strengthen Indigenous health research in Canada and ultimately, build a healthier future for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples."
- Dr. Alain Beaudet
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

"I am honoured to have the opportunity to continue to serve Indigenous communities in this new capacity. Throughout my academic career, I have been focused on shining a light on the long-standing health issues and their roots that we as Indigenous people face. It is an exciting time for growth and innovation and I look forward to building on the work of Dr. Malcolm King. I commend him for his leadership in Aboriginal peoples' health research. The CIHR team and I will do our utmost to ensure a seamless transition."
- Dr. Carrie Bourassa
Scientific Director, CIHR's Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health

"The Health Sciences North Research Institute is thrilled to house the first CIHR institute located outside of a major urban area. This is a testament to the high quality of research that we are undertaking. I'm excited to renew our relationship with CIHR and, together, support solutions for health care challenges faced by the people of northeastern Ontario and elsewhere."
- Dr. Denis Roy
CEO, Health Sciences North Research Institute


Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Maggie Frampton
Communications Specialist
Health Sciences North Research Institute
705-523-7100 ext. 1281

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

HSNRI is focused on contributing to sustainable solutions for health challenges faced by Ontario's Northern and Indigenous communities. Our research priority areas – Infection & Immunity, Cancer Solutions, Personalized Medicine and Healthy Aging – are wrapped around a population health focus to achieve health equity for Ontario's Northern and Indigenous Communities.

Search for related information by keyword
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: