Supporting the next generation of Indigenous health researchers
Government invests $8M to establish cross-country mentorship network for First Nations, Inuit and Métis health researchers
June 28, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research
When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) issued its 94 calls to action in the pursuit of reconciliation, health was an important theme. In particular, the TRC called on all levels of government to increase the number of Indigenous peoples working in the health care field.
As one means of addressing the shortage of Indigenous health professionals in Canada, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced today that the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) are investing $8M to form a cross-country mentorship network for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples considering a career in health research.
The Indigenous Mentorship Network Program aims to support the next generation of Indigenous health researchers by providing distinctive learning opportunities and specially tailored mentoring activities to Indigenous students at the undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral levels, as well as Indigenous researchers in the beginning phase of their careers.
“I am proud to announce the launch of this network to help build capacity for the next generation of Indigenous health researchers. In working towards reconciliation, it is vital that we break down barriers and provide more opportunities for Indigenous peoples to enter careers in the health field. This will also help us reach our goal of delivering health services that are culturally appropriate, building trust and encouraging Indigenous peoples to access the health care system.”
- The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
“This investment is an acknowledgment both of the great potential of our Indigenous early career investigators and of the importance of passing on knowledge from one generation to the next. The ripples that we are creating today supporting young Indigenous investigators will be felt for years to come.”
- Dr. Carrie Bourassa
Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health
The investment from CIHR will fund a network of eight teams, one each in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces, as well as a national/international coordinating centre.
The network will be characterized by a Two-Eyed Seeing approach that emphasizes combining traditional Indigenous ways of knowing with Western perspectives.
Barriers to entry have resulted in a shortage of Indigenous health professionals in Canada. The benefits of bringing more First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples into the health profession include providing health care that is more culturally sensitive and which encourages Indigenous peoples to access health care services.
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
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.
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