Health of Indigenous communities focus of talk

By Costa Maragos Posted: February 1, 2018 6:00 a.m.

Dr. Carrie Bourassa is Chair of Northern and Indigenous Health and Senior Scientist at the Health Sciences North Research Institute in Sudbury, Ontario. She is also the Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health.
Dr. Carrie Bourassa is Chair of Northern and Indigenous Health and Senior Scientist at the Health Sciences North Research Institute in Sudbury, Ontario. She is also the Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health. U of R Photography

Dr. Carrie Bourassa is looking forward to returning to her hometown of Regina, reconnecting with friends from the campus community, and listening.

While Bourassa has been invited to speak on campus by the U of R’s Centre on Aging and Health, Friday, February 2 she’s eager to hear from members of the extended community.
 
Bourassa, a former professor of Indigenous Health Studies at First Nations University of Canada, is one of the country’s top researchers examining the health of Indigenous communities.

Currently, she’s based at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario where she is an adjunct Professor in the School of Indigenous Relations.

Bourassa is Chair of Northern and Indigenous Health and Senior Scientist at the Health Sciences North Research Institute in Sudbury. She is also the Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health.

“I am excited to return to Regina. I grew up in Regina and spent the majority of my career there. I have many friends, family and kin and colleagues, so I’m excited to see everyone,” says Bourassa. “I enjoy serving communities in new ways and my family and I are adjusting to the very friendly community in Sudbury.”

Bourassa is Métis and belongs to the Regina Riel Métis Council #34. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at Campion College in 1995 followed by a Master of Arts degree in political science and her PhD in social studies at the University of Regina.

She continues to undertake research in Saskatchewan. Bourassa is lead lab mentor with Morning Star Lodge in Regina– an Indigenous community-based health research lab funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation Fund.

Bourassa has spent the bulk of her research on increasing awareness and finding solutions to the troubling health issues that continue to exist in First Nations communities.

“Indigenous people have poorer health and socio-economic challenges on every level and regardless of what health issue you can think of ranging from chronic to infectious disease,” says Bourassa. “It’s urgent that we start to listen to communities that experience these realities on a daily basis. One issue that I believe is often overlooked or even ignored is the issue of racism and its impact on the health - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual - of Indigenous people. I will speak to this on Friday.”

Bourassa’s visit will also offer an opportunity to continue her collaboration with researchers in Regina.

“We’ve been engaging with communities across the country, so we hope to ask those in attendance some questions that will help us identify challenges in terms of applying for CIHR funding and how we might improve the application process, particularly for Indigenous communities,” says Bourassa. “I am really looking forward to hearing from students, faculty, and Indigenous community stakeholders and partners so that we can have a robust conversation that will help us address any barriers and create relevant research funding opportunities that will address the urgent Indigenous heath priorities.”
 
The U of R’s Centre on Aging and Health’s speaker series featuring Dr. Carrie Bourassa takes place Friday, February 2 at 2:30 p.m. at the Administration-Humanities building (AH527). Seating is limited. Please RSVP to cah@uregina.ca
 
The Centre on Aging and Health, based at the U of R, supports research in aging and health, including graduate education and community outreach.