Dr. Robert Henry (PhD), an assistant professor in Indigenous Studies at USask’s College of Arts and Science. (Photo: Submitted)
Dr. Robert Henry (PhD), an assistant professor in Indigenous Studies at USask’s College of Arts and Science. (Photo: Submitted)

USask researcher receives funding for Indigenous-led substance abuse research program

A University of Saskatchewan (USask)-led initiative to develop substance use interventions grounded in Indigenous knowledge and experience has received $2 million from the Government of Canada.

By University Communications

Today, the Honourable Ya’ara Saks, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced an investment of $6 million through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy (CDSS) to expand and increase the impact of the Canadian Research Initiative on Substance Matters (CRISM). 

$2 million of that investment will go to a project led by Dr. Robert Henry (PhD), an associate professor in USask’s Department of Indigenous Studies in the College of Arts and Science and the Nominated Principal Investigator for the Saskatchewan Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research (SK-NEIHR) to develop an Indigenous Engagement Platform (IEP) Platform that will work collaboratively across the research network. 

Using distinctions-based and community-led approaches, Henry and his team will strengthen and increase Indigenous involvement across CRISM’s regional nodes by advising the Network Coordinating Centre on Indigenous research priorities, improving Indigenous engagement at all levels, and supporting CRISM to improve Indigenous health and well-being through Indigenous-driven efforts. The platform will include five core pillars: knowledge translation and mobilization, training of Indigenous students, Indigenous research priorities designed with Indigenous community partners, improving Indigenous methodologies for CRISM, and development of an Indigenous evaluation framework. 

“Addressing the disproportionate experiences to substance use of Indigenous Peoples requires a concerted effort that provides opportunities for Indigenous Peoples, communities, researchers, knowledge keepers, youth, and those with living/lived experience to come together to inform broader research initiatives, programs, and knowledge mobilization outcomes,” Henry said. “The CRISM Indigenous Engagement Platform will provide opportunities for continued efforts to address the past, while looking to the future, while respecting Indigenous ways of knowing.” 

Click here to learn more about the project.

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