Indigenous Health

Established in 2020, the Research Exchange Group on the Indigenous Health will create community connection and collaborative opportunities for Indigenous peoples and Memorial University researchers, community activists, and stakeholders who want to explore ways to build Indigenous community  research capacity; respect Indigenous ways of knowing, Indigenous knowledge translation and mobilization; the co-creation of community-based, community-driven research with, for, and by Indigenous communities; promote Indigenous communities’ ways of knowing and healing; promote anti-colonial practice and generate research that has direct prelevance for Indigenous communities.  The group will promote equitable partnerships and honour traditional knowledge; be an avenue for Indigenous circle pedagogy, team and group work. 

The convener of this group is Fred Andersen, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Memorial University whose scholarly interests include a self-reflexive gaze which champions the voices of residential school survivors and their successive generations. Fred has a wide ranging local, regional and national community-based and institutional expertise in the areas of HIV/AIDS, addictions and mental health. His practice areas focus on Indigenous contexts in both urban and community populations as an addictions counsellor, mental health consultant and therapist, advocate and activist, and as a community-based researcher.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020 | 2:00pm NST  An Introduction to Memorial University’s Committee on Ethics in Research Impacting Indigenous Groups (CERIIG)|  This meeting will introduce our Research Exchange Group membership to members of CERIIG, a committee established through the Office of the Associate Vice President of Indigenous Research. The committee is implementing Memorial’s Research Impacting Indigenous Groups (RIIG) policy – the first of its kind in Canadian universities. The policy is intended to strengthen the integrity and impact of research impacting Indigenous groups and will, together with TCPS2 chapter 9, be a requirement for doing Indigenous research at Memorial University. This meeting will be a forum to talk about the ethical responsibilities of Memorial University faculty, staff, and students in relationship to the policy, as well as outline some of the principles behind doing Indigenous research in a good way based on decades and even centuries of existing knowledge and practices.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 | 2:00pm NST | The Inuit Health Survey with Kristeen McTavish, Inuit Health Survey Manager at the Nunatsiavut Government | Kristeen McTavish will speak with the group about the Inuit Health Survey: development process, guiding principles, how the Inuit Regions are working together to lead, own, and manage the entire survey, and how they are going about developing the survey content. The National Inuit Health Survey will include Inuit of all ages from every community in the nation and is the only health survey controlled and led by Inuit. It is being developed and carried out in partnership with the four Inuit regional organizations, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Makivik Corporation and the Nunatsiavut Government, as well as Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, and the National Inuit Youth Council. This permanent health survey data collection is expected to begin in 2021 and to take place every five years. All of the data will be owned by Inuit and survey questions will reflect Inuit health priorities. Today, much of the information on Inuit health is out-of-date and fails to accurately reflect the state of Inuit health and wellness. The survey will collect up-to-date information that will help program and policy makers at the local, regional and national levels better understand how the health status of Inuit is changing and guide Inuit health program development.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 | 2:00pm NST | The Elders-in-Residence Program at Memorial University's School of Social Work | Fred Andersen (School of Social Work) with Valeri Pilgrim and Tama Fost from Memorial's Indigenous Resource Office, together with student Hilary Edmunds, will speak with the group about the Visiting Indigenous Elders Pilot Project, co-created by Memorial’s School of Social Work and the Indigenous Resource Office and funded by the Undergraduate Student Services Fee Fund.  The project is aimed to support visits to Memorial by Elders from Mi’kmaq, Innu and Inuit communities of Newfoundland and Labrador with the goal of establishing an ongoing Elders-in-Residence program for Memorial University.


Newfoundland & Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000