Rural, Northern & Aboriginal Health

The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research hosts a Research Exchange Group that focuses on Rural, Northern, and Aboriginal Health.  The purpose of this group is to facilitate networking amongst researchers, graduate students, and policy makers who are interested in this particular area of applied health research. The group meets quarterly to exchange information and ideas about research projects and proposals, potential sources of funding, and opportunities for training and knowledge exchange.

The convener of this group is Dr. Jennifer Shea, Assistant Professor of Aboriginal Health, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University. All are welcome to join.


April 30, 2019 at 10:30am: Reducing the Incidence of Suicide among Indigenous Peoples Worldwide: Local Evidence for a Global Goal | Nathaniel Pollock, Graduate Student in the Division of Community Health and Humanities, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University| Suicide is a complex phenomenon that arises from a combination of biological, psychological, socio-economic, environmental, and historical factors. In Labrador, as in many regions across the circumpolar North, Indigenous communities have experienced elevated suicide rates for more than 30 years. In response, suicide prevention has become a leading public health priority for communities, healthy systems, and governments. This presentation will discuss recent studies on suicide from a collaborative research project in Labrador that examined the incidence of suicide among Indigenous populations locally and globally.

May 10, 2019 at 12:430pm Motherhood Experiences in Newfoundland & Labrador: A survey to inform public policy | At this presentation, Shannon Bedford and Emily Saunders will share the results of a large survey of motherhood that was undertaken as their PsyD research project at Memorial, focused primarily on the experience of mothers here in the province. The survey looked at demographic differences between urban and rural mothers, mothers who have a partner who works away (mobile relationships), satisfaction with healthcare services, and other factors. Shannon will present a "demographic portrait" of motherhood here in the province that is intended to validate the lived experience of mothers in informing public policy. Emily will co-present the results of her analysis of those results related specifically to access to healthcare services

Previous Meetings

December 6, 2018 | About NUNAFAM with Lisa Grant, Project Manager The NUNAFAM Family Medicine Residency initiative is a partnership between Memorial’s Discipline of Family Medicine and the Department of Health, Nunavut. The program was established to work towards a model of sustainable medical practice in order to improve access to primary care and therefore health outcomes for the population of Nunavut, 85% of whom are Inuit. Joining Lisa Grant for this informative talk were Samantha Hansford, a medical student who has just completed an elective in Nunavut who was able to speak to her student experience with the program and  Dr. Patrick Foucault, the Nunavut physician site lead/Director of Medical Education.

October 31 2018 | Kaila deBoer, Director of Mental Wellness and Healing on Mental Wellness and Related Services being offered by the Nunatsiavut Department of Health and Social Development- co-hosted by the Research Exchange Group on Mental Health.

November 9, 2017 |Dr. Carolyn Sturge Sparks of the Aboriginal Health Initiative about the Healers of Tomorrow camp program for health professional education.

March 27, 2017 | Dr. Fern Brunger, Community Health and Humanities, BA (Hons) (University of Winnipeg), MA (McGill), PhD (McGill), Professor of Health Care Ethics,  presented on her partnership with NunatuKavut on the Research Ethics Project.

March 20, 2017 | the Director of Labrador Institute, Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo, spoke about her work on climate change and mental health:  “Lament for the Land."  Her documentary film speaks to the importance of the land to Labrador Inuit peoples and the impact of climate change on their communities.  Link to Video

October 27, 2016Dr. Trevor Bell on How Muskrat Falls will impact the Lake Melville ecosystem and Inuit who depend on it for their well-being and the compounding impacts of a changing climate. Dr.Bell, Professor of Geography at Memorial University, co-led a research project with Tom Sheldon, Director of the Environment Division at the Nunatsiavut Government that had been commissioned by the Nunatsiavut Government, the Labrador Inuit self-government body the results of which were reported to the Nunatsiavut Government in 2016. Dr. Bell  shared the findings of this independent research, which was conducted by a team of expert scientists from Canada and the United States.

 October 16, 2015| Dr. Steve J. Reid, Director and Glaxo-Wellcome Chair of Primary Health Care University of Cape Town, and recipient of Memorial University’s Visiting Leader Award in Rural Medicine and Health outlined the various new rural health initiatives taking place in Southern Africa.  

Presentations & Posters from Past Meetings

Posters from Past Meetings


Newfoundland & Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research

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

Tel: (709) 864-8000