Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), announced today the appointment of Dr. Carrie Bourassa as incoming Scientific Director of CIHR’s Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health. This appointment will take effect on February 1, 2017.
Dr. Bourassa is Chair of Northern & Indigenous Health at the Health Sciences North Research Institute in Sudbury. She has spent the previous 15 years as a professor of Indigenous health studies in the Department of Indigenous Health, Education and Social Work at the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) in Regina. During that time, her research has done much to raise awareness about the impacts of colonization on the health of Indigenous peoples and the need to deliver culturally safe care.
Dr. Bourassa is a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada and a public member of the Royal College Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In 2012, Dr Bourassa won the Wiichihiwayshinawn Foundation Inc. Métis Award in Health and Science. In August 2016, she was named to the CIHR Institutes Advisory Board on Indigenous Peoples’ Health.
Dr. Bourassa is Métis and belongs to the Riel Métis Council of Regina Inc. (RMCR, Local #34). She earned her Master of Arts degree in political science and Ph.D. in social studies at the University of Regina.
Dr. Bourassa arrives at a propitious time for the organization, as CIHR has recently announced a series of concrete actions to strengthen its relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and increase its investments in Indigenous health research. As Scientific Director of CIHR’s Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health, Dr. Bourassa will work with the Indigenous health research community and stakeholders to help implement this new 10-point plan to “Build a healthier future for Indigenous Peoples.” She will also play a critical role in contributing to the development of the next generation of Indigenous researchers through capacity building and mentoring.
Through Dr. Bourassa’s appointment, CIHR is achieving a new milestone in establishing for the first time an Institute outside of a large urban centre. This move underscores CIHR’s commitment to helping meet the health challenges of Canadians in northern and rural areas. CIHR looks forward to building on its relationship with the Health Sciences North Research Institute, where researchers are engaged in cutting-edge research on healthy aging, cancer care, infectious diseases, precision medicine and northern and Indigenous health.