The “glaring” health gaps between indigenous people and the rest of Canada is widening, says the new scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health.
“It’s pretty bleak,” said Dr. Carrie Bourassa, who took over the position Feb. 1.
The institute is being established in Sudbury 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. It’s the first time an Institute has been established outside of a large urban centre.
Bourassa’s role, among many others, will be to train and mentor new scholars in indigenous health research, and to make sure research creates opportunities to close those gaps.
“From diabetes to HIV and AIDS to suicide rates, we really need to get a handle on the underlying impact,” Bourassa said.
Most of the issues stem from the intergenerational trauma associated with the ongoing impact of colonization, she said. Researchers can’t seem to get a handle on the complex ways those underlying social detriments interact.
She said she knows the solution can be found in communities, because they are the ones who understand the issues better than anyone else. Read More…