IAPH Institute Advisory Board Members – Biographies

(As of September 2014)

Simon Brascoupé (Chair)
A/Chief Executive Officer
National Aboriginal Health Organization

Simon Brascoupé, (Anishinabeg/ Haudenausanee – Bear Clan) Acting Chief Executive Officer, National Aboriginal Health Organization is a member of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, Maniwaki, Quebec. Simon Brascoupé is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Indigenous Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario and an Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University. He has a B.A. and M.A. from State University of New York at Buffalo, where he is also completing his Ph.D. He has a strong interest in traditional medicine and traditional knowledge. He conducts research and training on cultural competency and safety. He published an article titled "Cultural Safety - Exploring the Applicability of the Concept of Cultural Safety to Aboriginal Health and Community Wellness" in the Journal of Aboriginal Health. Oxford University Press released Visions of the Heart, Canadian Aboriginal Issues, in April 2011 that has a chapter by Simon on 'Rekindling the Fire: Indigenous Knowledge and New Technologies.'

Simon Brascoupé teaches Aboriginal health and healing at Carleton University and the University of Manitoba. Previously Simon Brascoupé was Acting Director, Primary Health Care Division, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada and Director, Aboriginal Affairs Branch, Environment Canada. He has written and worked in the field of traditional knowledge and intellectual Property Rights and is on Trent University's Ph.D. Indigenous Knowledge Council. He has been involved internationally on Indigenous environmental issues, particularly the protection of Indigenous knowledge.


Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan DrPH, MPH
Associate Professor, Health Promotion Sciences
College of Public Health
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan is a community-based participatory researcher, trained in intervention science, with the goal of combining research and action for social change. Dr. Jernigan is currently an Associate Professor of Health Promotion Sciences at the College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She received her doctorate in public health from the University of California, Berkeley, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Stanford School of Medicine. Dr. Jernigan has been the Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on several studies focused on improving the food and physical activity environments in Indigenous communities and is currently the Principal Investigator for a National Institutes of Health funded R01 study "THRIVE," Tribal Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments, which is implementing healthy makeovers in tribally owned convenience stores in the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations of Oklahoma. Dr. Jernigan is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma where she resides with her husband, Choctaw filmmaker Tvli Jacob, and their daughter Cedar Nuseka.


Dr. Heather Castleden
Associate Professor and CIHR New Investigator
Departments of Geography and Public Health Sciences
Queen's University

Dr. Heather Castleden is an Associate Professor, jointly appointed to the Department of Geography and the Department of Public Health Sciences at Queen's University. She is a white settler scholar-ally, a health geographer, and community-based participatory researcher.

She obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Athropology and Native Studies) from the University of Manitoba (1996), a Master of Education Degree (Adult and Higher Education) from the University of Alberta (2002), and a PhD (Health and Environmental Geography) at the University of Alberta (2007). She held NEARBC and SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships at the University of Victoria (2008-2009) before taking up her appointment at Dalhousie University (2009).

Dr. Castleden is a CIHR New Investigator in the area of Knowledge Translation (2013-2018); in addition to this prestigious award, she has received numerous other awards including the Canadian Association of Geographers' Julian M. Szeicz Award (2010), which is presented annually in recognition of significant research achievement by a Canadian Geographer at an early career stage, specifically for her contribution to the geography of environment, health and Indigenous community-based participatory research.


Catherine L. Cook, MD, MSc., CCFP, FCFP
Vice President, Population and Aboriginal Health
Winnipeg Regional Health Authority

Dr. Catherine Cook received her medical education at the University of Manitoba (1987), certified in Family Medicine in 1989, with a MSc. through the Department of Community Health Sciences, in 2003.

Dr. Cook has a joint role with the University of Manitoba as the Associate Dean, First Nations, Métis and Inuit Health, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority as Vice-President of Population and Aboriginal Health. She is engaged at the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Medicine in the areas of teaching, student supports and research.

In July 2009, she was appointed by the Province of Manitoba as the Aboriginal Health Advisor on H1N1 issues for Manitoba – to work with First Nations communities, leadership organizations and the federal government to further strengthen communication, coordination and response to H1N1 influenza.

Dr. Cook practiced as a family physician in remote northern nursing stations for several years before focusing on public health practice. She has held positions of Associate Director of the J.A. Hildes Northern Medical Unit, Regional Director of Health Programs for First Nations and Inuit Health, Manitoba Region, Regional Medical Officer of Health for the Nor-Man and Winnipeg Regional Health Authorities, Director of the Center for Aboriginal Health Education and Co-Director of the Manitoba First Nations Center for Aboriginal Health Research and Co-Chair of the 'Changes for Children' Implementation Team – a process for systemic change within the Child Welfare system in Manitoba stemming from the AJI-CWI Initiative and a series of reviews of the child welfare system. Dr. Cook is on several national boards and committees, and has actively engaged in board and committee membership throughout her career.


Sharon P. Edmunds, B. SOC. SCI
Senior Research Advisor
Social and Cultural Development Department
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

Sharon P. Edmunds is a Senior Research Advisor in the Social and Cultural Development Department of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI). She represents NTI on the Inuit Qaujisarvingat National Committee, an Advisory Body to the Inuit Qaujisarvingat Centre of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and also works closely with ITK's Health Department on matters related to health research governance. In Nunavut, Sharon represents NTI on the Inter-Agency Human Health Research Board, a body that vets all human health license applications submitted to the Nunavut Research Institute and is a founding member. Through her work, Sharon is working within NTI and between various institutions in Nunavut, and nationally to articulate a research agenda that is reflective of Inuit realities and needs. She is also actively involved in promoting reciprocal research relationships that build sustainable Inuit research capacity in Nunavut.


Pierre S. Haddad, PhD,BA
Professor in Pharmacology
University of Montréal

Pierre S. Haddad is a professor of pharmacology at the University of Montreal and a principal investigator at the Montreal Diabetes Research Center. Since 2003, he has lead the CIHR Team in Aboriginal Antidiabetic Medicines. The project aims at rigorously studying plants used by Elders and healers of Eeyou Istchee (Canadian James Bay Cree) that have promising anti-diabetic potential. This multidisciplinary project aims to prepare scientifically validated phytomedicines that stay close to traditional preparations and are to be clinically tested by Cree diabetics. The project also seeks to integrate Cree traditional medicine into diabetes health care.

Pierre was trained in pharmacology at the University of Montreal where he obtained a Ph.D. (1986), a postdoctoral fellowship on ionic movements involved in cell volume regulation in liver at the Institute of General and Experimental Pathology at the University of Vienna, Austria (1986-1988), which was continued this work at the Yale University Liver Center, USA (1988-1990). He then returned to the University of Montreal to establish an independent research laboratory.

Dr. Haddad has developed two major areas of research in the last two decades. The first addresses the cellular and molecular effects of cold preservation-warm perfusion (CI/WR) on liver cells and the second concerns anti-diabetic medicinal plants.


Sonia Isaac-Mann, BSc., MSc.
Associate Director of Health
Safe, Secure and Sustainable Communities
Assembly of First Nations

Sonia Isaac-Mann is originally from Listuguj Mi'gmaq First Nation in Quebec. She holds a Master of Science degree in Medical Sciences – Public Health Sciences with a focus on Population Health, within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta. She also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Bishop's University.

Sonia has been working on First Nations health issues for over 20 years and brings extensive community, regional and national experience with her as she advocates for culturally appropriate health policies that lead to better programs and health service delivery for First Nations in Canada.

She has a high level of understanding and expertise related to First Nations health research, health information, health policy, health programs, epidemiology, social determinants of health, First Nations interpretation, and First Nations Cultural Frameworks. She also brings with her vast experience on Board governance as a member on the boards of the First Nations Information Governance Centre (Co-Chair), the First Nations Health Managers Association and the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation.

Sonia has been working with the Assembly of First Nations for the last 10 years and currently holds the position of Associate Director of Health within the Safe, Secure and Sustainable Communities unit.


Dr. Josée G. Lavoie, PhD
Director, Manitoba First Nations – Centre for Aboriginal Health Research
Associate Professor, Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba

Josée Lavoie is currently Associate Professor with the Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, and Director of Manitoba First Nations Centre for Aboriginal Health Research at the University of Manitoba.

Josée holds a BSc in Dietetics & Nutrition (1986) and a MA in Medical Anthropology from McGill University (1993); and a PhD in Health Policy and Financing (2005) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Before beginning her research career, Josée spent 10 years working in Indigenous controlled health services in Nunavik, Nunavut and Northern Saskatchewan.

Josée's program of research is located at the interface between policy and Indigenous health services, with a focus on contracting, accountability and responsiveness. She is particularly interested in how western and indigenous knowledge systems interface in the provision of health services in Indigenous communities. She maintains on-going partnerships with the British Columbia First Nations Health Authority and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. She is actively engaged in collaborations in Australia and New Zealand, and in circumpolar health research.


Peter Menzies, PhD, RSW
Consultant
Four Directions and Therapeutic Consulting Services

Peter is member of Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation, and is a private consultant working primarily with First Nations communities in northern Ontario. Prior to establishing his private practice, Four Directions and Therapeutic Consulting Services in 2014, Peter spent the previous fourteen years building culturally congruent mental health and addiction programs in partnership with both urban, rural and First Nations communities through his work at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. He was responsible for creating the organization's Aboriginal Services Program providing support to communities across Ontario. Peter previously worked for more than twenty years in a variety of front line and management positions at both Native and mainstream agencies. A skilled therapist and community developer, Peter has experience working with individuals and families in child welfare, family counselling, experiencing mental health and addiction issues, and income support programs and is a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, and the Ontario Association of Social Workers. Peter received his undergraduate degree in Social Work from the University of Manitoba, completed his Master of Social Work studies at Laurentian University, received his PhD from the University of Toronto, and completed the Leadership Development Program, Rotman School of Management Executive Programs, University of Toronto. He is an Assistant Professor at the Psychiatry Department at the University of Toronto, an Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Social Work at Laurentian University, and Ryerson University and has delivered more than eighty invited presentation. He is the recipient of the Centre for Equity and Health in Society, Entrepreneurial Development and Integration of Services Award (2005) and the Kaiser Foundation, Excellence in Indigenous Programming Award (2011). Peter regularly travels throughout Ontario providing assessment, interventions, capacity building and training support to health care workers, with research interests in Aboriginal homelessness, intergenerational trauma, child welfare, suicide and prevention, addiction and mental health needs. He has published numerous articles related to Aboriginal health issues and sat on a number of committees both at the provincial and national level.


Christopher Mushquash, PhD, MA, HBSc
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Lakehead University

Christopher Mushquash is Ojibway, and a member of Pays Plat First Nation. His identity is strongly rooted in his Aboriginal culture and his experiences growing up in a rural Northwestern Ontario community. Chris obtained his undergraduate (Psychology) and Master's (Experimental Psychology) degrees from Lakehead University, and his Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) from Dalhousie University. He completed his clinical residency in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, specializing in rural and northern clinical practice. Chris' clinical residency training emphasized understanding the importance of the unique contexts and issues experienced by individuals living in rural and northern communities. Chris' research involves the examination of cultural issues in measurement, assessment, and treatment, as well as the development and testing of culturally appropriate substance abuse interventions for Aboriginal people. Chris has a broad interest in qualitative and quantitative Aboriginal health research including, but not limited to, substance abuse, trauma, self-harm and suicide, resilience, and community-based approaches to healing.

Chris has consulted to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and Health Canada (First Nations Inuit Health) on issues related to culturally appropriate addictions treatment and program development. He was a member of the First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel and is currently on the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) Renewal Leadership Team (a partnership between the Assembly of First Nations, National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation, and Health Canada). Chris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Lakehead University.


Suzanne Tough, PhD, MSc
Professor of Paediatrics
Community Health Sciences
University of Calgary

Suzanne Tough is a Professor with the Departments of Paediatrics and Community Health Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary and a Health Scholar supported by the Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions. She is also the Scientific Director of the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research. Her research program focuses on improving health and well-being of women during pregnancy to achieve optimal maternal, birth and early childhood outcomes. She currently leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers (Preterm Birth and Healthy Outcomes Team), funded by Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions, that is learning more about preventing preterm birth and supporting healthy birth outcomes by looking at the genetic, molecular, clinical, community and population health factors that contribute to preterm birth. The underlying aim of her research program is to optimize birth and childhood outcomes by creating evidence that informs the development of community and clinical programs and influences policy.


Lee Wilson, PhD, BSc (Métis)
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Lee Wilson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Saskatchewan. He specializes in physical chemistry and is currently researching the development of new types of materials that will have a tremendous impact on areas such as the environment, medicine, advanced drug delivery system, and energy storage devices. This research will be of great importance for many Aboriginal communities in Canada that suffer from water quality and health issues.

Dr. Wilson obtained a Bachelor of Science from the University of Winnipeg (1992), and then a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Saskatchewan (1998) becoming the first Métis student to earn such a degree.

He is the recipient of numerous scientific and community awards including the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (Science and Technology).

Dr. Wilson has provided inspiration to Aboriginal youth through the Innovators in the Schools Program, and has developed science programs and camps for Aboriginal students at the University of Saskatchewan.

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