sherilee harper

EcoHealth Research with Indigenous Communities


Congratulations to Manpreet Saini for successfully defending her MSc thesis research!

Written by Dr. Steven Roche

Manpreet began her post-secondary education at McMaster University in 2009, where she majored in Biology. She received both the McMaster Entrance Scholarship for academic excellence and made the Dean’s Honour List in her final three years of her undergraduate degree, graduating with Honours in 2013.

Manpreet came to the Department of Population Medicine in Fall 2014 and has been amazing to work with. She added to her academic achievements right away and hasn’t looked back, receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science & Technology and the NCCPH Knowledge Translation Graduate Student Award. She completed her courses with an average of 91%, has participated in 3 national conferences, winning an award for top poster presentation, and traveled from coast to coast for research and conferences.

It has been a pleasure to watch Manpreet grow both personally and professionally. Continue reading


Congratulations to Alex on her PhD Candidacy!

Congratulations to Alexandra Sawatzky for successfully completing her PhD qualifying exams!

Alexandra finished her undergraduate degree in Arts & Science with a cumulative GPA of 89%, and directly entered into a PhD program in Public Health at the University of Guelph.  Her research interests include the wellbeing of Indigenous peoples in Canada, integrated environment and health surveillance, as well as physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social impacts of climatic and environmental change in Inuit communities.  Recognizing her academic aptitude, she has been awarded over $100,000 in scholarships and travel grants to support her PhD research.

Sharing her research with the scientific community include two peer-reviewed publications, as well as seven oral and five poster presentations at national and international conferences. In addition, she has authored 25 research-related reports, and writes an insightful and reflective blog, “Unlearn. Relearn. Repeat.”

It has been a pleasure working with Alexandra over the past two years, and we are thrilled to continue working with Alexandra as she begins her PhD Candidacy!

 

 

Research Photos of Alexandra


Got Clams? Anna on CBC!

In case you missed it, here is a story from 2016 about the People, Animals, Water, and Sustenance (PAWS) Project.  In this article, MSc Candidate, Anna Manore, describes her data collection in Iqaluit, Nunavut.  With over 150 shares on social media, don’t miss reading this article!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/clam-study-iqaluit-1.3767015

Anna Manore and Anna Bunce

 


New Book Chapter about Reconciliation and Water Research

Citation:

Castleden, H., Hart, C., Cunsolo, A., Harper, S.L. and Martin, D. (2017). Reconciliation and relationality in water research and management in Canada: Implementing Indigenous ontologies, epistemologies, and methodologies. In Water Policy and Governance in Canada (pp. 69-95). Springer International Publishing. Click here for access.

Abstract

Water-related issues disproportionately affect Indigenous communities in Canada. Despite millions in investment, Western-trained scientists, engineers, and other researchers as well as the government agencies that have constitutionally-mandated fiduciary responsibilities to address such issues have been rather unsuccessful in solving them. This has been due, in large part, to an overreliance on methods of Western science and management, ignoring the vast place-based wisdom of Indigenous knowledge systems and relational practices regarding water found across the country. The underlying reasons for this partiality are not innocuous; entrenched colonial and racist policies, programs, and practices have persisted across time and space. In recent years, there is increasing recognition of the importance of applying Indigenous approaches to water challenges in Canada. But strategies for successful implementation are only beginning to emerge. In an attempt to respond to this knowledge gap, our research has sought to systematically identify and assess how both Indigenous and Western ontologies, epistemologies, and methodologies have been implemented in water research and management. In doing so, this chapter identifies some of the most promising practices in Canada. We share these with the goal of contributing to processes of reconciliation and responsibility towards each other as well as our roles as water stewards across the country.


Examining how drinking water security in Indigenous communities is covered by the media

New Publication!
Congratulations to Steven Lam on his newly published review that examines the extent, range, and nature of newspaper coverage of drinking water security in Canadian Indigenous communities.  The article is available for free (open-access) here: http://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-017-4164-4 

Continue reading


Reflecting on CPHA’s Public Health 2016 Conference

In the lead up to the CPHA’s 2017 Public Health Conference, here is a reflection from last year’s conference.  The reflection is written by Manpreet Saini, who received the 2016 NCCPH Knowledge Translation Graduate Student Award at the conference.

Written by Manpreet Saini, MSc Candidate

From June 13-16, 2016, I had the pleasure of attending and presenting a poster at the Public Health 2016 conference in Toronto, Ontario. It was an incredible conference that provided space to discuss social, cultural and historical impacts on public health and the health care system. Plenary sessions touched on crucial topics such as racism, health equity and violence as a public health issue. The conference brought together public health and community leaders, who facilitated and encouraged the necessary conversations to discuss the social determinants that are impacting health. I attended many oral sessions on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, and they were inspiring learning opportunities that made me take a step back to think and reflect on both the information I was given and the work that I hoped to accomplish. Some sessions got emotional but the strength of the Indigenous leaders and research teams was uplifting. During the oral sessions I learned a great deal from Indigenous leaders and the projects going on across Canada to reclaim their health and the health of their communities. In the midst of all this incredible knowledge sharing and discussion, I was also honoured to be awarded one of three NCCPH Knowledge Translation Graduate Student Awards. This conference was truly a wonderful learning experience.

 


Second month in Davis, California!

Written by Anna Manore, MSc Candidate

Things have been progressing well in Davis!

In February, I presented mine and People, Animals, Water, and Sustenance (PAWS) project’s work at the Northern California Parasitologists’ Spring Meeting at San Francisco State University (SFSU). The meeting was attended by faculty and students, mainly from SFSU, and who seemed to mainly work on Lyme disease. Some of the presentations brought back memories of a PopMed Seminar at the University of Guelph, where some preserved ticks were passed around…

Because the meeting was on the Saturday before Presidents’ Day, I spent the rest of the long weekend (along with a housemate of mine) exploring the city. Riding a cable car, climbing Telegraph Hill, and seeing sea lions on Pier 39 were some highlights of the visit.

I was lucky enough to return to the city the following weekend with a friend from home, and got to explore even more! Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge and a trip to Point Reyes National Seashore were the main activities, and they were both excellent.

In the lab at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), I’ve been working closely with lab technicians Beatriz and Brittany to make sure everything is ready to start testing the Nunavut clam samples for Cryptosporidium and Giardia. In fact, we tested our first batch of clam samples just last week. Things are progressing well, and there’s still lots of work to be done!


Ugandan Team Meeting: Climate Change and Indigenous Food Systems, Food Security, and Food Safety Project

Written by Jacqueline Middleton, PhD Student
On February 20th, Ugandan team members of the larger “Climate Change and Indigenous Food Systems, Food Security, and Food Safety” project met at McGill University, in beautiful Montreal, Canada. Principal investigators (PIs), project managers, students, and research assistants (RAs) from the Ugandan research team united to discuss how best to understand and address Indigenous food security in the context of climate change in Uganda. Continue reading


Clams, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia: First Month in Davis, California

Written by Anna Manore, MSc Candidate

After an early flight on Friday the 13th, I felt very lucky to arrive safe and sound in sunny Davis, California! I’m incredibly fortunate to be spending the next few months at UC Davis, working in Dr. Karen Shapiro’s lab to test clam samples from Nunavut for the enteric pathogens Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

My first weekend was spent running errands and settling in. One part of my routine that I could continue was a Saturday morning visit to the Farmer’s Market. Although the atmosphere at the Davis market is like the one in Guelph, the variety of produce is very different. The farmer’s market is right next door to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame – which is well-placed in Davis. The whole city is very bike-friendly, and almost perfectly flat, making it easy to get around on two wheels. The only obstacle to biking is the rain. This winter in Davis has been very rainy, and it’s definitely taken some getting used to!

For the first few weeks in the lab, I’ve been learning a lot by shadowing Beatriz, the lab technician. She’s been so great and has been teach me the lab methods I’ll be using. I’ve also been working to compare different gel dyes so I can compare my results to ones that I get in Guelph. The work I’ve been doing is helping to lay the groundwork before I begin testing my clam samples, which will hopefully happen soon!

My first California adventure was a short weekend trip to Monterey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Seeing otters and sea lions right from the beach was a highlight of my trip so far!