sherilee harper

EcoHealth Research with Indigenous Communities


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 

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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!

 


Examining Climate Change Adaptation in Nunatsiavut

Nia King copyWritten by Nia King, BScH Candidate

Starting at 330am, it was a good day — it was mild outside with clear skies and a light snow. After a cat nap at the airport and then arriving to the cash register at Tim’s, only to be told that the gentleman in front of me had paid for my tea, I was off to Montreal for a day of meetings regarding an Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and Ouranos contract for a report addressing climate change adaptation in Nunavik and Nunatsiavut. Upon arrival to Montreal, I quickly realized that Guelph campus is not exactly representative of most universities (ie. you can’t just wander McGill campus waiting to stumble on the building for which you are looking). Nevertheless, it was a gorgeous cold winter day out, which I’ve been missing given that I’m from Ottawa and Guelph has been so mild, and after asking numerous students for directions, I made it to the meeting and we started with a productive group meeting working alongside Ouranos team members to establish the project deliverables and timelines. I had the pleasure of spending the day collaborating with one of James Ford’s students, Cheenar, with whom I’ll be working closely for the upcoming two months. After the initial group meeting, Cheenar and I spent the day finalizing our methodologies such that the Nunavik and Nunatsiavut report sections are easily comparable. While I was only in Montreal for 10 hours, I’m already excited for the project to come and to get to collaborate further with members from the Ford Lab and Ouranos!


New Publication! Climate Change and Acute Respiratory Illness in Indigenous Populations

KBW headshotCongratulations to Kate Bishop Williams for her new publication in the journal Systematic Reviews. 

This article outlines the protocol that Kate will use to conduct a systematic review to investigate whether associations between acute respiratory illness and seasonal or meteorological parameters differ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups residing in the same geographical region.

Citation: Bishop-Williams KE, Sargeant JM, Berrang-Ford L, Edge VL, Cunsolo A, Harper SL. A protocol for a systematic literature review: comparing the impact of seasonal and meteorological parameters on acute respiratory infections in Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Systematic Reviews 2017; 6(1): 19. Click here for free open-acces to the article.

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New Publication! Seasonal variation of food security among Ugandan Indigenous Batwa

Kate_website_picCongratulations to Kaitlin Patterson on her publication in Public Health Nutrition!  Her article examines the sensitivity of the food system of an Indigenous African population, the Batwa of Kanungu District, Uganda, to seasonal variation.  She used mixed qualitative and quantitative methods to characterize one of the highest food insecure populations in the published literature. Her results are being used by local Ugandan NGOs to prioritize development-related decision making in the region.

Access the article here (free, open-access).

Congratulations Kate!

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