sherilee harper

EcoHealth Research with Indigenous Communities


The Harper Lab welcomes Teddy to Guelph!

Written by Chloe Zivot, Undergraduate Research Assistant

It’s with great pleasure that we welcome Teddy Kisembo to the Harper Lab as she completes a course in EcoHealth at the University of Guelph this summer. While she has only been here one month, her energy and knowledge have brightened the department since her arrival, and we look forward to having her here with us until July! Continue reading


Does Weather Matter for Foetal Growth in Uganda?

Congratulations to Sarah MacVicar for her new publication!  Sarah’s paper examines associations between in utero meteorological exposures and foetal growth among Indigenous and non-Indigenous mothers in rural Uganda.

If you ever wondered how weather conditions impact foetal growth, check out this paper!  Click here to view the open-access paper.  Continue reading


Congratulations to Laura Jane for winning a Vanier Scholarship!

Sincerest congratulations to Laura Jane Weber for winning a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, one of Canada’s most prestigious scholarships!

Laura Jane is a PhD Candidate in Epidemiology and International Development Studies at the University of Guelph.  She is working with Northern partners to explore the role of place in Inuit maternal health and wellness.  Her advisory committee includes Drs. Harper, Dewey, Cunsolo, Healey, and Humphries.

Click here to read the news story. Continue reading


Lessons from the Labrador Research Forum: Truth, Respect and Reciprocity, Humility, & (Re)framing Research as (Re)conciliation

Written by Alexandra Sawatzky, PhD Candidate

Between April 30 and May 3, Jacquie, Mel, and I were privileged to attend the first biennial Labrador Research Forum in the Upper Lake Melville Region of Labrador. This gathering involved the communities of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Sheshatshiu First Nation, and North West River, and engaged the three Indigenous nations of this region: the Innu, Nunatsiavut Inuit, as well as NunatuKavut Inuit. Over 150 delegates, including researchers, government representatives, community leaders and organizations, and the broader public came together to engage in dialogue and co-learning surrounding research in the North, by the North, for the North. Continue reading


Congratulations to Carlee Wright for Successfully Defending her MSc thesis Research!

Carlee graduated with distinction from her BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Guelph in 2014. She then started her MSc in Epidemiology in the Department of Population Medicine (OVC) and earned a 91% average in her coursework. Outside of her coursework, she was a Teaching Assistant (TA) for the graduate-level Epidemiology I course in 2015, a member of the EcoHealth Community of Interest (2014-present), and an active member of the journal club (2014-present). Carlee conducted community-led research on drinking water quality and safety, led by the community of Rigolet (see thesis abstract below). She presented this research at 3 national and 5 international conferences, including 8 poster and 7 oral presentations, many of which were co-presented with Inez Shiwak (an Inuit research associate from Rigolet). To support her research, Carlee won over $62,000 in scholarships and research grants; her research has taken her to Nunatsiavut, Alaska, Oxford, Montreal, and other locales.

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Carlee over the past few years; she is a great thinker, writer, and analyst. Congratulations Carlee! Continue reading


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.