sherilee harper

EcoHealth Research with Indigenous Communities

Research Projects

Current Research Projects

Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change

Peru Team MtgThe Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change (IHACC) project is working closely with Indigenous peoples and their organizations to create a research program that will contribute towards strengthening health systems in light of a rapidly changing climate.  The areas of research focus in this five year project are climate change impacts on waterborne disease, vectorborne disease, foodborne disease, and food security in three remote regions: Bwindi Forest, Uganda (Batwa Pygmies); Peruvian Amazon (Shipibo and Shawi peoples); and the Canadian Arctic (Inuit).


Role: Project Management Committee

Inuit Traditional Knowledge for Adapting to Health Effects of Climate ChangeIMG_0188

The “Inuit Traditional Knowledge for Adapting to the Health Effects of Climate Change” (IK-ADAPT) project is a trans-disciplinary initiative that combines scientific research and Inuit traditional knowledge (IK) to develop an evidence base to inform policy and programming to adapt to the health effects of climate change. The 3-year research project focuses on climate change impacts on food security, safety, and waterborne diseases. Working closely with 6 communities across Arctic Canada and knowledge users at multiple levels, the project examines ways to document, conserve, and promote IK to help prevent, prepare for, and manage the health impacts of climate change.

Funds: CIHR, Nasivvik Centre for Inuit Health and Changing Environments

Role: Co-Investigator

Indigenous Peoples Adapting to the Health Effects of Climate Change

cropped-img_3356.jpgThis proposed project will work with Indigenous communities and knowledge users in Peru and Uganda to develop and apply a framework for adaptation assessment, evaluate pilot interventions for adaptation to the health impacts of climate change among Indigenous populations in the global south, and provide an evidence-base for targeted intervention programs and adaptation policy.  The project has a focus on Indigenous Knowledge, reflecting the continued importance of traditional approaches to, and conceptualizations of, health, which remain central for many Indigenous populations.

Funds: CIHR

Role: Co-Investigator

Past Research Projects

Changing Climate, Changing Health, Changing Stories

story creation, map, camera, draftThis project was a 3 year, community-led, capacity-building research project in the Inuit community of Rigolet, Nunatsiavut.  This project examined the impacts of climate change on health and well-being by using qualitative methods and digital media to engage the community in climate-health research and to create locally-appropriate health media. Project outputs included 36 digital stories created by community members, 2 community DVDs, 3 internet based project platforms, creation of the ‘My Word’: Storytelling and Digital Media Lab, a week-long Youth and Elder camp, a 2 week intensive training trip for community employees, 3 community story nights, and the creation of a Rigolet photo book.  Research outputs included 5 awards/prizes, 15 media pieces, and 5 manuscripts co-published by the community.

Funds: Health Canada, Nunatsiavut Government, Nasivvik Centre

Role: Co-Principle Investigator with Ashlee Cunsolo Willox