Institute of Indigenous Peoples' Health (IIPH) Update
Message from the President

March 28, 2023

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to provide you with an update on the Institute of Indigenous Peoples' Health (IIPH) -- both on our progress in the leadership search, and on our current programs and investments. I am mindful that ongoing Institute work must continue as we identify new leadership.

Dr. Margo Greenwood's term as the Interim Scientific Director for IIPH came to an end December 31, 2022, when she assumed her responsibilities as a Senator in the Canadian Senate. In February 2023, Dr. Earl Nowgesic, IIPH Associate Scientific Director, accepted a position as the Associate Director of Research and Data Management with the Chiefs of Ontario. I congratulate them once again on their new roles, and thank Drs. Greenwood and Nowgesic for their outstanding leadership and stewardship of the CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples' Health.

Since then, we have benefitted from, and are grateful for, rich discussion with Indigenous partners and others as we have been examining how best to proceed in a culturally respectful manner. I am pleased to convey to you that the selection process for the new IIPH Scientific Director has begun with the establishment of an Advisory Circle, grounded in Indigenous ways. The Advisory Circle will hold its first meeting on April 11th and its initial focus will be to inform the selection process of the next IIPH Scientific Director, as well as advise on the interim leadership arrangement. While the selection process is underway, the administrative team of the Institute will remain at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). I would like to thank UNBC and its leadership for their steady and strong support through this change.

Please rest assured that IIPH will remain true to its mandate to improve and promote the health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada. It will continue to prioritize investments in Indigenous Peoples' health research, carrying on key CIHR commitments. For example, current IIPH funding commitments totaling over $7.5 million for 2023-2024 are all being advanced. This includes the NEIHRs, collaborations with the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), Indigenous Gender and Wellness, the Diabetes Initiative in Indigenous Health Research, and the Indigenous stream in HIV/AIDS community-based research, and support for trainees among many others. The Institute will also continue to support projects in the Fall and Spring Project Grant competitions. Moreover, the NEIHR renewal process and the development of a new Yukon-based NEIHR are moving ahead as planned. Institute staff are working to refresh the IIPH strategic plan and continue to support existing and new partnerships.

Working closely with the community, the Institute will continue to advance Indigenous health research in ways that are consistent with the spirit of reconciliation and self-determination. The ongoing process of rebuilding and maintaining the trust and confidence of Indigenous communities is essential to the work of CIHR.

I am deeply grateful for the support and advice of many colleagues from within the community of Indigenous researchers, knowledge keepers and Elders as we continue to advance our commitments. I look forward to continuing to provide updates on a regular basis.

Miigwech, Marci, Nakummek, Merci, Thank you.


Michael J. Strong, MD, FRCPC, FAAN, FCAHS
President, CIHR

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