Building a healthier future for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples

Canadian Institutes of Health Research takes concrete steps to strengthen Indigenous health research in Canada

WINNIPEG, Nov. 4, 2016 /CNW/ - Speaking today at the National Forum on the 20th Anniversary of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Dr. Alain Beaudet, announced new steps the agency is taking to strengthen its relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and, ultimately, improve Indigenous health outcomes in Canada.

CIHR is pleased to announce that it is increasing its investments in Indigenous health research to a minimum of 4.6 per cent of its annual budget – approximately $46 million per year. This amount is proportional to Canada's Indigenous population (First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples make up approximately 4.6 per cent of the Canadian population).  

Increased funding is just one way that CIHR is re-engaging in a dialogue with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Based on advice received from Indigenous communities, CIHR is taking other concrete actions to strengthen Indigenous health research, including:

  • Advocating that its top level of governance, Governing Council, have a membership that reflects Canada's diversity and its Indigenous peoples;
  • Working with its new Institutes Advisory Board on Indigenous Peoples' Health to develop performance indicators to validate CIHR's investments in Indigenous health research and create impactful new initiatives aimed at improving the health of Indigenous peoples;
  • Ensuring better success rates for Indigenous-focused grant applications by guaranteeing that these applications will be assessed by reviewers with Indigenous health expertise, who will consider Indigenous ways of knowing and will provide their reviews with a mentorship lens;
  • Meeting annually with leaders of the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis National Council to discuss Indigenous health research priorities; and
  • Working with other federal research councils to develop strategies to strengthen Indigenous research capacity through training and mentoring along the entire career continuum from undergraduate to postdoctoral levels.


"I applaud today's announcement which, through ensuring Indigenous peoples are more reflected in CIHR governance, increasing the success rates of grant applications focused on Indigenous research and strengthening the capacity of the future generation of Indigenous health researchers, shows that CIHR is doing its part to close gaps in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities."

The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health  

"This past summer I was honoured to meet with CIHR leadership to discuss how health research could help address Indigenous priorities. Today's announcement is truly important as it demonstrates not just a larger investment in Indigenous health, but one that is guided by the advice received from First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. This is an excellent example of moving forward toward reconciliation together."

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.,
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs  

"At CIHR, we will continue to approach health research from a comprehensive, fully-integrated, and community-based perspective that takes into account the impact of the social determinants of health on Indigenous peoples. And we will continue to engage Indigenous partners and communities every step of the way."

Dr. Alain Beaudet, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Associated links


SOURCE Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For further information: Media Relations, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 613-941-4563,; Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160


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