Parliamentary Secretary Fletcher announces more than $15 million for the creation of an Aboriginal Health Research Network

    WINNIPEG, Jan. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Today the Government of Canada announced
an investment of $15.8 million over three years through the Canadian
Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to create the Network Environments for
Aboriginal Health Research (NEAHR). The announcement was made at the
University of Manitoba by Steven Fletcher, MP for Charleswood-St.
James-Assiniboia and Parliamentary Secretary for Health, on behalf of the
Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health.
    "The Government of Canada is prepared to take the steps necessary to
improve the overall health of Aboriginal people and their access to health
care services, which is why I am proud today to support this new research
program which will translate into better health care in Aboriginal
communities," said Mr. Fletcher. "Our Government believes that Canada's
Aboriginal people should get the health care they need, when they need it.
Since 2006, we continue to collaborate with our partners to develop
initiatives that will work, including initiatives like Patient Wait Times
    The overall health of Aboriginal people is significantly worse than the
health of other Canadians. For example, the gap in life expectancy between
Aboriginal and other Canadians is seven years; Aboriginal people are more
likely than other Canadians to have hearing, sight and speech disabilities,
and they experience significantly higher rates of diabetes and other diseases
than the rest of Canadians. Some reasons for this are already known, some
remain to be discovered through new research.
    The NEAHR program will benefit Canada's Aboriginal people by helping to
increase the impact of Aboriginal health research, and apply the research
findings effectively to improve the health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis
peoples' health in Canada. The program will, for example:

    - Enhance and develop the research environment between Universities and
      First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities and organizations;
    - Support research that focuses on themes such as population health;
      health services; child health and development; and ethical issues in
      aboriginal health research; and
    - Train more than 200 graduate students who are working a broad range of
      health issues, including such as mental health and addiction, food
      security, nutrition, diabetes, northern health issues, tobacco control,
      aboriginal youth suicide.

    "The NEAHR grant will make it possible for First Nations students and
communities to become more involved in research and present their findings at
Canadian and international conferences. We believe the UM NEAHR Centre will be
quite innovative under the excellent leadership of Dr. Cathy Cook, and look
forward to the outcome," said Ron Evans, Grand Chief of the Assembly of
Manitoba Chiefs.
    "Canada is leading the world in fostering an environment for advanced
Aboriginal health research," said Dr. Jeff Reading, Scientific Director for
the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Institute of Aboriginal Peoples'
Health. "This investment will establish a national network of health
researchers from across Canada to work on health priorities identified within
Aboriginal communities."
    The Principal Investigator of the NEAHR grant and Director of the
Aboriginal Health Education Centre is Dr. Catherine Cook, and Co-investigators
on the NEAHR project include Dr. Judy Bartlett, from the Manitoba Metis
Federation and Kathi Avery-Kinew from the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.
    "Through this investment by CIHR, we have the opportunity to build on the
groundwork established through the CIHR-ACADRE grant, wherein we have achieved
some significant successes in the development of research capacity in our
communities," said Dr. Catherine Cook." "We anticipate that the collaborative
partnerships with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the Manitoba Metis
Federation will generate opportunities to focus on building greater capacity
to meet our health challenges through the sharing of knowledge that is
inherent in our First Nations and Metis communities. We will also build on
opportunities to collaborate with the Inuit community in our region."
    "The University of Manitoba's long history of working partnerships
between research and service providers and Northern communities began over
half a century ago. The creation of this new Manitoba NEAHR project at the
University of Manitoba affirms our position as a centre of excellence in
Aboriginal health research, and will allow us to continue to build capacity in
and further develop our partnerships with Aboriginal communities," said
Dr. Joanne Keselman, Vice-President (Research) at the University of Manitoba.

    The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of
Canada's agency for health research. CIHR's mission is to create new
scientific knowledge and to catalyze its translation into improved health,
more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian
health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and
support to more than 11,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

    Grant Recipients for NEAHR

    Ce document est également disponible en français.

             Network Environments for Aboriginal Health Research

                               GRANT RECIPIENTS

    Province          Host              Principal         Project Title
                      Institution       Investigators
    British Columbia  University of     Roderick M.       Network environment
                      British Columbia  McCormick         for aboriginal
                                        University of     health research in
                                        British Columbia  BC and the western
                                                          arctic (NEAHR-BCWA)
                                        Laura T. Arbour
                                        University of

                                        Laurie H. Chan
                                        University of
                                        Northern British

                                        Eduardo M. Jovel
                                        University of
                                        British Columbia

                                        Christopher E.
                                        University of

                                        Richard Vedan
                                        University of
                                        British Columbia
    Alberta           University of     Malcolm King      Access to health
                      Alberta           University of     research:
                                        Alberta           Participation
                                                          and empowerment of
                                        Lorne S.          aboriginal peoples
                                        Clearsky          in research to
                                        University of     improve health and
                                        Calgary           well-being

                                        Lindsay F.
                                        University of

                                        Cora J. Voyageur
                                        University of

                                        Cora K. Weber-
                                        University of
    Saskatchewan      University of     Eber L. Hampton   The indigenous
                      Regina            University of     peoples' health
                                        Regina            research center:
                                                          Network environment
                                        Carrie A.         for aboriginal
                                        Bourassa          health research
                                        First Nations
                                        University of

                                        Caroline L. Tait
                                        University of
    Manitoba          University of     John D. O'Neil    Manitoba Network
                      Manitoba          University of     Environment for
                                        Manitoba          Aboriginal Health
                                        Catherine L.
                                        University of
    Ontario           CIET Canada       Neil Andersson    Anisnwabe
                      (Ottawa)          CIET Canada       Kenendazone:
                                        (Ottawa)          building from the
                                                          Ottawa ACADRE
                                        Ann C. Macaulay

                                        George Sioui
                                        University of
    Ontario           University of     Kue Young         Sustaining and
                      Toronto           University of     transforming a
                                        Toronto           network for
                                                          indigenous health
                                        Marion A. Maar    research
                                        Northern Ontario  development
                                        School of         in Ontario

                                        Harriet L.

                                        Dawn Martin-Hill

                                        James B. Minore

                                        Wayne R. Warry

                                        Cornelia G.
                                        University of
    Quebec            Université Laval  Eric Dewailly     Nasivvik NEAHR
                                        Université Laval  Centre for Inuit
                                                          Health and Changing
                                        Christopher M.    Environments
                                        Trent University
    Quebec            Sir Mortimer B.   Laurence J.       National Network
                      Davis - Jewish    Kirmayer          for Aboriginal
                      General Hospital  McGill            Mental Health
                                        University        Research
    Nova Scotia       Dalhousie         Frederic C. Wien  Building the
                      University        Dalhousie         foundation for
                                        University        aboriginal health
                                                          research in
                                        Charlotte J.      Atlantic Canada
    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
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    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Laryssa Waler, Press Secretary, Office of the
Honourable Tony Clement, (613) 957-0200; David Coulombe, CIHR Media Relations,
(613) 941-4563, Cell: (613) 808-7526; Janine Harasymchuk, Research
Communications, University of Manitoba, (204) 474-7300

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