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University of Saskatchewan announces it will become the new home of the Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health, one of 13 branches of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, on Oct. 1, 2018. The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) will be the new home of the Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH).

The IIPH was established in February 2017 as part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), with a mandate to improve the health and well-being of Indigenous people through research and knowledge, while engaging the Aboriginal community in every project.

READ MORE: Indigenous patients still waiting for equity in health care

IIPH is currently headed by Dr. Carrie Bourassa, who will continue in her role when the institute relocates from Sudbury, Ont., to Saskatoon.

“My priority is to lead efforts to strengthen Indigenous health research to improve the health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples in Canada,” Bourassa said in a statement.

Bourassa is returning to her Prairie roots.

She earned her master’s and PhD degrees in political science and social studies, respectively, at the University of Regina, then spent more than 15 years as a professor of Indigenous health studies at the First Nations University of Canada in Regina.

Karen Chad, the vice-president of research at the U of S, said the IIPH will build on the university’s growing hub of Indigenous health research.

“We are very excited to welcome Carrie and this institute which leads the national health research agenda to improve and promote the health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada,” Chad stated.

“(It will) advance our efforts to work in partnership with Indigenous communities to improve health care both here in Saskatchewan and across Canada.”

READ MORE: Indigenous patients still waiting for equity in health care: Canadian doctor

Bourassa said working with Indigenous communities will help achieve those goals.

“We are focusing on privileging Indigenous knowledges and community-based research and ensuring that Indigenous communities across Canada are determining the research agenda,” Bourassa said.

The university has previously made commitments to improve health outcomes in the Indigenous community.

READ MORE: Removing barriers facing Indigenous cancer patients in Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR), announced in 2017, is a partnership between eight organizations to improve health outcomes and build capacity in Indigenous engagement and research across the province.Also in 2017, the university announced it first research chair in Indigenous health .The U of S is also a partner in the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre, along with the First Nations University of Canada and the University of Regina.The IIPH will begin operations at the U of S on Oct. 1.

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