My program addresses the following three research projects:
Health Research with Cree Communities. Indigenous communities in Canada continue to experience the devastating health effects of colonization. Importantly, many communities have strengths that protect their health, such as community cohesion and traditional cultural practices. This research is partnered with the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay to help Cree mobilize their strengths and build healthy environments for their citizens. This will include an evaluation of a regional health planning initiative, an evaluation of an Oral Health Care program and the development of a palliative care program for Cree communities.
Oral Health of Humanitarian Migrants. Globally, there are 15 million refugees with an additional 900,000 requesting asylum. Their health is fragile, especially after experiences of war, poverty, famine and refugee camps. Oral health is an urgent neglected area for this population; research suggests oral health may actually further decline in the first years of resettlement. I am leading a study that seeks to document the oral health status of newly-arrived migrants in Montreal, and improve their access to oral health services.
Understanding Vulnerability. ‘Vulnerability' is not a ‘natural fact' inherent in a population. Vulnerability is constructed when social, cultural and political forces intersect. I am working with a research team to look at how vulnerability is created in the context of research and clinical innovation for psychiatric disorders, and also how it is created in research ethics practices. I will use this work to address how vulnerability is also produced in Axis 1 (e.g., through the legacy of colonial practices such as residential schools), and Axis 2 (e.g., through global conflicts and immigration policies).