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Interdisciplinary and Indigenous Pathways to Wellness Research Group

About Us

Our research group partners on applied health research projects - requested by communities, organizations, and/or governments. We are committed to collaborative and partnered approaches to developing, conducting, and sharing knowledge from research. 

The health and wellness of people, families, communities, and nations are often tied to non-health systems such as education, child welfare, justice, environment, local governance, and spirituality. As such, our work often involves working with diverse and interdisciplinary rights holders and stakeholders to address issues that will lead to improved health and wellness, as defined by those who the research is intended to benefit.

Key Areas of Research

  • Integrated knowledge sharing in research contexts
  • Health and wellness programs/services asset mapping
  • Mental health, addictions, and trauma-informed supports
  • Indigenous community-governed or -partnered health research
  • Community mental health
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Interdisciplinary and Indigenous Pathways to Wellness is involved in projects that extend beyond the key areas of research listed above as well as embody or study the areas above. For example, while all Indigenous health research projects are governed by and/or partnered with Indigenous communities, we are also collaborating on developing, piloting, and evaluating online training on Indigenous community research partnerships, principles, and practices. We collaborate with other community and research partners on projects in areas such as cultural safety, data governance and surveillance, and culturally-specific health indicators.


  1. Support research that will directly benefit individuals, families, and communities’ health and wellness. 
  2. Conduct research using research methodologies, practices, and protocols that are acceptable and appropriate for the local context. 
  3. (Co-)develop effective knowledge translation and sharing practices and products - ensuring that knowledge shared and emerging from research is relevant, accessible, and tailored for the intended audiences, rights holders, and stakeholders. 
  4. Provide mentorship and training opportunities for students interested in community-partnered research, especially Indigenous students interested in Indigenous community-driven research.
  5. Provide mentorship, training, and hands-on experience assisting with research on community-partnered research.

Theories, Concepts, and Approaches

Research methodologies and methods greatly vary depending on the project. Depending on the objectives and desired outcomes of the project, the knowledge systems, key concepts, and approaches may vary. For example, we have projects that are:

  • governed and led by senior Indigenous scholars, Elders, and Knowledge Guardians and follow Indigenous research methodologies
  • based on a First Nations’ community-defined indicators of wellness and success and evaluation framework
  • arts-based qualitative studies
  • mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative components)
  • literature reviews (rapid, scoping, systematic, and realist)
  • blended methodologies that bring Indigenous and Western-informed methodologies, methods, and protocols

All research with and for Indigenous groups, organizations, and nations are governed and owned by the Indigenous group, organization, or nation.


Community Research Partners (listed alphabetically)

  • Aamjiwnaang First Nation
  • Chippewas of Unceded Nawash First Nation
  • Dehcho First Nations
  • Developmental Services Resources Centre
  • Innu Round Table
  • Lutherwood
  • Mushuau Innu First Nation
  • Saugeen First Nation
  • Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation
  • Sunbeam Developmental Resource Centre
  • NB FASD Centre of Excellence

Academic Research Partners

  • BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health
  • Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM), Ontario
  • Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM), Quebec & Atlantic
  • Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Athabasca University
  • Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Department of Community Health & Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan
  • Faculty of Education, University of Alberta
  • Faculty of Engineering, University of Manitoba
  • FASD Prevention NAT, CanFASD 
  • Indigenous Initiatives, University of Waterloo
  • Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Research School of Population Health, Australian National University
  • School of Nursing, Thompson Rivers University
  • School of Planning, University of Waterloo
  • School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queen’s University
  • Social Work, McGill
  • Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University
  • Well Living House, St. Michael’s Hospital


  • Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) - Ontario Node
  • Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) - Quebec & Atlantic Node
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
  • Canada Research Chair Program