Government of Canada invests close to $101M in Indigenous health research across the country

From: Canadian Institutes of Health Research

July 16, 2019 – Victoria, BC – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Indigenous Peoples in Canada experience a greater percentage of serious health issues than the rest of the population. That is why Indigenous researchers, Elders, knowledge users and organizations are joining forces to urgently improve the health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Canada’s Minister of Health, announced an investment of $100.8M over 16 years in the Network Environments for Indigenous Health Research (NEIHR) Program. This represents the largest single investment ever from the Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), in Indigenous health research.

The purpose of the NEIHR Program is to establish a national network of nine centres located across the country focused on capacity development, research and knowledge translation centered on Indigenous Peoples. The NEIHR Program will provide supportive environments for Indigenous health research driven by and grounded in Indigenous communities in Canada. More specifically, it will support Indigenous community-based health research based upon the priorities and values of Indigenous Peoples.

The Minister made the announcement at the University of Victoria, where she participated in an Indigenous research roundtable alongside Dr. Carrie Bourassa, the Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health.


“Improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples in Canada is a priority for our government. We believe that health research is one of the best investments we can make to ensure better health outcomes for Indigenous communities. The NEIHR Program will not only build capacity for research and create networks of experts – it will also support the next generation of Indigenous health researchers.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health

“Today’s announcement is a reflection of the feedback my team and I have received from our engagement with the Indigenous communities across the country over the past two years. First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities must determine the Indigenous health priorities in Canada. Indigenous communities, organizations, and individuals across Canada have asked us to connect more with their needs and challenges. In response, we are taking concrete actions to further strengthen Indigenous health research in Canada by working collaboratively with First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples in addressing pressing needs in the areas of capacity development, research, and knowledge translation.”

Dr. Carrie Bourassa, Scientific Director of CIHR’s Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health

“This announcement will support Indigenous People to direct research that is grounded in Indigenous knowledge, so that we can close the chapter and look toward a brighter future.”

Kevin Barlow, CEO, Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council and Indigenous researcher

“The University of Victoria is deeply committed to reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. This commitment is reflected in our Indigenous community-engaged education and research. The investment by the federal government enables researchers at UVic and across this country to conduct vitally important Indigenous health research. Together, professors, Elders, communities and students—Indigenous and non-Indigenous—can build new knowledge and capacity to promote health, resilience and well-being.”

Jamie Cassels, QC, President of the University of Victoria

Quick facts

  • The NEIHR funding competition is open until September 4, 2019, and the results of the competition are expected to be available on December 18, 2019.
  • Through this competition, centres will be established in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada, Nunavut, and either Yukon or the Northwest Territories. A coordinating centre will also be established to harmonize the work of the centres.
  • The first step of the NEIHR competition began in 2018, when CIHR provided $1.8M in funding to 24 researchers who used the funding to hold workshops that brought together First Nations, Inuit, Métis and urban Indigenous communities. Together, the workshop participants determined their priority areas of interest and capacity and readiness within their communities to create an Indigenous health research network.
  • On June 27, 2019, the CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health launched it Strategic Plan for 2019 to 2024, which includes four strategic directions to best support community-based research and improve the health of all Indigenous Peoples.

Associated links


Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Thierry Bélair
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health


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