Noojimo Mikana (A Healing Path): Insights from a Canadian leader in Indigenous Peoples’ health research – UToday

CIHR’s Carrie Bourassa to deliver ii’ taa’poh’to’p lecture at downtown campus Feb. 7

Dr. Carrie Bourassa, PhD, didn’t get into the field of Indigenous health on purpose. But, with more than 15 years of experience in Indigenous health research, and as the current scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH), you’d never guess it.

“I never had a plan, or a career path — I just knew I had to get to university,” says Dr. Bourassa of her journey. Growing up in Regina’s inner-city, she was the first in her family to complete high school.

“I came from a lot of dysfunction,” she says. “My mom and dad were teenagers when they had me, so I grew up mostly with my grandfather, who had a Grade 3 education. My mom had Grade 7, and my dad had Grade 8. Staying in school was often at the urging of my grandfather, who kept telling me I’d be the first to be a doctor or lawyer. He kept me on that path. But I am very grateful to my parents who also encouraged me and passed on an incredibly strong work ethic.”

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