The Government of Canada invests more than $1.4M in research to improve the health of Indigenous seniors

Sudbury researcher is tackling age-related diseases in First Nations communities in northern Ontario and Saskatchewan

December 4, 2017 – Sudbury, ON – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Indigenous populations in Canada are rapidly aging and facing a rise in multiple chronic diseases and disabilities. Recent data indicate that more than half of Indigenous people aged 65 and older report limitations in their ability to live an independent lifestyle. The Government has made it a priority to address the health needs of Indigenous people of all ages.

Today, Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury, on behalf of Canada’s Minister of Health, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, announced an investment of more than $1.4 million to support a research project focused on improving the health of Indigenous seniors.  Specifically, the project will study the issue of dementia and how this condition affects Indigenous communities, including families and caregivers.

Dr. Janet McElhaney and her team at the the Health Sciences North Research Institute (HSNRI) in Sudbury will partner with First Nations communities in northern Ontario and Saskatchewan to:

  • identify the needs of Indigenous seniors living with multiple conditions;
  • develop and adapt interventions to address the health issues and barriers to care for seniors; and
  • evaluate the effectiveness of community-specific interventions.

The new investment from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) will help support innovative research that will ensure healthier aging among Indigenous communities.


“I would like to congratulate Dr. McElhaney and her team from Health Sciences North for collaborating with community partners on this important project. The Government of Canada is committed to investing in innovation and research to provide Indigenous peoples with lasting solutions to the health challenges they face.”
Paul Lefebvre
Member of Parliament for Sudbury

“I commend Dr. McElhaney and her team at Health Sciences North for their ongoing dedication and commitment to reducing the health inequities faced by Indigenous populations across Canada. I am proud of the Government of Canada’s commitment to improve health outcomes for Indigenous seniors by supporting projects like those being undertaken by Dr. McElhaney and her team. I am confident that we will all benefit from the improvements in dementia care that are produced by the world-class research being conducted in Greater Sudbury and the Nickel Belt region.”
Marc Serré
Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt

“CIHR applauds Dr. McElhaney’s research efforts and genuine compassion that have led her to work in partnership with Indigenous communities to ensure Indigenous peoples have access to the same quality of care and support that other Canadians enjoy. CIHR is delighted to support research that will have a real, tangible impact on improving the health of aging Indigenous peoples. We wish the team success and look forward to seeing their progress.”
Dr. Carrie Bourassa
Scientific Director
CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health

“The funding from CIHR will provide an opportunity for collaborative community-based research that will identify the needs of Indigenous older persons with and develop interventions to address the health issues and barriers to care for older adults. It will allow us to work with communities and find innovative solutions while working to develop the next generation of researchers.”
Dr. Janet McElhaney
HSNRI Vice President of Research and Scientific Director

Quick Facts

  • Project Grants are designed to support researchers at any career stage build and conduct health research and knowledge translation projects covering a range of areas, from discovery science and clinical research to strengthening the health care system and examining the social determinants of health.

Related Products


Thierry Bélair
Office of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
[email protected]


NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More