Advisory Team

We have a dynamic team of people who are working to make this project an exciting, vibrant experience for everyone involved. It is through their vision of a training opportunity that lets people build international networks and develop skills and tools they need to become leaders and innovators in global and Indigenous health research that the program, “Promoting International Community-University Partnerships in Global and Indigenous Health” was developed.


Dr. Kathi Avery Kinew, PhD is the Manager of the Research and Social Development Initiatives at the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. She has spent her entire professional career working with First Nations in health, education, economic development and historical treaty research, and is the AMC’s main liaison with universities and First Nations on research.

Marissa Becker MD, FRCPC, MSc, is an Assistant Professor in the Centre for Global Public Health at the University of Manitoba, Departments of Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Community Health Sciences. She is also the Associate Director of the Manitoba HIV Program. Dr. Becker has been awarded the Manitoba Health Research Council/Manitoba Medical Services Foundation Clinical Research Professorship in Population Medicine as well as an Aubie Angel Young Investigator Award in Clinical Research. She is currently the recipient of a Canadian Institutes for Health Research New Investigator Award. Dr. Becker is currently working as an Infectious Diseases and HIV physician with the University of Manitoba and continues her HIV research program in Manitoba, India, Kenya and Ukraine.  The goal of her research program is to understand, and work towards improving HIV risk, vulnerability and outcomes among marginalized populations at both the global level, and in Canada. Dr. Becker uses a Program Science framework to address two main research themes. The first focuses on understanding early HIV risk among vulnerable young girls and women in Kenya, Ukraine and India. The second key theme is on understanding challenges and gaps in HIV care in Manitoba.

James Blanchard is an epidemiologist and public health specialist focusing on global health. He received an MD from the University of Manitoba and an MPH and PhD in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins University. His research focuses on how the characteristics of individuals, communities and large populations contribute to the local and global distribution of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Over the past fifteen years he has also provided leadership to the design and implementation of large public health programs related to HIV/AIDS and maternal, neonatal and child health in India, other Asian countries and Africa. He is actively engaged with policy makers and public health leaders to translate scientific knowledge and approaches to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public health programs, with an emphasis on improving the health of disadvantaged populations.

Linda Diffey is Plains Cree and a member of the Peepeekisis First Nation in Saskatchewan.  She studied Medicine at the University of Manitoba and is currently undertaking a PhD in Applied Health Sciences that is focusing on anti-racist pedagogy in health professional education.  Linda was a co-editor of the national undergraduate medicine curricular framework for Indigenous health developed by the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada (IPAC) and the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC).  With Dr. Barry Lavallee, she has co-led the development and implementation of a comprehensive Indigenous health course at the University of Manitoba’s College of Medicine where she is the Associate Director at the Centre for Aboriginal Health Education.

Keith Fowke, PhD is a professor and head of the department of Medical Microbiology and is cross appointed in the department of Community Health Sciences.  His laboratory focuses on defining cellular immune mechanisms of the control of, and resistance to, HIV infection and studies the immune response to influenza infection and vaccination.  Dr. Fowke has a particular interest in training young investigators in multi-disciplinary research and has been involved in a number of workshops and international training programs. 

Josée Lavoie, PhD  is the Director of the Centre for Health Research at the University of Manitoba. Dr Lavoie’s program of research is located at the interface between policy and Indigenous health services, with a focus on contracting, accountability, responsiveness  in rural and remote communities. She is particularly interested in how western and indigenous knowledge systems interface in the provision of health services in Indigenous communities. She is extensively published in the areas of contact theory, assessing the performance of on-reserve primary healthcare services, and Indigenous health policy (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Colombia). She maintains on-going partnerships with the British Columbia First Nations Health Authority and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. She is actively engaged in collaborations in Australia and New Zealand, and in circumpolar countries (Canada, Norway).

Natalie Riediger, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the University of Manitoba’s Department of Community Health Sciences and at the Manitoba First Nations Centre for Aboriginal Health Research. Dr. Riediger’s research interests include indigenous health, community-based participatory research, community nutrition, diabetes and cardiovascular epidemiology, and nutritional epidemiology. She has been involved with the research team in Sandy Bay First Nation since 2009 on a number of projects. After getting to know community team members through these projects as well as her doctoral thesis work, Dr. Riediger led a large, mixed method, Nutrition Study in 2012 to explore factors impacting nutritional status as well as how it relates to health.

Julianne Sanguins, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the University of Manitoba’s Department of Community Health Sciences and an Adjunct Professor at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy.  She is an RN and holds a PhD in Nursing. Dr. Sanguins is also the Knowledge Development Manager in the Manitoba Metis Federation – Health & Wellness Department and manages academic aspects of all studies that occur in the department. Her past research projects have investigated Metis population health as well as Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) projects. Since beginning work with the MMF in 2006, Dr. Sanguins has served as co-investigator or PI on eight quantitative projects, and five qualitative projects. Her research interests are all aspects Metis Health and Well Being, Seniors, and rural health.

Sheila Carter, Manitoba Metis Federaction Inc.

Leona Starr, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs