Background and Mission


In 2001, the University of Manitoba, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, and the Foundations for Health joined together to create the Centre for Aboriginal Health Research (CAHR). It replaced a research group known as the Northern Health Research Unit, which was created in 1986. CAHR, which became known as the Manitoba First Nations Centre for Aboriginal Health Research (MFN CAHR) in 2006, is known nationally and internationally for promoting research excellence through the support and development of partnership-based health research with First Nations, Metis, Inuit, and/or Indigenous communities in Manitoba, Canada, and the world.

MFN CAHR has historically been located in the Department of Community Health Sciences, of the Faculty of Medicine. Following the creation of the Faculty of Health Sciences, MFN CAHR is now considered a Centre of the Faculty of Health Sciences, and tasked to bring together and serve the needs of all Faculty of Health Sciences researchers engaged in First Nations, Métis, Inuit and Indigenous health research.

The University of Manitoba is located in Treaty One territory and on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe peoples and the homeland of the Metis Nation.  Our campuses and the historic Forks of Winnipeg sit at the crossroads of the Anishinaabe, Metis, Cree, Dakota and Oji-Cree Nations.


MFN CAHR is a centre of research excellence in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Institute for Indigenous Health. We remain centrally committed to building and maintaining productive and respectful partnership-based relationships with First Nations, Metis, Inuit and Indigenous communities, to recruiting Indigenous students and scholars, to providing effective support and mentorship, and to sharing and building knowledge internationally. Our key objectives are

  • To promote the development of sustained nationally and internationally recognized programs of research excellence at the University of Manitoba, in all four pillars (biomedical; clinical; health services; and social, cultural, environmental and population health).
  • To promote research that addresses the needs of First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and Indigenous communities.
  • To provide mentorship opportunities to support the First Nation, Métis, Inuit and Indigenous health research skills among students, community and university-based researchers.
  • To facilitate skill development in First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and Indigenous communities and organizations in the use of health information for policy and program development.
  • To assist with the development of quality health information systems describing changing health conditions in First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and Indigenous communities.
  • To advise First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and Indigenous governments and organizations on health policy issues based on the best available research evidence.
  • To facilitate communication and knowledge sharing concerning Indigenous health development nationally and internationally.
  • To complement rather than compete with national and international community- and university-based First Nations, Métis and Inuit health research programs and promote the formation of innovative collaborations and research networks that supports these organizations’ aspirations.