I was involved in the planning of The Manitoba Personalized Lifestyle Research (TMPLR) program. Part of the TMPLR program’s goals is to collaborate with First Nations groups to investigate the impact of lifestyle (diet, physical activity and sleep) on chronic disease risk in a cross-sectional fashion. The TMPLR program is also hoping to conduct a similar a cross sectional study in non-first nation Manitobans and in individuals who have establish chronic kidney disease. TMPLR hopes to identify lifestyle factors which might be protective against chronic conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease, which are prevalent in Manitoba. The long term goal of TMPLR program is to use the information from the cross-sectional studies to develop and then test personalized lifestyle strategies to combat these chronic conditions. One of the unique assets TMPLR has is a mobile research unit, which we hope can be used to take health research directly to First Nations in their community and allow for TMPLR to look at the impact of living on reserve versus living in Winnipeg on lifestyle and chronic conditions.
My specific research interest in First Nation, Metis, Inuit, and/or Indigenous health research was inspired by my parents. My mother worked with the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation as Registered Dietician as part of their diabetes prevention initiative and my father worked as a legal aid lawyer who worked in the Aboriginal Justice Project in Labrador, NL. Their work developed my desire to perform health research with a goal of lowering the health consequences of chronic diseases disproportionately borne by indigenous peoples.