Redefining Research through Relationships


This year marks the 10th Annual Indigenous Health Research Symposium.

The symposium offers Elders, community members, youth, students, and researchers the opportunity to share ideas about Indigenous health research. This year, preference will be given to those who are Indigenous, have Indigenous team members, and if your research was in collaboration with an Indigenous community.

The event will take place virtually, which we hope will widen our audience to community members and others who wish to participate in our event.

Ten-minute concurrent sessions will be offered with a five-minute question and answer period.

Links will be sent around to everyone who has registered for the conference, so please  be sure to register!

November 16, 2022

8:45-9:15 Conference Opening: Opening Prayer and Remarks

9:15-10:30 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Janet Smylie

Presentation: Dr. Smylie will speak about advancing generative health services for Indigenous populations by rooting out racism and colonial approaches in existing health services and advancing First Nations, Inuit and Métis community-driven research and health service models.

Bio: Dr. Janet Smylie, a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario, is a family physician and a research scientist in Indigenous health at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. She is a professor at the University of Toronto and holds a Canada Research Chair in Advancing Generative Health Services for Indigenous Populations in Canada. Her research focuses on addressing Indigenous health inequities.  

10:45-11:45 Concurrent Panel and Workshop

PANEL (Room 1): Red River Métis COVID-19 experiences: Overcoming challenges and creating opportunities through partnership – Michelle Driedger, Julianne Sanguins, Nathan Nickel

WORKSHOP (Room 2): Where do I start? Building confidence in anti-racist education – Linda Diffey (Building Relationships for Anti-racist Indigenous Development [BRAID] Network), Laurie Harding, Ashleigh Janis

12:45-2:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions
Room 1: 

Decolonizing Approach to the Incorporation of Traditional Indigenous Ways of Healing into Manitoba's Bariatric Program – Wenjing He, Anastasia Anistratov, Princess Maglanque, Krista Hardy, Ashley Vergis, Felica Daenick, Anastasia Anistratov, Princess Maglanque      

Rationale and design of the Métis Regional Health Survey: Reclaiming our Health under Métis Nation Health Data and Strategy – Julianne Sanguins, Esther Shakespeare, Lisa A. Rodway, Toluwani Omomo, Gwendolyn Black, A. Frances Chartrand, Muhammad, S. Aldhshan, Olena Kloss             

Designing Anticolonial Research by Applying the “Two-eyed Way of Seeing” Approach to Developing a Mixed Methods Program Evaluation – Margherita Cameranesi, Carla Kowal, Ivy Chaske, Stephanie Ens      

Room 2:

An Action Plan for Truth and Reconciliation in Post-Graduate Medical Education – Lisa Monkman, Joel Kettner

Reconciliation in the Pandemic – Judy Clark, Janet Kanayok, Jenelle Sammurtok

Conversations with Caregivers: Indigenous Perspectives on Barriers and Facilitators to Engagement with School Psychologists – Meghan Mollons                                             

Trauma and Survivance: The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Indigenous nursing students – Vanessa Van Bewer                

2:15-3:30 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Cheryl Barnabe

Presentation: “Connections & Articulations”: Dr. Barnabe will provide highlights from community-engaged research initiatives and collaborative medical education programs to address the burden of inflammatory arthritis conditions in Indigenous communities. She will reinforce the critical role of connections and networks necessary in Indigenous health research programs.

Bio: Dr. Cheryl Barnabe, a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, is a rheumatologist and a professor at the University of Calgary. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Autoimmune Diseases. Her research focuses on equity in health service delivery and arthritis outcomes, most specifically for Indigenous populations in Canada.

November 17, 2022

9:00-10:15 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair                              

Presentation: "How Relationship is the Research": What is Indigenous research? How has the university in the past treated relationships as oppositional to "objectivity" and how has this shaped the ways knowledge is perceived, published and archived? How do ethnocentric notions of literacy operate and how might a sense of Indigenous "reading" and "writing" have profound implications for the university? Come join a conversation on how relationships are the research for Indigenous peoples and it's impossible to separate the two.

Bio: Dr. Niigaan Sinclair is an Anishinaabe writer, editor and activist who is professor and acting head of Indigenous studies at the University of Manitoba. He is an influential public speaker and media commentator who frequently speaks on Canada’s national television networks on Indigenous issues. In 2018, he was named Canadian columnist of the year at the National Newspaper Awards for his columns in the Winnipeg Free Press.

10:30-11:30 Session

Clinical outcomes of ischemic stroke in Indigenous populations: a systematic review and metanalysis – Jai Shankar, Joshua Dian, Reva Trivedi, Janice Linton       

No Land, No Health: Exploration of the Impact of Historical Environment on Inuit qanuinngitsiarutiksait in the context of Climate Change – Jeevan Toor             

Connecting with cultural heritage: Land-based learning and healing through archaeology in northern Manitoba – Linda Larcombe, Andrew Hatala, Laura Kelvin, Ben Collins, Pamela Orr, Donalee Deck, Amelia Fay, Jill Larkin, Albert McLeod, Kono Tattuinee, Evan Yassie

1:15-2:15 p.m. Session

Developing research to identify inequities and improve outcomes for Inuit families involved with child protective services in Manitoba – Kathleen S. Kenny

Identifying spine care needs and perceived barriers to accessing evidence-based spine care and evaluating implementation feasibility in Northern Manitoba: A GSCI project – Jennifer Ward, Steven Passmore, Andre Bussières, Scott Haldeman, et al.       

Wisdom from the Grandmothers and Aunties on our Wellbeing in the Academy – Laura Forsythe

1:15-2:15 Panel

Qanuinngitsiarutiksait: How we work together – Nastania Mulin, Josee Lavoie, Marti Ford, Tagaak Evaluardjuk-Palmer

2:15-3:15 Keynote Speaker: Michael Kusugak

Presentation: “Rejuvenating Inuit traditional storytelling”: Storytelling is an important part of Inuit life. Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak’s storytelling sessions use his experiences growing up and listening to stories told by his grandmother in sod huts, tents and igloos. This session will talk about the importance of storytelling in Inuit culture and history, and Michael’s goal of reviving and rejuvenating this tradition.

Bio: Award-winning Inuit children’s author Michael Kusugak grew up in Repulse Bay, NWT (now Nunavut). During his childhood, his family travelled by dog sled, living a traditional lifestyle. He didn’t speak a word of English until he was seven, when he was sent to a residential school in Chesterfield Inlet. He went on to become one of the first Inuit from the eastern Arctic to graduate from high school. He is the author of 12 children's books and was the co-writer of A Promise Is a Promise (with Robert Munsch).

Please stay tuned for more information about the Indigenous Health Research Symposium. If you have any questions, please email


Dawn Stewart Award for Research Support in Indigenous Health


To qualify for the award, the applicant/nominee:

  • Must be working in an Indigenous health research environment (not specifically university-based) for a minimum of three years.
  • Must not be a Principle Investigator

Please contact Ongomiizwin – Research with any questions on eligibility

How to apply

Applicants should submit two letters of support/nomination highlighting the following:

  • productivity
  • innovation
  • initiative
  • membership and/or leadership

Please contact Ongomiizwin – Research if you have any questions. The date for nominations will be announced once the next awards are opened.


The Dawn Stewart Award for Research Support in Indigenous Health is named for Dawn Stewart, who worked in Indigenous health research at the University of Manitoba for over three decades. She finished her career at the university at Ongomiizwin – Research, Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing as the Research Programs Lead in 2017.

Relationships are central to Indigenous health research and Dawn always ensured the Centre remained a welcoming and supportive place for building relationships. Not only was she a mentor and confidante to students, research, community research assistants and faculty members, but she administratively transformed the way Indigenous health research is conducted at UM.

Ultimately, Dawn’s work was integral to the success of Indigenous health research at the University of Manitoba, though it often went without accolades. We name this award in her honour in recognition of her many contributions.

The Dawn Stewart Award for Research Support in Indigenous Health will be awarded annually at the Indigenous Health Research Symposium to an individual who exemplifies the qualities Dawn embodied in the area of Indigenous health research, someone who, through their role in supporting research, remains an unsung hero.

Contact us

Ongomiizwin – Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
P122 Pathology Building
770 Bannatyne Ave
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3W 0W3