IMN-Ontario Summer 2020 Newsletter

Indigenous Mentorship Network (IMN) Ontario is a five-year health training program, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to provide Indigenous scholars and trainees with high quality mentorship, training, and opportunities to engage in Indigenous health and well-being research. Enjoy our seasonal newsletter!

Events in our Network

Applications and registration are now open for the National Online Gathering of Indigenous Mentorship Network Programs

In collaboration with the other regional Indigenous Mentorship Network Programs, we are excited to announce that the application for students to present and/or attend the National Online Gathering of Indigenous Mentorship Network Programs (August 12-14, 2020) is now open. Please apply at: https://ombaashi.trubox.ca/conference-information/. Deadline to apply as a presenter is July 15 with notification of acceptance to present by July 20. Please also apply if only interested in participating as an attendee so that you will receive the session links.

The National Online Gathering of Indigenous Mentorship Network Programs is an opportunity to bring together Indigenous and allied students researching Indigenous health and/or wellness from across the country. This platform will provide students an opportunity to share their research with Elders, IMN mentors, faculty, students, and their communities through oral and poster presentations. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend research workshops led by IMN mentors. In order to accommodate students as best as possible, students accepted for oral presentation will have the option of pre-recording their presentations, and students interested in only sharing their research posters can do so without a presentation component (i.e. posters will be shared via Ombaashi's website).

Video tutorials on how to use the online platform will be posted on the conference website. If you have any questions, comments, or online accessibility concerns; please contact the Ombaashi Network (National Indigenous Mentorship Network) at ombaashi@tru.ca.

2020 Scholarship and Seed Grant Awardees

This year we provided funding for seed grants, and scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students. Applicants were very competitive and we are happy to announce our successful awardees:

Graduate Scholarship Awardees

Andrea Martel, University of Toronto

Andrea Martel is a nêhiýawiskwêw from Waterhen Lake First Nation, SK and has familial ties to Onion Lake First Nation, SK. She has a BA in Sociology from the University of Saskatchewan and a MEd degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia. She is in her first-year of a PhD program in the Social and Behavioural Health Sciences stream at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Her research interest is in applying a nêhiýaw itâpisinowin framework and the use of digital media as a tool for community-based health promotion.

Olivia Franks, Queen's University

Olivia Franks is a Kanien’kehá:ka from Wahta Mohawk Territory. She grew up in Wahta with her parents and sisters until moving to Kingston, Ontario to attend Queen’s University. Olivia is a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, friend, and student. She is currently working on her Master’s degree studying health promotion, under the supervision of Dr. Lucie Lévesque. Her research is in partnership with the Kahnawà:ke Schools Diabetes Prevention Project, which utilizes community-based participatory research to mobilize Indigenous communities across Canada for type 2 diabetes prevention and healthy living. Through her research, she hopes to contribute to knowledge translation interventions created by, with, and for Indigenous communities. Olivia’s career goals are to undertake Indigenous community-owned and participatory research that may inform public policy to support community needs and foster research sovereignty for Indigenous Nations.

Rebecca Beaulne-Stuebing, University of Toronto

Rebecca Beaulne-Stuebing (she/her) is Metis of the eagle clan with roots in Sault Ste. Marie and the Red River. She is First Degree Midewiwin in the Three Fires Midewiwin lodge and her family is registered with the Metis Nation of Ontario. Rebecca is currently completing a PhD in social justice education and Indigenous health at the University of Toronto, and facilitates mashkiki gitigaanan, an urban Indigenous plant medicine sovereignty project.

Shanna Peltier, University of Toronto

Shanna Peltier is a proud Anishinaabe kwe who grew up in Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory located on the beautiful Mnidoo Mnis (Manitoulin Island), Ontario. Shanna is a Ph.D. student in the School and Clinical Child Psychology program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) - University of Toronto. Under the supervision of Dr. Jeffrey Ansloos, she hopes to explore and conceptualize a critical stance on Indigenous mental health in the areas of suicide prevention and life promotion, especially as it pertains to Indigenous children and youth. Currently, she is conducting qualitative research with urban-based Indigenous youth wellness facilitators in British Columbia. This goal of this work is twofold: (1) to generate more complex and socio-politically entangled psychological theories of suicide with urban Indigenous youth that account for social (e.g. poverty) and historical (e.g. colonialism) dimensions, and, (2) to generate Indigenous youth-informed social actions which address colonial violence and promote wellbeing. She also holds various advisory and representative positions with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Ontario Indigenous Youth Partnership Project (OIYPP), and the First Nations Community of Inquiry & Praxis (FNCIP). As a passion project, Shanna is the co-host of an Indigenous student-led podcast entitled: Heartberry Podcast.

Undergraduate Scholarship Awardees

Tehya Quachegan, Western University

Tehya Quachegan is an Ililiwiskwew from Moose Cree First Nation and grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She is currently in her 4th year at Western University completing a double major in Psychology and Indigenous Studies. Within the University, Tehya represents Indigenous Studies on the Social Science Students’ Council and the Indigenous Student Association and also holds a position within Student Energy’s Advocacy Portfolio. Tehya currently sits on Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s Oshkaatisak (All Young People's) Council which represents and provides opportunities to youth from the 49 First Nation communities in their northern region. Tehya plans to continue onto graduate studies to further study Psychology and focus her research on land-based healing. She is passionate about mental health work and building supports for Indigenous peoples, especially the youth. Her future goal is to work in northern communities where there is the largest gap in mental health supports and to help bridge that gap through a culturally inclusive and community-based practice.

Kia Peters, Western University

My name is Kia and I am an Anishnabee Kwe from Caldwell First Nation, Turtle clan. I recently graduated from my Master’s Degree in Physiology & Pharmacology and have returned to school to study nutrition sciences and dietetics with the goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian. My academic and spiritual path has largely been paved by my passion for Indigenous health and wellness and my never-ending thirst to understand what wellness truly means, especially in the context of Indigenous peoples. I have a vision that the wellness of our communities will prosper by bringing back and enhancing traditional knowledge of food and nutrition for the prevention and management of chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. My long-term career goal is to facilitate transparent communication between the Canadian government and Indigenous communities to influence and write policies around food security and develop nutrition programing for Indigenous peoples.

Félix Larocque, University of Ottawa

Félix Larocque is a member of the Mattawa/North Bay Algonquin First Nation. His spirit name is “Mino-zoongde’e: Kind Gentle Heart”. Enrolled at the University of Ottawa, he is a History and French undergraduate student in the Faculty of Arts. His long-term goal is to become a high school teacher. A very active person, he adores sports as well as school. He has represented his band at the “North American Indigenous Games”. He is also the Regional Mentor for Northern Ontario students at the University of Ottawa, whose mandate is to support newly enrolled students with their transition to university. Winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for his exceptional volunteer work, he acted as mentor for 5 years at the Niigan Mosewak native awareness camp and as minister of Native affairs in his high school student council. His Franco-Ontarian identity is intimately linked to his Aboriginal identity; one cannot be separated from the other. Involved in awareness and reconciliation initiatives since early childhood, he has given multiple province wide workshops to youth. He is convinced that he can contribute to his surroundings and community by setting an example in his efforts towards Truth and Reconciliation.

Alia Big George, Western University

Boozhoo, My name is Alia Big George and I am from Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing. I will be going into my fourth year at Western University this fall, with an Honours Specialization in Health Studies. Over the past three years at Western, I have been actively involved around campus. During my second year, I was an Orientation Leader at Delaware Hall residence and was the Ally Commissioner for the Delaware Hall Student Council. In my third year, I was the Vice President Events on the Indigenous Students’ Association, and I am now the President going into my fourth year. In the future, I want to work in the healthcare field, while incorporating aspects of Indigenous health. I want to move back home to my Northern community, where I can continue participating in ceremonies. My goal is to advocate for the importance of spiritual health, and help provide services up North.

Seed Grant Awardee

Dr. Lorrilee McGregor, Northern Ontario School of Medicine at Laurentian University

Lorrilee McGregor is an Anishinaabe from Whitefish River First Nation on Manitoulin Island. She is an Assistant Professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine at Laurentian University in Sudbury where she teaches about Indigenous peoples’ health. Dr. McGregor has focussed her research on First Nation community health issues such as mental health and addictions, diabetes, physical activity, and nutrition. She has also worked with First Nation communities and organizations on program evaluation and strategic planning. For the past 18 years, Dr. McGregor has been an active member of the Manitoulin Anishinaabek Research Review Committee, a community research ethics committee, and has served as the Chair for most of that time.

IMN-Ontario Publications and Media

Congratulations to Dr. Christopher Mushquash who has received a Champions of Mental Health award from the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health! Read more here.

Congratulations to Dr. Karen Lawford who has received the 2020 Health Indspire Award! Read more here.

A recent publication from Dr. Hannah Tait Neufeld, Dr. Chantelle Richmond and The Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre titled "Exploring First Nation Elder Women’s Relationships with Food from Social, Ecological, and Historical Perspectives". Read the article here.

Dr. Janet Smylie and Jesse Thistle have recently published a journal article titled "Pekiwewin (coming home): advancing good relations with Indigenous people experiencing homelessness". The article can be read here.

Dr. Jennifer Walker has recently published an article titled "Diabetes prevalence, incidence and mortality in First Nations and other people in Ontario, 1995–2014: a population-based study using linked administrative data". Read the article here.

A recent journal article from Dr. Kim Anderson titled "On Seasons of an Indigenous Feminism, Kinship, and the Program of Home Management" can be read here.

Recent book titled "Critical Reflections and Politics on Advancing Women in the Academy" is authored by Dr. Taima Moeke-Pickering, Dr. Sheila Cote-Meek and Dr. Ann Pegoraro. Chapter titles include "Intergenerational Indigenous Resilience and Navigating Academic Administration" (Cote-Meek), "Women in Academia Matter: Indigenous Worldviews and Women Movements Activism" (Moeke-Pickering) and "A Pathway to "Becoming": Stories about Indigenization From One Indigenous Health Scholar" (Richmond). More information about the book can be found here.

Recent book authored by Dr. Jeffrey Denis titled "Canada at a Crossroads: Boundaries, Bridges, and Laissez-Faire Racism in Indigenous-Settler Relations". Details about the book can be found here.

Dr. Michelle Firestone has recently published two articles, the first being titled "Unmet health needs and discrimination by healthcare providers among an Indigenous population in Toronto, Canada". The article can be accessed here. The second article is called "Indigenous Health Service: Principles and Guidelines from a Provincial “Three Ribbon” Expert Panel", and can be accessed here.

A recent journal article by Dr. Bonnie Freeman titled "Navigating the Waters: Understanding Allied Relationships through a Tekéni Teyohà: ke Kahswénhtake Two Row Research Paradigm" can be read here.

Dr. Michael Robidoux has recently published an article titled "Will Public Investment in Local Food Procurement Improve Food Security for Northern Indigenous Populations?". The article can be accessed here.

Dr. Amanda Sheppard has recently published an article titled "Influence of Preexisting Diabetes on Survival After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis in First Nations Women in Ontario, Canada" which can be read here.

A recent publication from Drs. Chantelle Richmond, Marylynn Steckley, Hannah Neufeld, Rachel Bezner Kerr, Kathi Wilson and Brian Dokis titled "First Nations Food Environments: Exploring the Role of Place, Income and Social Connection" is available to read here.

Sharlene Webkamigad, Robyn Rowe and Shanna Peltier have recently published an article "Identifying and understanding the health and social care needs of Indigenous older adults with multiple chronic conditions and their caregivers: a scoping review". Read the article here.

Staci Person has recently co-authored an article titled "Empathy and Positive Aspects of Adolescent Peer Relationships: a Scoping Review" in the Journal of Child and Family Studies. The article is available here.

Training, Events and Opportunities

Webinar: The Future of Indigenous Health in the Time of COVID-19 with Dr. Evan Adams and Dr. Lisa Richardson. More information and the link to register can be found here. The webinar will take place July 14th at 7pm ET.

The Yellowhead Institute has launched a new call for collaboration with Indigenous Climate Action. Up to $500 honorariums for new work on how the pandemic intersects with the climate crisis. Any mediums, any style, send them a pitch! More details.

#shemeets mentors partnership with the U of C and the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub.

The Dawn Walker Grant for Education in Health Policy — Canadian Foundation for Women’s Health. More information can be found on their website.

Mitacs Globalink Research Award

Mitacs Accelerate Master’s Fellowship

Mitacs Accelerate PhD Fellowship

Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Funding

Indspire Building Brighter Futures Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries. Details, application and information about unique deadlines can be found here.

Calling all Indigenous Medical Students to complete the National Gathering of Indigenous Medical Students Survey

Call for Papers: Indigenous Communities and COVID-19: Impact and Implications — Journal of Indigenous Social Development — July 15

SSHRC Connection Grants— May 1, August 1, November 1, Feb 1

Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network Research Proposal Development Program (RPDP)

Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award — July 17, 2020

Graduate study opportunities for Indigenous students in STEM fields - The Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at the State University of New York‘s College of Environmental Science & Forestry

Heartberry Podcast was created by two students in our network, Shanna and Yotakahron, and is a digital space where they share the experiences and perspectives of Indigenous students with the goal of building relationships and solidarity.

National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous health NCCIH Knowledge Resources & Publications — COVID-19 and Indigenous health Podcasts

Job Postings

Assistant Professor in Indigenous Health — McGill University – Open until filled or October 2020

Assistant Teaching Professors, Indigenous Studies Program — Faculty of Humanities — University of Victoria

Program Administrator, Faculty of Health Sciences — Indigenous Students Health Sciences Office

Senior Advisor in Indigenous Engagement and Research — Canadian Institute for Climate Choices – Open until filled

Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Developmental Origins of Health and Disease in Indigenous People — University of Saskatchewan

Faculty Member, Indigenous Language & Linguistics — University of Saskatchewan

Assistant Professor in the College of Kinesiology— University of Saskatchewan – Open until filled

Indigenous/Aboriginal Outreach Coordinator — Youth Assisting Youth

FT contract Midwife — Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre, London/Middlesex

FT Registered Practical Nurse — Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre, Windsor – open until July 17, 2020.

Business RFQ Daycare & Family Centre June 2020 — Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre

Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Geographies of Racialization — Simon Fraser University

Vice-Provost & Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Initiatives)— Western University

Newsletter Archive

Winter 2019

Summer 2019

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Our National Networks


  • Contact: tmsnow@ucalgary.caBased at the
  • University of Calgary and represents Alberta.


  • Contact: Iona.Worden-Driscoll@Dal.Ca
  • Based at Dalhousie University and Memorial University, and represents the Atlantic Region (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.


  • Contact: imnpn@uvic.ca
  • Based at the University of Victoria and represents British Columbia and the Yukon.


  • Contact: pikenet@umanitoba.ca
  • Based at the University of Manitoba and represents Manitoba.


  • Contact: info@qimnp.com
  • Based in Kahnawake and represents Quebec.


  • Contact: sk.imnp@usask.ca
  • Based at the University of Saskatchewan and represents Saskatchewan


  • Contact: sepatterson@tru.ca
  • Based at Thompson Rivers University, this network provides national/ international Indigenous outreach and opportunities.


Created with images by Anatoliy Gromov - "Drevviken" • Zé Ferrari Careto - "Pine tree" • Shubham Sharan - "untitled image" • Jason Blackeye - "It was a beautiful and sunny day until I saw these clouds on the sky. Nature made some art there!" • Jack B - "Reflections"