Celebrating a Decade of Meaningful Work Mobilizing the Human Right to Health

A Historical Snapshot of Our Faculty: 10 Years in the Making

Malcolm King, Health Sciences researcher

Informing Wellness through Indigenous Ways of Knowing

The Faculty of Health Sciences is a strong supporter of initiatives which are putting First Nations communities in the driver’s seat of health research to determine their own path to better health outcomes.

In 2015, the Faculty played an integral role in helping SFU, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation to establish a First Nations Health Authority Chair in Heart Health and Wellness. The $1.9 million Research Chair is the first of its kind in Western Canada and will offer a holistic focus on the First Nations and Aboriginal peoples’ cardiac health.

"This historic Chair is poised to turn the tide of the effects of over 100 years of colonization on the health of the First Nations peoples of British Columbia," says John O'Neil, Dean of Health Sciences.

Indigenous Peoples look at health through a paradigm which includes the mental, physical, cultural and spiritual well-being of both the individual and the community.

The Faculty of Health Sciences is also home to the Institute of Aboriginal People’s Health (IAPH), one of 13 institutes that comprise the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The IAPH fosters the advancement of a national health research agenda to improve and promote the health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.

The Institute recently developed a strategic plan to incorporate Indigenous Ways of Knowing into health research aimed at eliminating inequities and improving the health of Indigenous peoples overall. Indigenous Ways of Knowing includes knowledge of and experience with physical and ceremonial healing practices. These practices are built on concepts of wholeness and resilience based on Indigenous teachings and ceremony.

“Peoples and communities are calling for change in how research is done. We would like to shift from creating solutions that address inequities or closing a ‘gap’, and move towards achieving wellness,” says Malcolm King, Scientific Director of the CIHR IAPH.

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