Women in Research Conference Speakers 2020

Keynote Speakers

Carrie Bourassa
Dr. Carrie Bourassa


Carrie Bourassa, PhD is the Scientific Director of CIHR’s Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH). Through IIPH, she leads 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 is now operating from the University of Saskatchewan where she is a tenured Professor in the Department of Community Health & Epidemiology, College of Medicine. 

Dr. Bourassa spent over 15 years as a professor of Indigenous health studies in the Department of Indigenous Health, Education and Social Work at the First Nations University of Canada. She is a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2012, Dr. Bourassa won the Wiichihiwayshinawn Foundation Inc. Métis Award in Health and Science. Dr. Bourassa is Métis and belongs to the Riel Métis Council of Regina Inc. (RMCR, Local #34).

Keynote Presentation

Carrie Bourassa, Ethical research in Indigenous communities and the strategic priority of IIPH to increase FN, Métis, and Inuit health researchers across Canada.

Relevant and impactful Indigenous health research requires engagement with Indigenous communities and accommodation of Indigenous knowledge, languages, methodologies and protocols. 

Dr. Bourassa will discuss ethical research, that is research undertaken by and at the direction of Indigenous communities. Specifically, she will provide examples of ethical engagement based on the research she undertakes at the direction of Indigenous communities that she serves out of her Indigenous community based lab, Morning Star Lodge in Regina, SK. She will also provide an overview the recently launched IIPH strategic plan based on a two year engagement with Indigenous communities across Canada that will focus on self-determination, building capacity both in the academy and communities and prioritize Indigenous knowledges and Indigenous Research Methodologies.

Senator Lillian Dyck
Senator Lillian Dyck


Senator Lillian Dyck, PhD, MA, BA (Honours) is a member of the Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan, and a first generation Chinese Canadian, The Honourable Dr. Lillian Eva Quan Dyck is well-known for advocating for equity in the education and employment of women, Chinese Canadians and Aboriginals.

She is the first female First Nations senator and first Canadian born Chinese senator. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Master of Science Degrees in Biochemistry in 1968 and 1970, respectively and obtained a Ph.D. in Biological Psychiatry in 1981, all from the University of Saskatchewan. She was conferred a Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa by Cape Breton University in 2007. 

She has been recognized in a number of ways, such as: A National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Science & Technology in 1999; A YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Science, Technology & the Environment in 2003; and two eagle feathers in 2005. Senator Dyck was a Full Professor in the Neuropsychiatry Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry and Associate Dean, College of Graduate Studies & Research at the University of Saskatchewan. 

In 2005, she was summoned to the senate by the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin. She is the Chair the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. Her priority areas are Aboriginals, Chinese Canadians, Women in Science, Engineering & Technology and Post-secondary education. She continues to speak across Canada on these topics and others, such as the tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. 

Keynote Presentation

Senator Lillian Dyck, My identity has shaped my research as a scientist and as a senator. 

In research, the concept of scientific objectivity and neutrality of the researcher is central to the belief system of the scientific method. However, this is an ideal to which scientists aspire and while it is an admirable goal, it obscures the value that racial and gender diversity in perspectives brings to scientific research. The types of research questions asked, the approaches used to answer those questions and the interpretation of the results depend on the identity of the individual researcher. 

Unfortunately, most fields of Western science have been dominated and controlled by white male researchers, which for some of us who are different, especially for my and earlier generations, has made it more difficult to succeed because our perspectives were not valued and because of gender and racial discrimination. Yet our difference is what fuels creativity – the most valued and sought after aspect of scientific research. In my presentation, I will discuss how my life experiences as a female Cree-Chinese Canadian have shaped my research both as a scientist and as a senator.

Conference Speakers

Elders & Knowledge Holders

Kupuna “Aunty” Francine Dudoit

Kupuna “Aunty” Francine Dudoit, comes from a lineage of Native Hawaiian healers who taught her skills that are valued both in the Native Hawaiian and general community. 

She is Director, Traditional Hawaiian Healing, at Waikiki Health, Honolulu, Hawaii, and leads Pu’uhonua (safe place for healing) – an interdisciplinary program to support community transition and reduce recidivism of incarcerated Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders by combining Indigenous cultural supports with westernized health & social services. 

She has over 40 years’ experience as a Registered Nurse and Native Hawaiian Practitioner, and leads lomilomi training programs in Hawaii and Calgary, Canada. Francine develops health programs to promote and preserve Hawaiian healing traditions through education, research and apprenticeship, including integrating Hawaiian Healing with Western Medicine. Francine is a member of Na Hululei Kupuna Council, serving Native Hawaiian Practitioners. She has received many awards, including recognition from Moloka’i General Hospital, U. S. Department of Health, and American Business Women’s Association.


Decolonizing Methodology Speaker Presenting on Indigenous Service Learning Projects

This workshop will feature co-teachers, Dr. Kennedy and Aunty Fran sharing the foundations for community based research. Mutual respect obliges us to listen, observe, clarify values, challenge assumptions, and learn from each other. Since postsecondary education is typically dominated by Western structures, we are challenged to create space for Indigenous knowledge that is holistic, spiritual, and placebased (Anuik & Gillies, 2012; Bartlett et al., 2012; Battiste, 2013). Our story stems from a Westernized undergraduate nursing program offering of an experiential course in Indigenous community child health. We understand this Western– Indigenous knowledge confluence as the “ethical space [that begins]…whenever and wherever the physical and philosophical encounter of Indigenous and Western worlds takes place” (Ermine, 2007, pp. 194–195).

Northern Elders Announced Soon!

Southern Researchers

Janelle Marie Baker, PhD

Janelle BakerJanelle is Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Athabasca University and her research is on sakâwiyiniwak (Northern Bush Cree) experiences with wild food contamination in Canada’s oil sands region. She is also a co-PI (with Metis anthropologist Zoe Todd at Carleton University) on a SSHRC Frontiers funded project on Plural perspectives on Bighorn Country: restor(y)ing land use governance and bull trout population health in Alberta. Janelle’s research is inspired from doing collaborative applied traditional land use research for First Nations in Alberta and Saskatchewan since 2006. Her research celebrates women’s knowledge, traditional foods, and boreal forest identities and she collaborates with scientists on community-based and climate change monitoring projects. Janelle is currently the North Americas Representative on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Ethnobiology and winner of the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies – ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award, Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences category.


Community-based Environmental Monitoring.

Dr. Baker is of settler and Metis heritage, and will share her experiences as a woman working in collaboration with First Nations communities in northern Alberta on environmental monitoring in traditional territories affected by oil sands industrial activities. In particular, she will describe steps on how community members can design, acquire funding, and manage their own environmental monitoring programs. She will talk about reciprocal forms of mentoring in research and the successes and challenges of working with scientists. She will also talk about the commodification of traditional knowledge in research and consultation and resisting knowledge integration.

Cheryl Barnabe, MD MSc FRCPC

Cheryl Barnabe

Cheryl Barnabe, MD MSc FRCPC is a Métis rheumatologist with a graduate degree in Clinical Epidemiology. She is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. She is a Vice-Chair in the Department of Medicine (Indigenous Health), past-Chair of the Quality Care Committee for the Canadian Rheumatology Association, and a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Indigenous Health Committee. 

Dr. Barnabe’s research program, ‘Arthritis Care for Indigenous Populations’, has contributed knowledge on the epidemiology of arthritis and contemporary outcomes of inflammatory arthritis conditions for Indigenous people. 

In response to the identified accentuated disease burden, she co-develops health services interventions to bridge the care gaps that exist, and leads delivery of curricular initiatives for rheumatology residents and practitioners to support the provision of culturally safe arthritis care environments. 

She is the principal investigator of the Alberta Indigenous Mentorship in Health Innovation (AIM-HI) Network, a CIHR-funded Indigenous Mentorship Network Program, to recruit and retain Indigenous scholars in health research. Dr. Barnabe has received several national awards, including a CIHR Canada Research Chair in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Autoimmune Diseases (Tier 2, 2018-2023), the Killam Emerging Research Leader Award (2018) and is a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada (2018). 


Resetting Health Service Delivery. 

Dr. Barnabe is a clinician-scientist, providing rheumatology specialty care to urban Indigenous and on-reserve First Nations populations, while taking a health services research approach to close care gaps. Western health systems and service models have prioritized centralized and provider-centric service delivery. These are directed by complex multi-level and multi-jurisdictional systems with various reporting and fiduciary responsibilities. Superimposed on these systems are individual-level service provision habits, in which providers typically are not prepared to engage in dialogue or problem solve around the historic, social and cultural factors influencing patient access to health services.  Taken together, continuing these ways of health service delivery fails Indigenous populations and communities, and reinforces rejection of healthcare by patients. Principles of community engagement, prioritizing the involvement, collaboration and empowerment of Indigenous communities and leadership, are critical to successful delivery of healthcare in Indigenous communities. Locally-determined priorities and solutions can be enacted to meet community and individual needs, and advance health attainment. This chapter will provide summaries of key issues in understanding community- and patient-centric healthcare delivery as empowering mechanisms to achieve health, and include case studies that highlight health system successes in Indigenous communities.


Andrea Kennedy, RN PhD

Andrea Kennedy, RN PhD is an Associate Professor School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health, Community and Education Mount Royal University. She is honored to learn with her Elders. Andrea holds a deep pride for her diverse relations, including Italian, Celtic and Métis ancestry and traditionally adopted Tsuut’ina and hanai Hawaiian families. As an associate professor at Mount Royal University (MRU) she teaches undergraduate nursing through
respectful engagement with Indigenous Knowledge through co-learning and two-eyed seeing. Andrea co-founded MRU Indigenous Health Community of Practice leads a local-to-global Indigenous child health field school, conducting research on advancing reconciliation in higher education, and engaged in social innovation, student mentorship and Indigenous Service Learning projects.


Indigenous Service Learning. 

This workshop will feature co-teachers, Dr. Kennedy and Aunty Fran sharing the foundations for community based research. Mutual respect obliges us to listen, observe, clarify values, challenge assumptions, and learn from each other. Since postsecondary education is typically dominated by Western structures, we are challenged to create space for Indigenous knowledge that is holistic, spiritual, and placebased (Anuik & Gillies, 2012; Bartlett et al., 2012; Battiste, 2013). Our story stems from a Westernized undergraduate nursing program offering of an experiential course in Indigenous community child health. We understand this Western–Indigenous knowledge confluence as the “ethical space [that begins]…whenever and wherever the physical and philosophical encounter of Indigenous and Western worlds takes place” (Ermine, 2007, pp. 194–195). 

Jennifer Leason, PhD

Jennifer LeasonJennifer Leason, PhD Keesis Sagay Egette Ekwé (First Shining Rays of Sunlight Woman) is a Saulteaux-Métis Anishinaabek Kwé (woman) and a Canada research chair. Jennifer was recently appointed to Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary and is grateful to the First peoples and communities of Treaty 7 and Métis Nation Alberta, Region III. Dr. Leason’s research interests are Canadian and International Indigenous peoples health, with a focus on Indigenous maternal-child and reproductive health.


An Experiential Learning Exercise and Transforming Empathy to Social Action.

This workshop is an experiential-based learning exercise created by Indigenous scholar, teacher, and researcher Dr. Jennifer Leason. It was created as a call to action to transform participants’ understanding about the impacts of colonization on Indigenous peoples in Canada. The exercise is centered on reconciliation, decolonization, and indigenization. Decolonization and engaged pedagogy aims to transform consciousness through a paradigm shift from a culture of denial towards making space for Indigenous political philosophies, ways of knowing,

being and, doing. Indigenous pedagogy is inclusive, holistic, and reflective of Indigenous ways of teaching and learning. Indigenous pedagogy engages teaching/learning practices that connect the head, heart, and spirit to transform people in powerful ways that may not be fully understood on a rational level alone. The transformation is to move beyond the mere description and theorizing about the impacts of colonization, towards the experience and transformation of understanding towards empathy and social action.

Jane Lemaire, MD FRCPC

Jane LemaireJane Lemaire, MD FRCPC is a general internal medicine specialist with a research career in physician wellness. She is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Dr. Lemaire is also the Vice-Chair in the Department of Medicine (Physician Wellness and Vitality), Director of Wellness in the Office of Professionalism, Equity, and Diversity, and the physician lead of the Wellness Portfolio at the W21C Research and Innovation Center, Cumming School of Medicine. Dr. Lemaire and her research colleagues study physician and healthcare provider wellness and how it affects patient care and the healthcare system. Dr Lemaire received the 2016 Canadian Medical Association Misericordia Award for her contributions to physician wellness. She is the Physician Lead of Well Doc Alberta, a recently created initiative that supports the development of a pan provincial approach to physician wellness. Dr. Lemaire also focuses on global health, and currently co-leads the University of Calgary Laos Collaboration to improve the rural health of the Lao people through improved medical education training.


Wellness: why it matters and how to nurture it. 

This workshop will explore why wellness is key to a successful career as a female academic. The workshop will begin with a presentation about the work-related chronic stressors that affect academics and the potential negative outcomes of these chronic stressors. Participants will then engage in moderated small and then large group discussions using the “think, pair, share” approach. They will discuss what types of stressors are encountered in an academic career, and how gender and generational shifts relate to some of these stressors. Participants will then share strategies for developing resilience and coping with stress on an individual basis. There will also be a discussion around system-level solutions to enhance wellness for academics. Participants will draft a personal wellness plan to promote a sustainable and productive career. 

Stephanie Montesanti PhD

Stephanie MontesantiStephanie Montesanti, PhD, MA, BA (honours) is an applied health policy researcher with the School of Public Health (SPH) and Scientist with the Centre for Healthy Communities at the University of Alberta. Her research program is aimed at addressing the health disparities experienced by Indigenous peoples in Canada. Stephanie’s guiding principle is to be of service to the Indigenous communities who will benefit from her research. She partners with First Nation communities, regional and national Indigenous organizations, and government bodies on a range of projects on health policy, primary health care and mental health. Her current projects include a community-based project to examine the health and mental health impacts following the 2016 Horse River wildfire to Indigenous peoples and communities in northern Alberta, and working in partnership with Indigenous communities to develop a mental health strategy for the region; she is collaborating with Indigenous service providers and researchers to advance Indigenous primary health care in Canada; and currently working with the Métis Nation of Alberta to develop a Suicide Knowledge Awareness Training Program. She is also a strong advocate for patient engagement in the co-design of healthcare. Stephanie has also worked in global health on maternal health projects in rural Cambodia and health systems strengthening in Tanzania.

Keynote Presentation

What is community based participatory action research with Indigenous communities? 

The goal of CBPR is to shape the research process to fit the perspectives of community members so as to generate knowledge that contributes more directly to social change. Historically, Indigenous health research in Canada has failed to engage Indigenous peoples and communities as primary stakeholders of research evidence. Increasingly, Indigenous research ethics and methodologies are being positioned as tools for Indigenous self-determination. This session will explore case studies of where CBPR principles and Indigenous health research frameworks were applied in research with Indigenous communities.

Paula Pearce, BMBS, FRCP(UK)

Paula Pearce, BMBS, FRCP(UK) is dual accredited in General Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine. She is a clinical associate professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Dr. Pearce has an interest in both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education, is a Master Teacher with the Cumming School of Medicine, and program director for the Geriatric Medicine subspecialty training program. Dr. Pearce has developed an interest in resident development through her various educational leadership, faculty advisor and academic advisor roles. She received the 2019 Honourable Mention in the Professional Association of Residents of Alberta’s Well-being Award, recognizing staff physicians who have shown excellence in resident physician well-being.


Imposter Phenomenon.

This workshop will explore the imposter phenomenon and how it may affect us as women and in our careers as researchers. It will be moderated by two academic women physicians. The workshop will begin with a brief evidence-based presentation that will help participants better understand the imposter phenomenon as well as personal characteristics that may predispose us to experiencing the imposter phenomenon. Participants will then engage in moderated small and then large group discussions using the “think, pair, share” approach. This will promote reflection and the sharing of narratives around what internal and external factors may contribute to women academics underestimating, undervaluing, and under-promoting their contributions. Further discussions will probe what internal strengths and what external supports could help women academics realize and promote their contributions. 

Northern Researchers

Amy Amos, BSc

Amy Amos, BSc, is the Executive Director of the Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board. She is Nihtat (Inuvik, Northwest Territories (NT)), and a participant of the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (GCLCA). She is also a Status Indian registered under the Inuvik Native Band. Her mother is Gwich’in and her father has a mixed background (mostly Scottish). Amy was born in Inuvik, NT and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia with her dad. While living in Halifax, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Mount Saint Vincent University and gained work experience as a shellfish technician with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. She returned home to Inuvik in January 2006 to work for the Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board (GRRB) as a Biologist. In March 2009, she accepted the position of Executive Director with the GRRB. She supervises 5-7 staff and implements Section 12 (Wildlife Harvesting and Management) and 13 (Forestry) of the GCLCA.

Best practices in community research.

Amy manages a team of expert staff that develop, lead and collaborate on wildlife, fish, and forestry research projects in the Gwich’in Settlement Area. This work is directed by the Board’s management priorities and in response to the concerns and interests of Gwich’in community members. Amy collaborates with academic and government researchers to develop models and deliver programs to improve communication between external researchers and communities, and to ensure communities are meaningfully involved in research at every step of the research process.

Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox, PhD

Stephanie Irlbacher FoxStephanie Irlbacher-Fox, PhD is responsible for the overall scientific and administrative direction of Hotıì ts’eeda. Stephanie grew up in Inuvik, NT, graduating from Samuel Hearne Secondary School. She went on to earn a BA and MA in Political Science at the University of Alberta, and received a PhD from Cambridge University during 2005, where she was a Major Scholar at Magdalene College during her studies. She is the author of numerous academic books and articles, including Finding Dahshaa: Self Government, Social Suffering and Aboriginal Policy in Canada (UBC Press, 2009), a standard text in Indigenous Studies programs at many Canadian universities. For the past two decades Stephanie has worked for Indigenous peoples’ organizations across the NWT on Treaty negotiations and Treaty implementation. She has a long-standing interest in the effects of government policy choices for social determinants of health. She is an Adjunct Professor at Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration, a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies, a member of the Editorial Board of Northern Public Affairs Magazine, and a Member (Federal) of the Gwich’in Arbitration Board.

Lianne Mantla-Look, RN, Bsc

Lianne Mantla-LookLianne Mantla-Look, RN, Bsc is a First Nations Registered Nurse from the Tłı̨chǫ community of Behchokǫ̀, Northwest Territories. She has a diploma in Nursing from Aurora College and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Alberta. She has been nursing since 2003. In 2014 Lianne received Health Canada’s Award of Excellence in Nursing from the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. Throughout her life, Lianne’s parents instilled a strong sense of cultural identity in her. Her mother works as a Tłı̨chǫ culture and language coordinator, and during his lifetime her father was a traditional hunter and trapper. She is the first person in her region to have completed a degree in nursing, which is viewed as quite an achievement. In particular, the Elders are very proud of her accomplishments especially since Lianne is so strong in her Dene traditions, language (Tłı̨chǫ) and culture, as well as her ability to bring knowledge of western medicine. Her ability to bring traditional language and culture into her nursing practice is a unique strength and benefit for her community. It has been said about Lianne that she is “strong like two people,” a Tłı̨chǫ maxim that describes being able to thrive in both traditional Indigenous and Western cultures. She has an abundance of determination and exhibits a high degree of independence. Combined, these characteristics make her a good community role model and enable her to embrace change and to be uniquely different. 


Bridging the gap between two world views: Perspectives of an Indigenous Nurse. 

My career has been dedicated to bridging the gap between traditional and western medicine. In this presentation, I will speak to those worldviews, and the opportunities and challenges of working in my home community of Behchokǫ̀, Northwest Territories as a registered nurse. I’ll also share my experiences on both sides of health care, as a nurse and as a cancer patient. During my 16-year nursing career, my work as a Community Health Nurse was the highlight—not only because I was working for my people, but because I felt like I was making a difference as an Indigenous nurse who is fluent in my native tongue and working in my home community. As the Tłı̨chǫ girl who became a nurse, my community appreciated that they didn’t have to explain their reasons for seeking medical care twice (via an interpreter). 

I’ve interpreted for patients from my region, helping their diagnoses make sense within an Indigenous, community-based worldview. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I had to take a step back and behave like a patient which was extremely difficult to do. This personal story puts my journey into context, and emphasizes the connections between traditional and western medicine. My presentation will highlight the need for health care professionals to come from and be rooted in Indigenous and community contexts, and call for a two-eyed seeing approach to community health. The concept of two-eyed seeing aligns strongly with the foundational tenet of the Tłı̨chǫ people – that Tłı̨chǫ people must be strong like two people, able to function in both the traditional Tłı̨chǫ world and the mainstream Canadian world.

Pertice Moffitt, PhD

Pertice Moffitt, PhD, MA, BA is the Manager/Instructor, Health Research Programs, Aurora Research Institute, Aurora College. She teaches undergraduate students in the BSN program (Aurora College); and graduate students as a Sessional Instructor, MN Program Athabasca University. She has lived and practiced nursing in the NWT for over 30 years. She completed an internship as a health science researcher in South Africa in 2011. And received a PhD in Nursing, University of Calgary. She is a Past President, RN Association of Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Past-President of the Canadian Association for Rural and Remote Nursing, and past Board Member of the Canadian Rural Health Research Society. She is a member of the Canadian Society for Circumpolar Health. Her research focuses on Indigenous health and northern health issues including intimate partner and family violence, domestic homicide, femicide, maternal health services, quality of life of older adults and rural and remote nursing.


The power of photo voice for Community based participatory action research. 

Images and words, when used together, portray enhanced understanding of a social issue or concern and together are a form of expression for the author. This is the case of photovoice, a participatory action method, used by researchers, activists, students and many others to change policy or advance innovative ideas. In this presentation, the method of photovoice will be shared along with its benefits and risks. Three examples will be shared: creating moral community in an ethics classroom; describing how to be healthy during pregnancy; and, identifying climate change in the Arctic. The purpose of these projects vary from empowering healthy behaviours in pregnancy to learning about ethical practice as a student or to portraying the effects of climate change.

Jennifer Parrott, MSc. BEd. BES. OCT

Jenn Parrot headshotJennifer Parrott, MSc. BEd. BES. OCT is the Director of Innovation, Science and Climate Change for the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. The Corporation was established in 1985 with the mandate to receive the Inuvialuit lands and financial compensation resulting from the 1984 land claim settlement. Today it has assets in excess of $ 750 million. Ms. Parrott is responsible for managing the Inuvialuit Research department which includes 6 staff, 15+ internal research initiatives and over $3 million annually. She also is the Inuvialuit coordinator for the Beaufort Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment.

She is currently representing the Inuvialuit on a series of national and international committees including: Arctic Data Committee (International), Senior level Inuit-GOC Clean Growth/Climate Change Table (National), Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Results (National), National Inuit Data Management Committee (National: Chair), Inuit Qaujisarvingat National Committee (National) and National Inuit Climate Change Committee (National: Chair).

Ms. Parrott is an advocate for Inuit self-determination, local capacity building and evidence-based decision making within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. She has acquired funds and introduced several student/mentorship opportunities in research for Inuvialuit beneficiaries (inside and outside the Inuvialuit Settlement Region). Ms. Parrott also leads research in the areas of carbon pricing, climate change, disaster mitigation and cyber infrastructure.


Jenn Parrott, You are the Future of Research: Tips on how to Navigate the Northern Research Landscape. 

Navigating the field of northern research can be hard, and the learning curve can feel daunting at times. Sadly, these hurdles have discouraged too many women from pursuing careers in the field of research. I will make the argument that these hurdles are surmountable and that rather than seeing them as constraints to pursuing a career in research, woman should take up the challenge, because you’d be surprised by the number of awesome opportunities that await you.

To demonstrate why pursuing a career in the field of research is for you, I will provide an overview on immerging fields of research in the western arctic, ‘in-demand’ skillsets, where to find work, tips on seeking education, and how to get involved today. By the end of the presentation, you will be equipped with a general roadmap on how to start and succeed in a research career in the north. Finally, I will present two success stories of young indigenous women who are currently starting their careers in research at the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation.

Shelley Wiart

Shelley Wiart is a member of the North Slave Metis Alliance in Yellowknife. She is currently enrolled full-time at Athabasca University in her fourth year of a four-year B.A in Sociology, Minor: Women & Gender Studies with a 4.0 GPA. She expects to graduate in winter 2020. Shelley is the co-founder of an Indigenous focused holistic health program, Women Warriors, alongside Dr. Sonja Wicklum, MD, Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary. They have created a free 8-12 week program that includes physical fitness classes, nutrition education, and a sharing circle aimed at improving Indigenous women’s health outcomes. Shelley co-authored the Women Warriors manual to train facilitators in Calgary and Onion Lake Cree Nation. Shelley’s conducted a community based participatory action research project May-August 2019 with Indigenous women entitled, Digital Storytelling as an Indigenous Women’s Health Advocacy Tool: Empowering Indigenous Women to Frame Their Health Stories.


Shelley Wiart, The power of digital storytelling for community based participatory action research. 

Shelley will share her findings from her research project, Digital Storytelling as an Indigenous Women’s Health Advocacy Tool: Empowering Indigenous Women to Frame Their Health Stories with Indigenous women in two locations – Treaty 6 (Onion Lake Cree Nation/Lloydminster) and Treaty 8 (Yellowknife). In this presentation, Shelley will share the importance of digital storytelling for Indigenous women as 1) an opportunity to present
an asset based story of their own culture and community 2) Presenting the stories at a community knowledge translation event as a form of empowerment and a way for Indigenous women to advocate for reconciliation in healthcare. Furthermore, she will share the five digital stories participants created and host a group discussion on the themes of the legacy of residential school, inter generational trauma and the importance of land, language, culture and community as factors to improving Indigenous women’s health outcomes.