Creation of a research network to meet the health needs of Inuit

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Creating a Research Network to Address Inuit Health Needs

Kuujjuarapik Health Center, Nunavik, Northern Quebec.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), which represents Inuit across the country, are announcing $6.4 million in funding to establish a health research network through and for the Inuit.

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and ITK President Natan Obed made the announcement Wednesday in Ottawa .

This funding will allow us to develop a new approach around the way research is conducted in Inuit Nunangat, says Natan Obed in a press release.

His organization represents some 70,000 Inuit across the country, mostly in Inuit Nunangat, which encompasses the four Inuit regions: the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (which includes part of the Northwest Territories and the Yukon), Nunavut, Nunavik (northern Quebec) and Nunatsiavut (northern Labrador).

Nathan Obed is the president of the national Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami organization.

This new research network aims to strengthen the presence of Inuit in research activities, but also to better support current research projects that meet the needs of Inuit.

Research by Inuit [and] for Inuit promises to respond to Inuit research priorities and be a catalyst for positive change for Inuit families and communities, says CIHR President Dr. Michael J Strong.

CIHR is under the umbrella of the federal government, which is responsible for investing in research in the health sector.

In 2018, ITK launched the National Inuit Research Strategy (NSIR) whose main objective was to facilitate research in Inuit Nunangat and ensure its effectiveness, impact and usefulness for Inuit. This strategy notably identified five priorities, including the promotion of Inuit governance and the improvement of the ethics of researchers in the field of research.

The national Inuit organization and the CIHRs have also developed a five-year strategic plan (2021-2025) through which they have identified several avenues for improvement, including the creation of an Inuit research network.

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