Aboriginal Peoples’ Wellness in Canada: Scaling Up the Knowledge Roundtable

Aboriginal Peoples’ Wellness in Canada Roundtable: Key People


Evan Adams 
Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor, British Columbia Ministry of Health

Dr. Evan Adams, Sliammon First Nation (Powell River, BC) completed his Medical Degree at the University of Calgary, his Aboriginal Family Practice residency at St Paul’s Hospital at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and is currently the Director of the Division of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health with the Faculty of Medicine and the Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor for the Office of the Provincial Health Officer at the BC Ministry of Health Services in Victoria. He has a Masters of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD.

Margaret Poitras Akan 
Chief Executive Officer, All Nations Hope AIDS Network

Margaret Akan has been in the position of leadership for 12 years. She is of Cree ancestry and is from Muskowekwan First Nation. She has dedicated her career to working in the community for over 20 years; she has been involved in the field of HIV/AIDS since 1988. Past achievements include: Keynote speaker at the 19th Annual Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research May 2010, Past Founder of the Dream Catchers Girls Softball teams, Past Board Member of the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network representing Saskatchewan Region 2001 -2006, Co- Principal Applicant on ANHAN Gathering of Support Research Grant 2006-08, Recipient of Certificate of Honor from Art of Living Foundation in 2006, Speaker at the Harm Reduction 2008: International Harm Reduction Association’s 19th International Conference in Barcelona Spain. She is currently the First Nation Co-Chair of the National Aboriginal Council on HIV/AIDS, a council to advise Health Canada on HIV/AIDS issues that affect all Canada's Aboriginal peoples. NACHA, developed and launched in May 2001 with the strong participation of Aboriginal people, reflects the needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Margaret is currently involved with numerous committees, gatherings, conferences, and meetings to address HIV/AIDS and HCV among the Aboriginal peoples of Canada.

Dr. Judith Bartlett 
Associate Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba; Associate Director (Programs) and Manager ACADRE Program

Judith G. Bartlett M.D., CCFP, MSc. is a Métis family physician with 17 years of clinical, administrative and research experience in Aboriginal health. She has an appointment as an Associate Professor and serves in the position of Associate Director, Programs and ACADRE Manager at the Centre for Aboriginal Health Research, Department of Community Health Science, University of Manitoba. Additionally, Dr. Bartlett is active in private consulting in developing holistic approaches and tools for health and wellness services, and is co-owner and CEO of JADE Enterprises Inc., an aerospace manufacturing company. She is active on boards and committees, the majority of which are related to the health and well-being of Aboriginal/ Indigenous peoples. Recent board roles include Chair, National Aboriginal Health Organization (2000-04); Chair, United Way of Winnipeg (2002-03); Advisory Board Member - Institute on Aboriginal Peoples Health (2001-05); Advisory Board Member - Canadian Health Network (2002-06); National Expert Committee Member - Inter-Professional Education for Collaborative Patient Centre Practice (2004-07)

Joseph Boyden 

A Canadian of Irish, Scottish, and Metis heritage, Joseph Boyden has written a collection of stories, Born with a Tooth, and two novels, Three Day Road, and Through Black Spruce.

Through Black Spruce won Canada’s most prestigious literary prize, the ScotiaBank Giller on November 11, 2008, as well as the Libris Book of the Year and Author of the Year awards. To date, Through Black Spruce has been published internationally in a dozen languages. He is a contributing writer for Canada’s Maclean’s and Zoomer magazines and has published and continues to publish fiction and nonfiction in a variety of places, including Spirit Magazine, Black Warrior Review, Walrus, Driven, and Globe and Mail. His work has been anthologized in PEN International, Penguin Anthology of Contemporary Short Stories, and elsewhere. Joseph was awarded an honorary doctorate from Nipissing University in June, 2009.

Dr. Kora Debeck 
Knowledge Translation (KT) Coordinator at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Kora Debeck is the Knowledge Translation (KT) Coordinator at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. She is responsible for developing and implementing the Centre's KT dissemination strategy; identifying KT funding opportunities and aiding the development of funding proposals; managing and tracking KT activities and reporting and evaluating the impact of these activities.

Madeleine Dion Stout
President, Dion Stout Reflections

Madeleine Dion Stout, a Cree speaker, was born and raised on the Kehewin First Nation in Alberta. After graduating from the Edmonton General Hospital as a Registered Nurse, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, with Distinction, from the University of Lethbridge and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. Ms. Dion Stout was President of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada and member of the National Forum on Health. In August, 2007 she was appointed to the Mental Health Commission of Canada as an inaugural Vice-chair of the Board of Directors. She was a Professor in Canadian Studies and founding Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Education, Research and Culture at Carleton University. Now self-employed, she continues to work as a researcher, writer, and lecturer on First Nations, Inuit, and Metis health and health care and is increasingly adopting a Cree lens in this work. She has received the Assiniwikamik Award from the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada; a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Lethbridge; and Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of British Columbia and the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Margo Greenwood
Academic Lead, National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health

Dr. Margo Greenwood is Academic Leader of the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health and is an indigenous scholar of Cree ancestry with more than 20 years' experience in the field of early childhood education.

Dr. Greenwood is recognized regionally, provincially, nationally and internationally for her work on Aboriginal children. She has served with over 20 national and provincial federations, committees and assemblies, and has undertaken work with UNICEF, the United Nations, and the Canadian Reference Group to the World Health Organization Commission on Health Determinants. In recognition of her years of work to promote awareness and policy action on the rights and well-being of Aboriginal children, youth and families, Dr. Greenwood was the recipient of the Queen's Jubilee medal in 2002 and was recently awarded the Confederation of University Faculty Associations’ Academic of the Year Award.

Currently, Dr. Greenwood is an Associate Professor in both the Education and First Nations Studies programs at the University of Northern British Columbia. Her current research interests include the structural impetus for the development and subsequent implementation of early childhood development programs and services in Canada and with the Kohanga reo in New Zealand; the social determinants of health with particular emphasis on colonialism and early childhood; and cross-cultural communication and children's transition from preschool to the formal education system. Her scholarship and research also includes issues pertaining to Indigenous ways of knowing and being, or Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies.

Carol Hopkins 
Executive Director, National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation
Nozhem (“Mother Wolf”), of the Wolf Clan, is from the Delaware First Nation of Moraviantown, Ontario.

Carol Hopkins is the Executive Director of the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation, an organization whose mandate is to support Canada’s First Nations Addictions programs. She came to this position from Nimkee NupiGawagan Healing Centre Inc., a youth solvent abuse treatment centre that is founded on Indigenous culture and life ways, where she was the founding Director since 1996.

Ms. Hopkins was the Co-Chair of the First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel whose mandate was to develop a renewal framework for the national Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse and the Youth Solvent Abuse programs. She now co-chairs the Leadership Team whose mandate is to implement the renewal framework. This process is a partnership between the Assembly of First Nations, National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation, and First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada.

Ms. Hokins, has taught for various post-secondary institutes, including Anishinabek Education Institute, Native Social Work program at Laurentian University and currently is also a Professor in the Social Work Program at Kings University College of the University of Western Ontario. She holds a Masters of Social Work Degree from the University of Toronto. Carol has received the Walter Dieter Award from the Assembly of First Nations in recognition of academic achievements made in the field of Social Work with First Nations.

Malcolm King 
Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta; Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health

Dr. Malcolm King is a health researcher at the University of Alberta and the founding Principal Investigator of the Alberta ACADRE Network, a training program for Aboriginal health research funded by the CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health since 2001. A member of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation (Ontario), Dr. King obtained his doctorate in polymer chemistry from McGill University in 1973.

After an initial faculty appointment at McGill University, he moved to the University of Alberta in 1985, and was promoted to Professor in the Department of Medicine in 1990. In 2007, he was appointed Adjunct Professor in Public Health, where he co-leads the development of an indigenous public health research training program. In his career in pulmonary research, he has developed new approaches to treat mucus clearance dysfunction in cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive lung disease, and is now working on addressing the issues in disease transmission by bioaerosols. He served as Chair of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry Aboriginal Healthcare Careers Committee from 1993 to 2009; this training program has graduated more than 70 health professionals. Dr. King served as President of the Canadian Thoracic Society in 1999-2000, and from 2000-2004 was a member of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Since January 2009, he has served as the Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health. He has been recognized for his achievements by the Alberta Lung Association (1999), the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (1999), and the University of Alberta Board of Governors (2003).

Dr. Dawn Martin-Hill 
Academic Director, Indigenous Studies Program, McMasterUniversity

Dr. Martin-Hill (Mohawk, Wolf Clan) holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology and is one of the original founders of the Indigenous Studies Program at McMaster University. Her research includes: Indigenous knowledge & cultural conservation, Indigenous women, traditional medicine and health and the contemporary practice of Indigenous traditionalism. She is a PI of a SSHRC grant for the Digitization of Ceremonies in the Hewitt collection and is Co-investigator of a CIHR-IAPH funded NEAHR grant (Network Environments in Aboriginal Health Research), the Indigenous Health Research Development Program.

She has contributed chapters to several books including ‘Lubicon Women: a bundle of voices in the book,’ In the Way of Development 1997 and “She No speaks” in the book Strong Women Stories and Indigenous women & Tradition in Women’s & Religious Traditions Oxford, 2009. She has her own book titled, The Lubicon Lake Nation Indigenous knowledge and Power: 2007 University of Toronto Press. The book outlines the human and environmental impact of rapid development on the cultural survival of the Lubicon Cree. She is the Chair of the Indigenous Elders and Youth Council that promotes the protection and preservation of Indigenous Knowledge systems and is in partnership with the Amazon Conservation Team and the National Aboriginal Health Organization. She has produced three documentaries from a six day Elder’s Summit that she organized that was attended by over 600 elders and youth from across the Americas. The first film is ‘Jidwá: doh - Let’s Become Again’ 2005, a documentary focusing on Elders’ understandings of historical trauma and directions to begin to heal collectively using Indigenous knowledge and traditional practices. The second is ‘Onkwànistenhsera - Mothers of our Nations’ 2006, which examines the need for Indigenous women to reclaim, restore and revitalize their traditional knowledge and the most recent “Sewatokwa’tshera’t – The Dish with One Spoon”2008, a film about the Haudenosaunee reclaiming of traditional lands.

Recently, Dawn partnered with Six Nations Polytechnic & McMaster University in developing the Ogwehoweh language diploma and is the Chair of Indigenous Knowledge Centre Steering Committee. Dawn is a single mother of four children and a grandmother of four. She resides at Six Nations of the Grand River.

Don Newman 
Journalist; Chair, Canada 2020

Don Newman, one of Canada’s most respected journalists, is the Chairman of Canada 2020, a non partisan centre working to develop programs to further the political, social, and economic well being of Canadians. He is Member of the Order of Canada, a life member of the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery, and has received numerous awards including a Gemini lifetime achievement award in public affairs broadcasting, the Hy Solomon Award for excellence in public policy journalism, and the Charles Lynch Award for outstanding coverage of national affairs. He is also on the Boards of Canada’s National History Society and the Science Media Centre of Canada, the Canadian Committee of World Press Freedom, and the Advisory Board of the Canadian International Council’s Ottawa Foreign Policy Initiative; Chair of the Nominating Committee of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council; Chair of the Jury for the 2010 Canadian Foreign Service Officer Awards; and has also served as a judge of Canada’s National Newspaper and Charles Lynch Awards. He holds honorary degrees from Queen’s and Winnipeg universities.

Dr. John O’Neil 
Professor and Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Dr. John O’Neil is Professor and Dean in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. Previously, he was Director of the Manitoba First Nations Centre for Aboriginal Health Research and Professor and Head of the Department of Community Health Sciences in the University of Manitoba’s faculty of medicine. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the Science Advisory Board of Health Canada, and the Advisory Board of the National Collaborating Centre on Aboriginal Health at the Public Health Agency of Canada. He was the founding chair of the Advisory Board for the CIHR Institute for Aboriginal People’s Health (2000 to 2006). He has also served as a consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank on HIV/AIDS prevention projects in India and Afghanistan. Dr. O’Neil has a doctorate in medical anthropology from the University of California (San Francisco/Berkeley).

Dr. Jeff Reading 
Professor, University of Victoria

Dr. Jeff Reading is Mohawk from the southern Ontario. He earned his PhD in Public Health Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto and was the inaugural Scientific Director (2000-2008) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health (CIHR-IAPH). Presently, Dr. Reading is the Inaugural Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Health Research based at the University of Victoria where Jeff is Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy in the Faculty of Human and Social Development, and a faculty associate with the Indigenous Governance Program. He held the first endowed research chair at the department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto, the Trans-Canada Pipelines Chair in Aboriginal Health and Well-being. His dedication to the pursuit of excellence in research is broadly recognized in academic and government circles and by Aboriginal leadership in Canada. In 2005, he was elected as a Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences; this distinction is considered the highest honor for an individual in the health sciences. In March 2008, Dr. Reading was selected by Aboriginal peers to receive a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the Health category. Each year, he is invited to numerous speaking engagements regionally, nationally and internationally to highlight the achievements and important research being done to improve Aboriginal peoples’ health.

Ms. Jacqueline Tetroe 
Senior Advisor Knowledge Translation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Jacqueline Tetroe has a Master’s Degree in developmental psychology from the university of Western Ontario and studied cognitive and educational psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She currently works as a senior advisor in knowledge translation at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Her research interests focus on the process of knowledge translation and on strategies to increase the uptake and implementation of evidence-based practice as well as to increase the understanding of the barriers and facilitators that impact on successful implementation. She is a strong advocate of the use of conceptual models to both guide and interpret research.

Dr. Frederic Wien 
Nominated Principal Investigator, Atlantic Aboriginal Health Research Program, Dalhousie University

Fred Wien has an Honours B.A. in Political Studies and Spanish from Queen’s University (1962-66), and an M.A. and PhD. in Development Sociology, Government and Latin American Studies from Cornell University (1966-71).

Between 1992-96, Dr. Wien served as the Deputy Director of Research at the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples where he headed the research program on employment and economic development.

Upon his return to Dalhousie University in 1996, he continued as Professor in the School of Social Work, an appointment that changed to Adjunct Professor in June, 2009 and Professor Emeritus in July, 2010. He serves as the nominated principal applicant for the Atlantic Aboriginal Health Research Program (AAHRP), funded by CIHR/IAPH. He is the co-chair of the Steering Committee and chairs the Research Committee for the Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Research Program (AAEDIRP). This project is a partnership between the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs and twelve of the region’s universities.

At the national level, he has until recently chaired the Advisory Board for the Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health (CIHR). He also chairs the “Make Poverty History” Expert Advisory Committee serving the Assembly of First Nations, which was successful in obtaining a major research grant from CIHR for the project: “A Poverty Reduction Approach to Improving the Health and Well-being of First Nation communities in Canada.”