Five Year Study into Aboriginal Health

March 28, 2014

BRANDON, MB – An internationally-recognized voice in Indigenous health and the law is joining Brandon University (BU) in a $500,000 project to advance Aboriginal Peoples’ rights to health in Canada.

Dr. Yvonne Boyer, CRC Aboriginal Health and Welness, Brandon University (web), 2014Dr. Yvonne Boyer comes to BU as the Tier ll Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Aboriginal Health and Wellness. CRCs are funded by the federal government to drive Canadian research and development excellence, through an annual $265 million commitment to prestigious professorships in various disciplines in the university system.

“My goal is to continue work on advancing the constitutional status of inherent and treaty rights to health for Indigenous peoples in Canada,” says Dr. Boyer, adjunct professor with the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Science at the University of Ottawa, “by following the progress of legally founded transformations in Aboriginal health policy and health care delivery, and examining each stage in the process to connect the legal and political processes with actual health care delivery to Aboriginal communities.”

The Constitution Act, 1982, recognizes Aboriginal and treaty rights but does not define those rights, which has led to ongoing debate between federal and provincial governments over such things as self-government, education and health.  Dr. Boyer began laying the groundwork for her work as CRC in a Discussion Paper Series titled Aboriginal Health: Legal Issues, written when she worked with the National Aboriginal Health Organization. This year, her historical examination of Canadian legal regimes and their negative impact on the health of Aboriginal Peoples, Moving Aboriginal Health Forward – Discarding Canada’s Legal Barriers, was published by Purich Publishing Ltd.

“By building on my experience with First Nation, Inuit and Metis communities,” says Dr. Boyer, “my research will be at the leading edge of analysis of the legal rights and health care services for Indigenous peoples, the latter being of critical significant due to recent Supreme Court decisions on Metis legal rights and the application to health.”

Dr. Boyer has also received a $66,474 Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund grant to begin to establish a community-based research centre, facilitating interaction between the Indigenous community – local to international – and scholars, research students and stakeholders.

BU Vice-President (Academic and Provost), Dr. Gervan Fearon, welcomes Dr. Boyer as an excellent addition to the University’s social justice mandate. “Dr. Boyer is an outstanding scholar and leader and her work will allow Brandon University to make a contribution to Indigenous health and law in Manitoba and, indeed, across Canada and beyond.”

Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.

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For more information, please contact:
Dr. Yvonne Boyer
Associate Professor, Native Studies
613-276-4362
boyery@brandonu.ca
Dr. Gervan Fearon
Vice-President (Academic and Provost)
204-727-7455
fearong@brandonu.ca