Healthcare for All?

Dr. Yvonne Boyer

Dr. Yvonne Boyer

Lawyer and healthcare advocate Dr. Yvonne Boyer is advancing Aboriginal rights through a five-year federal research initiative.

Internationally-recognized for her work in Indigenous health and the law, Dr. Yvonne Boyer has relocated from Ottawa to Brandon University, in a $500,000 project to advance Aboriginal Peoples’ rights to healthcare in Canada.

“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. “I follow the progress of legally founded transformations in Aboriginal health policy and healthcare delivery, and examine each stage to connect the legal and political processes with actual healthcare delivery to Aboriginal communities.”

Cover of the book "Moving Aboriginal Health Forward"

Moving Aboriginal Health Forward – Discarding Canada’s Legal Barriers, written by Yvonne Boyer

Dr. 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.

The Constitution Act, 1982, recognizes Aboriginal and treaty rights and 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 role as CRC in a Discussion Paper Series titled Aboriginal Health: Legal Issues, written when she worked with the National Aboriginal Health Organization.

Her historical examination of Canadian legal regimes and their 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 Métis communities,” says Dr. Boyer,

“my research will be at the leading edge of analysis of the legal rights and healthcare services for Indigenous peoples; the latter being of critical significance due to recent Supreme Court decisions on Métis 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 to facilitate interaction between local and international Indigenous communities and scholars, research students and stakeholders.