Established in 2002, the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre (IPHRC) was created as a partnership between the First Nations University of Canada, the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan. Building on an emerging relationship and shared commitment to Indigenous engagement, the IPHRC joined the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy in 2016.
In the early years, IPHRC was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health (CIHR – IAPH), one of twelve Canadian Institutes of Health Research. In 2002, along with seven other regional centres across Canada, IPHRC was awarded the CIHR Aboriginal Capacity and Developmental Research Environments (ACADRE) grant that facilitated the creation of IPHRC and its research and student funding until 2007.
In 2007, CIHR – IAPH launched Network Environments for Aboriginal Health Research (NEAHR), a new initiative to sustain and evolve the momentum of the ACADRE centres as well as two new national centres bringing the network to nine. IPHRC applied for and received NEAHR funding from 2010 to 2013. Though CIHR has now phased out the NEAHR funding program and IPHRC is no longer able to provide direct funding to students and communities, we continue to pursue additional funding.
IPHRC’s other sources of funding have been the Province of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF). During the early years of IPHRC, the government of Saskatchewan provided matching funds for our ACADRE grant. In 2012, IPHRC also applied for and received a SHRF Phase 3 Health Research Group Grant worth $750,000. The provincial matching funds and Health Research Group Grants have been discontinued and IPHRC is now dependent on funding to specific research projects.
Fortunately, in 2013 IPHRC’s Director Dr. Jo-Ann Episkenew and IPHRC Research Affiliates Dr. Linda Goulet, Dr. Warren Linds, and Dr. Greg Marchildon were awarded a CIHR operating grant of $558,457 which will support the centre research until 2017. Despite the changes to the funding landscape, IPHRC continues to pursue project specific research project funding that allows us to hire student trainees and continue empowering Indigenous communities through community-based research projects.