Rébecca Robillard, health researcher and CIHR grant recipient, will examine the impact of the pandemic on Indigenous communities
On March 12th the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Health Minister, announced $25.2 million to fund 52 COVID-related research projects, with the aim of better understanding system gaps and the negative repercussions on people, communities, and health systems. Rébecca Robillard, health researcher and professor at the School of Psychology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, is the recipient of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) operating grant under the “COVID-19 Research Gaps and Priorities” program. Led by the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition, in collaboration with Indigenous patient representatives and an interdisciplinary research team, this project will examine how the pandemic has impacted the mental and physical health of Indigenous people in Canada.
Professor Robillard, champion of the research priority of “Health and Human Development”, explains the importance of addressing this issue: “The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted the mental and physical health of individuals around the Globe. Concerns have been raised about disproportionate direct and indirect impacts on Indigenous health. Overall, the pandemic is changing core aspects of Indigenous peoples’ lives in a unique and complex manner. This is likely to have immediate and longer-term consequences for Indigenous health. Rapidly collecting information about the multifaceted impacts of the pandemic and the great strengths Indigenous communities have shown while facing the pandemic is crucial to inform adapted responses to better support Indigenous peoples through this crisis and its aftermath.”
The Faculty of Social Sciences strongly endorses Indigenization at uOttawa. We seek to strengthen this focus in our Faculty by supporting Indigenous scholarship and promoting Indigenous ways of knowing through the work being done by our researchers.