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Oct
26

Researcher Profiles

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Faculty

Michael Robidoux, PhD Folklore

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Michael Robidoux works with a multidisciplinary team of researchers focusing on local dietary and physical practices in remote First Nations communities in northern Canada and other international settings. Increasingly local land based (traditional) dietary strategies are being influenced by global forces, resulting in more western based, prepackaged, store bought diets. The common goal of our research is to understand how local dietary strategies may contribute to improved health and how local diets can thrive within this global environment.

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François Haman, PhD Biology

francois picture_optFrançois Haman expertises focuses on energy metabolism as it relates to nutrition and substrate utilization. Using indirect calorimetry and metabolic tracer methodologies, his research team has been able to quantify the contribution of different macronutrients during environmental perturbations (i.e. cold and heat exposure, high carbohydrate intake). Over the year, his discoveries have opened new avenues for research in the field of human survival in cold environments. In addition, the methodologies employed by Dr. Haman have been used to quantify the risk/benefits of off-the-land sustenance in two First Nations communities in northwestern Ontario.

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Alexandra Arellano, PhD Sociology

Alex Arellano_opt_1Alexandra Arellano works for a partnership with the Organisation Right To Play that is implementing the Promoting Life-skills for Aboriginal Youth program in eight First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities (FNMI) from Ontario. The research team aims at further refining the PLAY program to the disadvantaged sociocultural context of FNMI youth. This research analyzes community mobilization and engagement throughout the implementation to identify critical success factors towards the program's sustainability, transferability and capacity to efficiently promote life-skills. Dr. Arellano also works with similar issues in South America.

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Jules Blais, PhD Biogeochemistry

blais 2011_optJules Blais is an environmental toxicologist who co-directs the Laboratory for the Analysis of Natural and Synthetic Environmental Toxicants (LANSET). For the past fifteen years, he has been coordinating and participating in northern research projects dealing with the behavior and fate of environmental contaminants and their impacts on northern communities. He is currently leading an NSERC Strategic Grant to study the effects of thawing permafrost on freshwater resources in Canada's western Arctic. He and his colleagues are also working closely with Health Canada to investigate risks to northern populations by exposure to environmental contaminants from northern traditional diets and contaminated soils.

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Sonia Wesche, PhD GeographySWesche -_Bio

Sonia Wesche is an Assistant Professor in Geography at the University of Ottawa. Over the past eight years she has worked with several First Nation communities in the Yukon and Northwest Territories to better understand their vulnerability and capacity to adapt to environmental change. She also has experience working with the National Aboriginal Health Organization on a range of Metis health issues. She is particularly interested in links between environmental change, traditional food use, food security, and health in Aboriginal communities.

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Stephen Stuart, PhD Social MarketingStephen Stuart

Stephen A Stuart is an assistant professor of Social Communication at Saint Paul University, and an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa's School of Human Kinetics. He has a broad background in communication and social marketing. His research interests lie in the domain of social communication. In particular, his work seeks to understand the capabilities of youth to comprehend and assimilate government health messaging around food nutrition, particularly the information contained on food labels, into decision-making about physical activity and food consumption.

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Courtney Mason, PhD Physical Education

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Courtney Mason completed his PhD at the University of Alberta studying the exclusion of Nakoda peoples from the Rocky Mountain National Parks. He considered how the displacement impacted subsistence practices and the health of local Indigenous communities. He held a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Indigenous Health Research Group where he examined the dietary and exercise benefits of land-based food strategies, food security and health in Indigenous communities of Northern Canada. He currently is an Assistant Professor at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia and an Adjunct Professor in the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Health Sciences.

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Graduate Students

Corliss

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Corliss was the former Research Coordinator for the Indigenous Health Research Group at the University of Ottawa. She is currently completing her PhD in Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa under the supervisor of Dr. Tanya Forneris. her research focuses on examining the processes and impacts of youth sport programs on positive youth development, particularly with marginalized youth.

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Meagan Ann O'Hare

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Meagan is the current Research Coordinator of the Indigenous Health Research Group. With her undergraduate degree in Development Studies and her roots in Northern Ontario, Meagan was drawn to the IHRG as it combines her interests in health promotion, community development and Northern populations. Meagan is doing her MA degree under the supervision of Dr. Michael Robidoux, looking at traditional food diets, food-sharing and inter-generational knowledge exchange in Fort Providence, NT.

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Michael Leibovitch Randazzo

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Michael Leibovitch Randazzo is an Undergraduate Student in Psychology and Aboriginal Studies. He spends his summers coaching football in James Bay Eeyou Communities. He wants to continue his education in health promotion as preventative measures. He plays football for the University of Ottawa and is very involved in the school community.

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Janice Cindy Caudet

Janice Cindy Gaudet is a Metis scholar from Saskatchewan currently living in the Ottawa region. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies and a photo oneMasters in Canadian Studies. Her PhD research with the Moose Cree First Nations community focuses on Indigenous stories to foster understanding of Cree conceptions of wellbeing and the importance of land-based initiatives designed to strengthen connection to the land. She is passionate about renewing Indigenous knowledge and ways of learning at the center of youth, women and community wellbeing initiatives.

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Desiree Streit

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Desirée is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Physical Education and a Bachelor of Education (Minor in Native Studies). She is currently working on her Masters of Education at the University of Ottawa, with the guidance of supervisor Dr. Rebecca Lloyd, where she is investigating the lived experiences of teacher candidates as they engage in promoting physical activity through a community service learning project. Desirée's research incorporates an Indigenous research methodology, which informs her other research interests such as culturally relevant curriculum for Aboriginal youth and land based/experiential learning.

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Shinjini Pal

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Shinjini completed her M.Sc. degree with the Indigenous Health Research Group in 2009, studying the effects of Persistent Organic Pollutants on Type 2 diabetes in First Nations communities. She also worked with the group as a research coordinator after that, assisting with research on local food consumption and distribution. She is now working as a postdoctoral scientist at the Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau at Health Canada.

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Janice Cindy Gaudet is a Metis scholar from Saskatchewan currently living in the Ottawa region. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies and a Masters in Canadian Studies. Her PhD research with the Moose Cree First Nations community focuses on Indigenous stories to foster understanding of Cree conceptions of wellbeing and the importance of land-based initiatives designed to strengthen connection to the land. She is passionate about renewing Indigenous knowledge and ways of learning at the center of youth, women and community wellbeing initiatives.