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Lakehead University researchers study lack of personal ID on First Nations

The project is supported by the federal New Frontiers in Research fund.
Lakehead University

THUNDER BAY — Lakehead University researchers and the Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic are studying the impact of the lack of personal identification on access to health care in First Nations communities.

In concert with two co-applicants from Lakehead and the University of Waterloo, assistant sociology professor Dr. Chris Sanders successfully applied for a federal grant of nearly $200,000 to support the two-year project.

The money was obtained from the government's New Frontiers in Research fund.

An announcement from LU states that a lack of personal identification such as birth certificates "has significant consequences for an individual's ability to access health services and stay healthy throughout their lifespan."

The study team will consider the extent of the problem and its impact in Indigenous communities.

They will also consider the barriers to accessing ID and will develop a toolkit to help organizations and communities develop personal identification clinics.

A New Frontiers in Research grant was also awarded to Dr. Erin Cameron, an assistant professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine's Lakehead campus.

Cameron will use $165,000 over two years examining how socially accountable medical education fosters transformation in rural health care systems.

The university's announcement stated that the project will investigate how students, faculty and communities understand and embrace social accountability. 

NOSM is leading the research in collaboration with local, national and international partners.

In addition to the two grants totalling more than $360,000, Lakehead is receiving nearly $2 million from the Federal Research Support Fund which was established to offset the indirect costs of research incurred by universities.