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LU researchers receive grants for Indigenous health projects

Health of seniors who stop driving will also be studied
Lakehead University (

THUNDER BAY -- The Canadian Institutes of Health Research have approved more than $1 million in grants for Lakehead University professors and graduate students.

Several of the projects being funded will focus on Indigenous health issues.

Naana Jumah of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine west campus is getting $300,000 over four years.

She's researching an Indigenous-based, integrated care "pathway" for opioid dependence in pregnancy.

Nicole Marshall, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology, will receive $108,000 over three years to evaluate an on-reserve methadone maintenance therapy program for First Nations people.

Dr. Vicki Kristman of the Department of Health Sciences was awarded $75,000 to design an E-health intervention for Indigenous mental health in the workplace, in partnership with the Nokiiwin Tribal Council 

A news release from Lakehead University says the goal is to create a culturally-relevant app to assist Indigenous people who are experiencing violence or unkind behaviour in the workplace, whether on-reserve or off-reserve.

"Maybe a colleague is harassing them and they're not sure where they can turn for assistance," Kristman said. "This app will help them determine what they should do by connecting them with someone in another Indigenous community who may offer advice or even suggesting they call 911."

Among other grants, Dr. Michel Bedard will receive almost $410,000 over five years researching the negative and positive impacts that older adults experience when they must stop driving.

"We will also obtain a better understanding of the impact on mobility and access to services," Bedard said.

He noted that older adults will typically spend the last seven to ten years of their lives as non-drivers. Maintaining independence and quality of life without driving, he said, can be especially challenging in rural and remote regions.