2007 NHRC Keynote Speaker
Conference Keynote Speaker – Dr. Jeff Reading
Dr. Jeff Reading, Scientific Director of Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Institute of Aboriginal People’s Health, was the keynote speaker at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine’s (NOSM) second annual Northern Health Research (NHR) Conference held in Sault Ste. Marie on June 1 and 2, 2007.
Presenting on the first day of the two-day event featuring oral presentations and posters from across Northern Ontario and other provinces in Canada, Reading delivered a presentation entitled “The Quest to Improve Aboriginal Health: Or How to Indigenize the Academy,” and spoke about the need to promote health through research that is in accordance with Aboriginal values and traditions.
As part of his presentation, Reading explained the background to the development of the new CIHR Guidelines for Health Research Involving Aboriginal People (May 2007), which are guidelines to be followed by anyone who carries out research involving Aboriginal people in Canada if the research is funded by CIHR. Aboriginal peoples in Canada include Inuit, Métis, Urban Aboriginals, and over 630 First Nations, as defined by the CIHR.
The Guidelines provide an important ethical framework for research that incorporates Aboriginal world views addressing the issues of research partnership methodology, collective and individual consent, protection of cultural knowledge, benefit sharing, and the collection, use, storage and secondary use of data and biological samples.
Research that incorporates this framework will help to promote, facilitate and encourage culturally relevant information that can make a real and positive difference to the health of Aboriginals, says Reading.
Dr. Jeff Reading earned his PhD in Public Health Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is the inaugural Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health, based at the University of Victoria. Dr. Reading is a full professor in the Faculty of Human and Social Development and a faculty associate with the Indigenous Governance Program. He was elected as a Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. As a Fellow, Dr. Reading has achieved recognition of his leadership, creativity, distinctive competencies and commitment to advancing health sciences.
For more than two decades, Dr. Reading has dedicated his energy to enhancing knowledge and focus on the importance of Aboriginal health issues in Canadian society. As an epidemiologist, his research has brought attention to such critical issues as disease prevention, tobacco use and misuse, healthy living, accessibility to health care, and diabetes among Aboriginal people in Canada.
As an Aboriginal person, Dr. Reading personifies innovative and visionary thinking that encourages the meaningful involvement of community people working alongside multi-disciplinary teams of health researchers, each contributing their own perspectives and expertise. The long-term outcome of research activities aim to improve the health of Aboriginal Peoples’ living in Canada and work collaboratively to improve indigenous peoples’ health globally.