Friday, 23 November 2012

Academics say cuts to Aboriginal organizations are hurting crucial research projects

Open letter from Academics sent to the Minister of INAC

Exchange in the House of Commons Hansard

November 22, 2012

The Hon. John Duncan
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Duncan:

We are writing to express our dismay over unprecedentedly deep funding cuts for Canada’s Aboriginal Representative Organizations, including the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and tribal councils across the country. This follows the forced closure of the National Aboriginal Health Organization. As researchers, we work with these organizations and others in research partnerships to tackle some of the most pressing issues Canada faces. Grant funding agencies supported by your government consistently identify Aboriginal research as one of the top priorities for research in Canada. They also make it clear that this research can only be done in partnership with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

As minister, you are well aware of the health, education and infrastructure issues that are preventing Canadian First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities from reaching their full potential. Innovative research partnerships between the people affected and the brightest minds at Canadian universities offer hope for resolving these issues in an effective and fiscally responsible way. In many cases, these bright young minds are First Nations citizens themselves.

We partner with the organizations whose funding you have cut on practical issues such as clean drinking water and community planning. We also partner with individual First Nations that rely on these umbrella organizations for training and support that enables them to engage meaningfully in research. Dedicated staff at these larger organizations, with whom we have developed relationships over years, are named as co-applicants and collaborators on our research grants. However, these people may not be able to carry through on their commitments because they may lose their jobs.

The potential loss of expertise is staggering and could take a generation to recover. Canada cannot afford to wait another generation for solid research on urgent issues. We urge you to rethink these ill-advised cuts to organizations that have been doing excellent work in their communities that benefits Canada as a whole.


Manitoba Research Alliance

1. Prof. Dave Anderson, education, University College of the North

2. Dr. Marcia Anderson DeCoteau, medicine, University of Manitoba
3. Dr. Jo-Ann Archibald, education, University of British Columbia
4. Jeff Baker, education, University of Saskatchewan
5. Dr. Geraldine Balzer, education, University of Saskatchewan
6. Dr. Cyndy Baskin, social work, Ryerson University
7. Dr. Lalita Bharadwaj, public health, University of Saskatchewan
8. Dr. Jolee Blackbear, education, University of Regina
9. Dr. Verna Billy Minnabarriet, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
10. Dr. Lisa Bourque Bearskin, nursing, University of Alberta
11. Prof. Brian E. Brown, University of Windsor
12. Prof. Karen Busby, law, University of Manitoba
13. Brian Calliou, Indigenous management, Banff Centre
14. Dr. Sheila Carr-Stewart, education, University of Saskatchewan
15. Dr. Jean Clandinin, education, University of Alberta
16. Dr. Mary Ann Corbiere, Native studies, University of Sudbury
17. Prof. Laura Cranmer, First Nations studies, Vancouver Island University
18. Dr. Jacqueline M. Davies, philosophy & gender studies, Queen's University.
19. Brent Debassige, education, University of Western Ontario
20. Sandina de Finney,University of Victoria
21. Dr. Gerard Duhaime, sociologie, Université Laval
22. Dr. Geneviève A. Dumas, mechanical & materials engineering, Queen's University
23. Dr. Ryan Duplassie, Native studies, University of Manitoba
24. Prof. Karen Doty-Sweetnam, nursing, Brandon University
25. Prof. Patti Doyle-Bedwell, continuing education, Dalhousie University
26. Dr. Paula du Hamel Yellow Horn, research, Carleton University
27. Dr. Renate Eigenbrod, Native studies, University of Manitoba
28. Dr. Brenda Elias, community health sciences, University of Manitoba
29. Dr. Julia Emberley, English, University of Western Ontario
30. Dr. Petra Fachinger, English, Queen’s University
31. Dr. Margery Fee, English, University of British Columbia
32. Dr. Janice Forsyth, kinesiology, Western University
33. Prof. Cynthia Gallop, social work, Mount Royal University
34. Dr. Rainey Gaywish, continuing education, University of Manitoba
35. Dr. Audrey Giles, human kinetics, University of Ottawa
36. Dr. Susan Gingell, English, University of Saskatchewan
37. Jacquie Green, University of Victoria
38. Dr. Sneja Gunew, English & women’s studies, University of British Columbia
39. Prof. Debbie Hill, nursing, SIAST Wascana Campus
40. Dr. Daniel Heath Justice, First Nations Studies & English, Univ. of British Columbia
41. Melanie Howard, Aboriginal Access to Engineering, Queen's University
42. Dr. Michelle Hogue, science education, University of Lethbridge
43. Dr. Shelley Hulan, English, University of Waterloo
44. Tasha Hubbard, Native studies, University of Manitoba
45. Dr. Janice Huber, education, University of Regina
46. Dr. Renée Hulan, English, Saint Mary's University
47. Florence James, Elder in Residence, Vancouver Island University
48. Corinne Jette, Mount Pleasant Educational Services
49. Dr. Mary-Anne Kandrack, sociology, University of Manitoba
50. Dr. John Kelly, journalism, Carleton University
51. Dr. Vicki Kelly, education, Simon Fraser University
52. Dr. Margaret Kovach, education, University of Saskatchewan
53. Ruth Kroek, education counsellor, Vancouver Island University
54. Dr. Peter Kulchyski, Native studies, University of Manitoba
55. Prof. Kathleen Lahey, law, Queen’s University
56. Dr. Larissa Lai, English, University of British Columbia
57. Dr. Emma Laroque, Native Studies, University of Manitoba
58. Dr. Colin Laroque, geography, Mount Allison University
59. Frédéric Laugrand, Université Laval
60. Dr. Lynn Lavallée, social work, Ryerson University
61. Dr. Carole Leclair, Indigenous studies, Wilfrid Laurier University
62. Dr. John Loxley, economics, University of Manitoba
63. Dr. Pamela McCallum, English, University of Calgary
64. Dr. Rod McCormick, psychology, University of British Columbia
65. Prof. Nancy MacDonald, social work, Dalhousie University
66. Dr. Eleanor MacDonald, political studies, Queen's University
67. Prof. Dan McDonald, recreation, Vancouver Island University
68. Heather Macfarlane, English, Carleton University
69. Deborah McGregor, Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives, University of Toronto
70. Dr. Sam McKegney, English, Queen's University
71. Dr. Janet McVittie, curriculum studies, University of Saskatchewan
72. Dr. Linda Many Guns, Native studies, University of Lethbridge
73. Dr. Egla Martinez, interdisciplinary studies, Carleton University
74. Dr. Richard Milgrom, planning, University of Manitoba
75. Lynn Miles, Mohawk College
76. Dr. Shaun Murphy, education, University of Saskatchewan
77. Prof. David Newhouse, business and Indigenous studies, Trent University
78. Dr. Susie O'Brien, English & cultural studies, McMaster University
79. Dr. Melanie O’Gorman, economics, University of Winnipeg
80. Dr. Pat O’Riley, education, University of British Columbia
81. Dr. Robert-Falcon Ouellette, extended education, University of Manitoba
82. Dr. Victoria Paraschak, kinesiology, University of Windsor
83. Dr. Sherry Peden, education, Brandon University
84. Lisa Perley-Dutcher, nursing, University of New Brunswick
85. Dr. Michelle Pidgeon, education, Simon Fraser University
86. Dr. Lila Pine, media, Ryerson University
87. Dr. Jason M.C. Price, curriculum and instruction, University of Victoria
88. Dr. Darrell Racine, Native studies, Brandon University
89. Dr. Barbara Rahder, environmental studies, York University
90. Dr. Deanna Reder, First Nations studies & English, Simon Fraser University
91. Dr. Janice Ristock, women’s and gender studies, University of Manitoba
92. Dr. Leonie Sandercock, planning, University of British Columbia
93. Esther Sanderson, curriculum, University College of the North
94. Dr. Priscilla Settee, Native studies, University of Saskatchewan
95. Dr. Winfried Siemerling, English, University of Waterloo
96. Siem Smun'eem Child Welfare Research Network, University of Victoria
97. Dr. Jim Silver, urban and inner-city studies, University of Winnipeg
98. Dr. Patricia Shaw, anthropology, University of British Columbia
99. Dr. Fred Shore, Native studies, University of Manitoba
100. Dr. Winfried Siemerling, English, University of Waterloo
101. Dr. Ian Skelton, planning, University of Manitoba
102. Dr. Stephen Slemon, English & film studies, University of Alberta
103. Dr. Heather Smyth, English, University of Waterloo
104. Dr. Susan Spearey, English, Brock University
105. Dr. Katherine Starzyk, psychology, Mount Royal University
106. Dr. Evelyn Steinhauer, education, University of Alberta
107. Suzanne Tardif, Native Access Program, Lakehead University
108. Dr. James L. Turk, Canadian Association of University Teachers
109. Dr.Brenda Vellino, English, Carleton
110. Dr. Leela Viswanathan, urban & regional planning, Queen's University
111. Dr. Cora Voyageur, sociology, University of Calgary
112. Dr. Patrick Walton, education, Thompson Rivers University.
113. Dr. Pauline Wakeham, English, Western University
114. Dr. Renae Watchman, English, Mount Royal University
115. Dr. Angelina Weenie, education, First Nations University of Canada
116. Dr. Wanda Wuttunee, Native studies, University of Manitoba
117. Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Aboriginal leadership, Banff Centre
118. Dr. Jerry P. White, social sciences, Western University
119. Dr. Laurelyn Whitt, Native studies, Brandon University
120. Dr. Thomas Wilson, law, Osgoode Hall
121. Prof. Tanya Harnett, University of Lethbridge
122. Dr. Mary Young, education, University of Winnipeg

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