November 4, 2016 — Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami welcomes the commitments made today by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) to strengthen the organization’s relationship with Inuit and other Indigenous Canadians. CIHR worked with Inuit and other Indigenous organization to identify 10 concrete actions it will take to achieve this goal, including increasing investments in Indigenous health research to a minimum of 4.6% of its annual budget (proportional to Canada’s Indigenous population), taking steps to ensure that the CIHR Governing Council reflects the diversity of Canada’s Indigenous peoples, and working with other federal research councils to build Indigenous research capacity.
“Inuit self-determination in research is one of ITK’s core objectives, as outlined in our 2016-2019 Strategy and Action Plan. Self-determination in research means that Inuit have oversight in setting the research agenda in our regions, work as equal partners with researchers and research institutions in the design, implementation and dissemination of research, and have access to and – as appropriate – control over how information gathered about our population is used and disseminated,” said Natan Obed, President of ITK.
“I recognize the effort that has gone into making the health and wellness of Indigenous populations one of CIHR’s four priority areas of research. Taking action to ensure that its work is in line with the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the specific needs identified by Indigenous representational organizations is an important step towards reconciliation. I look forward to working in collaboration with CIHR to implement the actions the organization has identified, and I thank President Alain Beaudet for responding to calls by Inuit and others to step up efforts to build research evidence critical to improving the health status of Inuit and all Indigenous peoples.”