Indigenous Research Centres
McGill is home to many research centres that are engaged in innovative and culturally safe projects.
There are a number of exciting Indigenous research projects happening at McGill. These projects include language revitalization, historical investigations into McGill and Canada's past, and the revitalization of Indigenous law. Research has an important role to play in the reconciliation process, and McGill is committed to facilitating respectful and mutually beneficial partnerships with communities. Research in collaboration with Indigenous communities is a crucial step towards building trust and lasting relationships.
Visit the Contacts page for further inquiries on each research project.
- Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Studies
- Faculty of Arts
- Faculty of Education
- Faculty of Law
- Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
- Faculty of Science
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Studies
In concert with Indigenous Peoples, CINE will undertake community-based research and education related to traditional food systems. Their research projects include maternal and child nutrition in low-income settings, environmental innovation, food systems for health promotion, Northern research, and traditional foods.
Faculty of Arts
The Indigenous Studies and Community Engagement Initiative (ISCEI) is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and aims to support the growth of the Indigenous Studies Program in the Faculty of Arts. ISCEI aims to serve as a nexus for Indigenous scholarship and community-building, generate new, cross-University synergies and community partnerships, and add strategic capacity in areas where McGill can have the greatest impact. Read more about ISCEI’s specific initiatives here: www.mcgill.ca/iscei.
The Indigenous Maternal Infant Health and Well-Being (IMIHW) Lab, led by Dr. Zoua Vang from McGill's Department of Sociology, supports innovative research on the social determinants of perinatal health within Indigenous communities and trains students in the use of participatory research approaches. Their research involves projects about birthing outside of the community and the need for culturally appropriate psychosocial screening tools. For a list of publications, visit here.
More Than Words is a 4-year project (2019-2023) funded by Women and Gender Equality, as part of a national $50 million Gender-Based Violence program Promising Practices to Support Survivors and their Families. More than Words seeks to investigate and learn from the use of Indigenous-focused youth-led survivor engagement through the arts, looking at impacts on the producers themselves (young people) and on their families and communities in relation to their experiences of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Their fieldsites include Treaty 6, Rankin Inlet, Eskasoni.
As part of the Faculty of Social Work, the McGill Centre for Research on Children and Families (CRCF) is home to cutting-edge research on effective programs and policies for children and their families. Please consult their webpage to learn about their research projects on Indigenous Peoples.
For discussions, join the Indigenous Child Welfare Research Group.
Read more about how the Faculty of Social Work is supporting Indigenous Initiatives.
Faculty of Education
Cultural and Indigenous Research in Counselling Psychology - Department of Education and Counselling Psychology
The Cultural and Indigenous Research in Counselling Psychology (CIRC) is a research program under the supervision of Dennis Wendt, PhD, Assistant Professor of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University. CIRC's focus is cultural research pertaining to counselling psychology and related mental health disciplines, with a particular focus on partnering with Indigenous communities within Canada. You can find some of their publications here.
RISE brings together Indigenous scholars who are closely connected with their communities and committed to decolonizing and Indigenizing education research. This group is led by Janine Metallic, Assistant Professor in McGill’s Department of Integrated Studies in Education, who is from the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation.
Siawinnu'gina'masultinej was a major research partnership between McGill researchers in the Faculty of Education and Mi'gmaq language educators. Beginning in 2006, a McGill research team supported a collective of Listuguj language instructors in participatory action research aimed at developing effective and culturally appropriate language education curricula and pedagogical practices.
Faculty of Law
The Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism is a focal point for innovative legal and interdisciplinary research, dialogue and outreach on issues of human rights and legal pluralism. The Centre's research involves a mandate about Indigenous Peoples, highlighting various Indigenous areas of research.
The Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism has an Aboriginal Human Rights Initiative, which outlines research and scholarship, teaching, seminars and internships, public events and lectures, and related Aboriginal initiatives.
Read more about how the law faculty is supporting Indigenous initiatives.
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
The Culture and Mental Health Research Unit of the Department of Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital, conducts research on the role of culture in mental health. This includes research on culturally safe and competent health services, social determinants of health, and culturally grounded mental health promotion with Indigenous peoples, immigrants and refugees, and ethnocultural communities. Various working papers can be found here.
Roots of Resilience: Transformations of Identity and Community in Indigenous Mental Health
Specifically, their Roots of Resilience: Transformations of Identity and Community in Indigenous Mental Health project is noteworthy. Roots of Resilience is a new interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers in Canada and New Zealand to study the factors that promote resilience in mental health among Indigenous people across the lifespan, focusing on the response to risk factors in early childhood, school-age children, adolescence and young adulthood. Their research projects highlight their current undertakings. Their community partners include Eskasoni (Nova Scotia), Iqaluit (Nunavut), Kahnawá:ke (Quebec), Kinngait - Cape Dorset (Nunavut), Métis francophones du Manitoba, Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach (Quebec), Saskatoon (Saskatchewan), Six Nations (Ontario), and Cree Nation of Wemindji (Quebec).
A related project is called Listening to One Another Grow Strong: Mental Health Promotion for Indigenous Youth. Listening to One Another to Grow Strong (LTOA) is a community-driven and culturally-adapted program for Indigenous youth and their families. On their website you will find detailed descriptions of the program, how to join the network of Indigenous communities across the country working on the program, and how to implement it in your own community.
Global and Indigenous Health Nursing (GAIHN) McGill is the body overseeing global health in the Ingram School of Nursing.
Faculty of Science
The Place, Health, and Wellbeing Research Group is part of McGill's Institute for Health and Social Policy. Current research activities of the Place, Health and Well-Being Research Group, whose principal investigator is Dr. Mylene Riva, are broadly embedded within the themes of housing, the Qanuilirpitaa 2017 Nunavik health survey, and place and health. Research projects are developed and conducted in collaboration with community organizations, including Indigenous organizations responsible for public health, housing, and community planning and development.
Click here for housing related projects.
Click here for the Qanuilirpitaa 2017 Nunavik Health Survey project.
The McGill Group for Suicide Studies (MGSS) is part of Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives, and investigates risk factors associated with suicidal behaviour and related conditions, such as major depressive disorder, using a range of different approaches and methodologies. Suicide is an important public health problem in Canada, but nowhere is this problem as striking and extreme as it is among Aboriginal Canadians. The Aboriginal Suicide team is composed of seven experienced suicide researchers from different disciplines and with a variety of research experience.
CICADA is a multidisciplinary research centre that targets the conceptual and practical potential of Indigenous peoples’ collective ‘life projects’ to generate innovative regimes of environmental protection and alternative visions of development. Their research spans the global context.
McGill is a partner with the Institut nordique du Quebec (INQ).
The INQ's vision reflects its partners' desire and determination to develop a sustainable North based on a foundation of knowledge. To integrate scientific knowledge with that of local communities, including Aboriginal knowledge, and partner with the public and private sectors to develop the Canadian Arctic and Northern Quebec for future generations, providing clean energy, healthy ecosystems, viable infrastructures, economic prosperity, vibrant cultures, and adapted education and healthcare systems.
In response to Call to Action #34 of the Final Report of McGill’s Task Force on Indigenous Education and Indigenous Studies, on May 10th and 11th of 2018, the Department of Linguistics (Faculty of Arts) and the Office of First Nations and Inuit Education (Faculty of Education) held a symposium examining the role of the university in Indigenous language maintenance and revitalization. Read the resulting vision document here. McGill faculty members engaged in Indigenous language research, revitalization, and documentation projects include Gabrielle Doreen (Indigenous Studies Program), James Crippen (Department of Linguistics), Jessica Coon (Department of Linguistics), and Janine Metallic (Department of Integrated Studies in Education). Learn more about what is happening with Indigenous Language Revitalization at McGill: https://mcgill.ca/iscei/our-intiatives/language-revitalization.
Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research since December 1, 2001, the Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research (NAMHR) is committed to building capacity for mental health and addictions research and knowledge translation in remote, rural and urban settings by working in close partnership with Aboriginal organizations and communities. It is a national network with strong ties to McGill.
The priority of the Network is to develop research capacity. To that end, the emphasis is on networking and training for existing researchers and conducting a series of pilot projects that provide a basis to seek funding for larger scale projects from other sources including regular CIHR competitions, federal and provincial programs and Aboriginal organizations.
Who to Contact: If you are a researcher looking for guidance on how to work with Indigenous communities, you can find guidelines and resources in the Research Tools page. If you are a community member looking for information on how to start a project with McGill, please visit the How to Partner and Contact pages. If you would like to add a new research project to this list, please email us at indigenousinitiatives [at] mcgill.ca.