University of Saskatchewan

September 17, 2014   

New IPHRC Director Announced

Jo-Ann Episkenew
January 14, 2010

Jo-Ann Episkenew has accepted the position of director of the Indigenous Peoples' Health Research Centre (IPHRC) effective immediately.

The IPHRC is a collaboration among the University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada and the University of Saskatchewan, with broad support from various health boards and Aboriginal health organizations. The office is based at the U of R.

Episkenew served as associate professor of English at the First Nations University of Canada where she fulfilled a variety of academic administrative roles, including department head, academic dean, and IPHRC associate director (programs and administration).

“I am confident that Jo-Ann will build leadership and develop capacity in health research among Aboriginal people, communities and institutions in areas of Aboriginal health, health services and policy at the IPHRC partner institutions,” said U of R vice-president research David Gauthier.

She is interested in applications of literature and drama as part of the process for indigenous communities healing from the effects of historical trauma. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) awarded her team a four-year operating grant to continue work with indigenous youth using theatre techniques to explore healthy decision-making.

Episkenew’s book Taking Back Our Spirits: Indigenous Literature, Public Policy, and Healing (2009) won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Scholarly Writing.

She represents the Canadian Prairie Region on the national executive of the Canadian Association of Commonwealth Literatures and Language Studies, is past-president of the Association for Bibliotherapy and Applied Literatures, is a member of the Board of the Lung Association of Saskatchewan, and participated in the development of the National Lung Framework.

She received her master’s degree from the University of Regina and a PhD from Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universität in Greifswald, Germany).

IPHRC is one of eight Aboriginal Capacity and Developmental Research Environments (ACADRE Centres) in Canada established with CIHR funding.

The primary focus of the centre is building leadership and developing capacity in health research among Aboriginal people, communities and institutions in areas of Aboriginal health such as chronic disease, ethics and knowledge translation, the complex interaction of factors that determine the health of populations, mental health and addictions, health services and policy.

More information about the IPHRC is available at:

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