This page serves as a tool to connect First Nations communities with researchers and research organizations.

Marc AmyotPhD
  • Affiliation: Professor, University of Montreal, Département de sciences biologiques, Complexe des Sciences

  • Areas of expertise: mercury, metals, country food, food webs, lakes, fish, rivers, logging, hydroelectricity, mining, climate change, ecotoxicology
  • Years of experience working with Indigenous communities: 9 years
  • Desired areas of collaboration: contamination of country food and food webs by metals; effect of forest fire, logging, hydroelectricity and mining on the cycling of metals, science camps in communities

Marc Amyot is a Professor in Biology (University of Montreal) and a Canada Research Chair in Global Change Ecotoxicology . He specializes in environmental biogeochemistry and ecotoxicology focusing on the mobility and transformations of mercury, arsenic and rare earth elements within animals, humans and ecosystems. He has published 140 articles.

Ave DerschPhD
  • Affiliation: Adjunct Professor, University of Alberta, Department of Anthropology, Moccasin Flower Consulting

  • Areas of expertise: Indigenous community based monitoring; traditional land and resource use; food security
  • Years of experience working with Indigenous communities: 19 years
  • Desired areas of collaboration: integration of western science and Indigenous knowledge; characterizing impacts on food security from climate change and industrial developments

Dr. Dersch has over 15 years of experience working with Indigenous communities in Alberta, B.C., New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia in the fields of traditional land and resource use and community-based monitoring. She currently sits on Alberta’s Oil Sands Monitoring Indigenous Community-Based Monitoring and Science and Indigenous Knowledge Integration Committees. She is an adjunct professor in the department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta.

Michael A. RobidouxPhD
  • Affiliation: Professor, University of Ottawa, Director and Associate Dean, School of Human Kinetics, Indigenous Health Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Areas of expertise: Cultural approaches to northern remote food security and traditional food systems.
  • Years of experience working with Indigenous communities: 20 years
  • Desired areas of collaboration: open to working throughout northern Canada and provide research support

Dr. Robidoux has developed longstanding partnerships with northern Indigenous communities advocating to build local food systems to address food insecurity and the high prevalence of dietary related disease. He studies the impact of local food procurement on local dietary practices to help build local food capacity in northern communities.

Pamela H. OrrMD, MSc, FRCPC
  • Affiliation: Professor, Departments of Internal Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg
  • Areas of expertise: determinants of health in northern and circumpolar peoples, northern health care
  • Years of experience working with Indigenous communities: 41 years
  • Desired areas of collaboration: Research and knowledge translation in areas of health concern identified by communities, including Radon

Pamela Orr is a physician, researcher and teacher who has worked in northern and circumpolar health since 1980. In collaboration with colleagues Dr. Linda Larcombe, Matthew Singer and others, she is engaged in research partnerships with First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities to support health and wellness.

Patrice CouturePhD
  • Affiliation: Professor, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, centre Eau Terre Environnement (INRS-ÉTÉ)
  • Areas of expertise: Ecotoxicology; Impacts of contaminants (metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, etc.) on the health of aquatic organisms (fish, invertebrates); Environmental consequences of mining on fish health in Northern Canada
  • Years of experience working with Indigenous communities: 10 years
  • Desired areas of collaboration: I wish to continue working with indigenous communities on all questions of interest to them related to fish health and contaminants, including in the context of mining and oil spills.

MSc in ecophysiology at Laval University, Québec (1989), and PhD in comparative physiology at the University of Wollongong (1993). Professor at Laurentian University (Sudbury ON) 1995-2003; Professor at the INRS-ETE 2003-present.

My Master’s project between 1987 and 1989 was carried out in collaboration with 6 indigenous communities from Southern James Bay to Northern Hudson Bay. More recently, I co-supervised a Master’s student in the period 2016-2019, Mackenzie Martyniuk, who performed her field work in the Deception Bay area in collaboration with the Salluit Inuit community. Finally in the period 2018-2023, I am the Principal Investigator of MiraNor, a project funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund, that investigates the impacts of mining activities in the Caniapiscau River water catchment on fish and its habitat. MiraNor is carried out in collaboration with Innu, Naskapi and Inuit nations. I have also performed some contractual work for indigenous communities to address their concerns about mining of offshore petroleum extraction projects.

Niladri (Nil) BasuPhD
  • Affiliation: Professor, McGill University, Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment (CINE), Natural Resource Sciences, Human Nutrition Canada Research Chair in Environmental Health Sciences
  • Areas of expertise: Chemicals management, environmental justice, public health, intersectoral research, toxicology, risk assessment, exposure science, environmental policy
  • Years of experience working with Indigenous communities: 10+ years working with dozens of Indigenous communities across Canada and worldwide
  • Desired areas of collaboration: Chemical hazards, human biomonitoring, exposure assessment, environmental pollution, risk assessment, capacity building, data science, laboratory and field activities

The objective of my research is to design, validate, and apply innovative and sustainable approaches to address the most pressing societal concerns over toxic chemicals in our environment.    The research is founded on three pillars: a) intersectoral empathy (stakeholders drive our research); b) multidisciplinary knowledge (we integrate evidence from people to wildlife, from molecules to populations); and c) environmental justice (we all have a right to a clean planet).

Mélanie LemirePhD
  • Affiliation: Holder of the Littoral Research Chair, Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at Université Laval and researcher at the Axe santé des populations et des pratiques optimales en santé (Population Health and Best Health Practices Axis), Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec – Université Laval, and at the Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (Institute of Integrative and Systems Biology) (IBIS)

  • Areas of expertise: Environmental health and contaminants in food (mercury, PFAS, lead, etc.), Aboriginal health, link between marine ecosystems, marine food and coastal community health

  • Years of experience working with Indigenous communities: since 2010

  • Desired areas of collaborationLink between traditional and market foods, their multiple benefits and the potential risks posed by contaminants. Promotion of local food, culture, local and traditional knowledge, and food autonomy.

Mélanie Lemire is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at Université Laval and a researcher at the Axe santé des populations et des pratiques optimales en santé (Population Health and Best Health Practices Axis) at the Quebec City’s CHU and and at the Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (Institute of Integrative and Systems Biology) (IBIS). She is the designated Canadian Expert in the Human Health Assessment Group of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (HHAG-AMAP) and the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Her projects use transdisciplinary, intersectoral and participatory approaches to study environmental contaminants, ocean change, and nutrition as they relate to the health of Aboriginal and coastal populations. Its results are used to inform decisions, the development of decision support tools, and the implementation of programs and policies at the local, federal and international levels.

This page provides contact information for several academic scientists who had participated in effective community-based participatory projects with First Nations in the past. First Nations communities can collaborate with any scientist(s) who have expertise and experience in the type of project they would like to do. However, should they have difficulties in finding a principal investigator for their projects, they may contact academic scientists provided in the list below to discuss their needs. The list is provided here to facilitate contact with some scientists, but it is not a recommendation or an endorsement. Engaging a scientist on this list would not guarantee funding.