About Us

The Indigenous and Global Health Research Group (IGHRG), led by Dr. Sangita Sharma at the University of Alberta is leading cutting edge culturally-appropriate, community health research by working with and within the Aboriginal and new Canadian communities to change the way healthy living and nutrition information is shared and used.

When programs for patient education, service delivery, and support systems all focus on promoting the patients’ efforts and building the capacity of individuals and families to manage disease effectively, disease control increases, health care costs go down, and family well-being improves. Our team believes it is time to ACT NOW!

 “When communities, groups, and neighbourhoods have ownership of programs, success and sustainability follows.”


World incidence rates of disease such as cancer, Type II diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease are at an all-time high. Current health policy, screening and education address these conditions and the prevailing risk factors but why is there no reduction in the incidence of disease? What is missing? Who are we missing? What needs to be done? WHY ACT NOW? We need to change this pattern NOW in order to change the future health of Canadians.

Studies show that Aboriginal and new immigrant populations were healthier before they adopted a“Westernized” diet and lifestyle. The communities have the answers for good health based on culture and tradition but current health care is designed for the multitude and  not for individual populations. Aboriginal and new immigrant populations need ownership of their future health and are interested in building strength by incorporating cultural beliefs and traditions into healthcare.

 “By developing culturally appropriate tools and implementing sustainable interventions, we hope to impact the prevalence of chronic disease.”

Plan, Approach & Philosophy

OUR PLAN: To be the go-to-place in the world for Aboriginal and new-Immigrant health, nutrition and lifestyle research and intervention programming to address chronic disease prevention.

OUR APPROACH: Work with and within the communities, groups and neighborhoods to empower people to choose, plan and implement their own path to healthy living.

OUR PHILOSOPHY: A bottom-up approach-when communities, groups and neighborhoods have ownership of programs, success and sustainability follows.


Working as a community towards healthier Edmontonians

The First Six Years


Links & Partners:

University of Alberta

Edmonton Public School Board

Edmonton Catholic Schools

Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health (CASA)

Native Counselling Services of Alberta

Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research (ACCFCR)

Institute for Health Economics

Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions

Alberta Health-Public Health& Wellness Branch, Health Services Division

TEC Edmonton

Alberta Diabetes Institute

Aboriginal Initiatives, Alberta Aboriginal Relations

NorQuest College

The Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area (BGCBigs)

Alberta School Boards Association

TELUS World of Science Edmonton


Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

John Hopkins University

Alberta Cancer Foundation

Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCSRI)

Inuvik, Northwest Territories (NT)

Fort Good Hope, NT

Hamlet of Arviat, Nunavut (NU)

Edmonton Police Service

Government of Alberta

Alberta Health Services-North Zone

Government of the Northwest Territories

City of Edmonton

Sport Central