Global Water Futures (GWF) Grant Projects

Dr. Christine Wekerle is Mental Wellness Team Co-Lead alongside Lori Davis Hill (Director, Six Nations Health Services) and co-PI on a Global Water Futures grant (Canada First Research Excellence Fund; 300k) led by Dr. Dawn Martin Hill (Principal Investigator; Department of Anthropology, Indigenous Studies Program, McMaster University).

This project examines the connection between water security, mental wellness, and resilience among Indigenous peoples. This project ties in the rights to resilience-promoting environments (i.e., the right to water) and the right to wellness. The Mental Wellness Team will be holding community consultations to adapt the existing JoyPop app to be culturally relevant for Indigenous youth. This will include adding holistic features, emojis, and culture-based activities.

The Mental Wellness Team will also be holding digital media workshops for Six Nations (Oshweken, Ontario, Canada) youth on water resilience. Alongside McMaster PhD candidate, Sarah Duignan and Dr. Tina Moffatt (Faculty, Department of Social Sciences), the team will collect data on water access, water anxiety and resilience.

Our research findings will be disseminated through a digital art exhibit #ResilienceInWater and guidebook for practitioners, policy-makers, and professionals working with Indigenous youth on water anxiety and resilience.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research Indigenous Gender and Wellness Development Grant Projects

Dr. Christine Wekerle is the Principal Investigator on a CIHR Indigenous Gender and Wellness Development Grant (Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Dawn Martin Hill; Co-Investigators: Dr. Beverly Jacobs, Dr. Kristen Thomasen, & Denise McQueen; Knowledge User: Dr. Jeremy Green; Collaborator: Amanda [Amy] General). This project titled, “The Eniako’nikonhriiohake (One will have a good mind) Project: Building a technology-based resilience curriculum for Indigenous youth”  involves the study of the feasibility of JoyPop app for usage with Six Nations youth in grades seven to 12 over a one month period. This study will explore Indigenous youth mental health, the experience of water anxiety, resilience strategies, culture, and technology use.