Academic Leader

Margo Greenwood, Academic Lead, NCCIH
Dr. Margo Greenwood O.C., Academic Leader, NCCIH

Focused on the health and well-being of Indigenous children and families

Dr. Margo Greenwood O.C. is a highly acclaimed Indigenous scholar of Cree ancestry. Dr. Greenwood's record of achievement, leadership, and community service is demonstrated in her long career devoted to improving the health and well-being of Indigenous children, families, and community through research and public service. While her work crosses disciplines and sectors, Dr. Greenwood is particularly recognized – regionally, provincially, nationally and internationally – for her work in early childhood care and education, and in Indigenous public health.

On December 29, 2021, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, announced the appointment of Dr. Margo Greenwood as an Officer of the Order of Canada (O.C.). This award acknowledges Dr. Greenwood’s outstanding leadership and contributions to society.

Dr. Greenwood O.C. is a Professor in the Education program at the University of Northern British Columbia. Her current research interests include historic and contemporary systemic and structural impacts on the development of early childhood programs and services in Canada; social determinants of health, with particular emphasis on colonization and children's rights; children's cultural identity formation; and the exploration and articulation of Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies. She has also been, since 2004, Academic Leader of the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health. In this position, she has increased her expertise in integrating public health skills and knowledge.

In early June 2022, Dr. Greenwood was appointed interim Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health for a term of three years. View the CIHR press release on this subject. The Institute is hosted at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Dr. Greenwood served as Vice President of Indigenous Health for the Northern Health Authority from 2013 to 2022. In this role, she provided executive leadership to the Indigenous Health portfolio, including the development of relationships with the First Nations Health Authority and First Nations in northern BC.

Dr. Greenwood has also held appointments as an International Indigenous Fellow of Te Mata o te Tau, the Academy for Maori Research and Scholarship, Massey University, NZ and Adjunct Professor, Indigenous Public Health Program, University of Hawaii, HI, USA. She chaired CIHR’s Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health Board (2006-2013) and currently chairs the Dalla Lana School of Public Health’s Waakebiness Institute for Indigenous Health’s Community Advisory Committee. She also led the northern node for Network Environments for Aboriginal Research BC (2006-2009) and BC ACT Now and BC’s Aboriginal Preschool Vision Screening Initiatives (2006-2011). Dr. Greenwood has also chaired numerous national projects, including the Canadian Institute of Child Health’s Aboriginal compendium, and co-developed, with UNICEF Canada, the Leaving No Child Behind report. She also coedited the pre-eminent textbook Determinants of Indigenous Peoples’ Health in Canada (in press 2022, 2018, 2015). She has shared her expertise with diverse audiences of researchers, students, professionals, and public servants as keynote speaker at international, national, provincial, and regional conferences and gatherings.

Since 1992, Dr. Greenwood has been directly informing policy and legislation while serving on 75+ national and provincial committees, including: Minister Duclos’ 2019 Expert Panel on Early Learning and Child Care Data and Research; the Public Health Network of Canada; and, Public Health’s 2020 Working Group on Remote and Isolated Communities Committee. Dr. Greenwood presented to the Senate Sub-Committee on Population Health (2008) and to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs (2016). These contributions exemplify her ancestral responsibility to use her gifts for the collective good.

Dr. Greenwood's leadership and achievements have been recognized by Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and groups who have awarded her with: the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for work with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in early childhood (2002); the Leadership and Advocacy Award from the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society for leadership and advocacy on behalf of Aboriginal children (2009); the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC’s Academic of the Year Award for community-based research (2010); and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for work in early childhood education (2011). Further, Dr. Greenwood has received numerous scholarships and teaching and research awards.


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