Knowledge Resources & Publications


Webinar - Visioning the Future: First Nations, Inuit, & Métis Population and Public Health Series – Environmental and Mental Health

June 2022

Series Description

Visioning the Future is a series of webinars offering a vision for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples’ public health. These webinars are a development of the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health’s 2021 publication, Visioning the Future: First Nations, Inuit, & Métis Population and Public Health, a collaborative report offering a vision for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples’ public health. Privileging Indigenous knowledges, the commissioned report complements the Chief Public Health Officer’s 2021 public health vision report, A Vision to Transform Canada's Public Health System.

Webinar Overview

This webinar takes a holistic approach to considering Indigenous health. Such an approach looks into and beyond the physical environmental factors affecting Indigenous Peoples’ health to include the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual landscapes that influence their overall well-being. In this webinar, Dr. Shannon Waters will examine the impact of the disrupted relationship between Indigenous Peoples and place (land, water, animals, plants) on the health of the land and all living beings. She will consider best practices for re-establishing Indigenous Peoples’ connection to and ownership/co-governance of the natural environment. Dr. Chris Mushquash will present ways in which historical and ongoing processes of colonization have disrupted Indigenous Peoples’ health and mental wellness. He will examine a full spectrum of culturally and contextually appropriate supports and services to promote Indigenous Peoples’ mental health.


Dr. Shannon Waters is Coast Salish and a member of Stz’uminus First Nation on Vancouver Island. She completed the First Nations Family Practice program at the University of British Columbia and worked as a family doctor in Duncan, BC. While honored to work close to home, Shannon became frustrated with seeing people mostly when they were unwell and wanted to focus on keeping people healthy in the first place so she returned to school and completed her specialty training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine. Shannon worked as the Director of Health Surveillance at the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch and at the First Nations Health Authority as the Acting Senior Medical Officer for Vancouver Island Region. She has worked with Vancouver Island Health Authority as a Medical Director and with the Ministry of Health as the Aboriginal Physician Advisor. She is currently honored to have come full circle and be working in her home territory as the local Medical Health Officer with Island Health.

Dr. Chris Mushquash is a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Mental Health and Addiction and Professor in the Department of Psychology at Lakehead University and the Division of Human Sciences at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. He is the Director of the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research at Lakehead University, Interim Executive Vice President Research at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and Chief Scientist at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. He is also a registered clinical psychologist providing assessment, intervention, and consultation services for First Nations children, adolescents, and adults at Dilico Anishinabek Family Care. Dr. Mushquash is Ojibway and a member of Pays Plat First Nation.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine current inequities in mental and physical health among First Nations, Inuit, and Métis populations.
  • Consider the social, political, and historical contexts that have been the fundamental drivers of these inequities.
  • Understand how re-establishing Indigenous Peoples’ health systems and ways of knowing and being are vital to overturning these inequities.
  • Explore practical strategies for achieving health equity.

Webinar Resources