Knowledge Resources & Publications


Webinar: Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias in Indigenous Populations

October 2021


Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are an emerging health issue in Indigenous populations, particularly as they are an aging population and experience complex health conditions that place them at greater risk for this disease. In this webinar held on September 21, 2021 – World Alzheimer’s Awareness Day – we highlighted how First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals are impacted by Alzheimer’s or related dementias, either by experiencing these diseases themselves or caring for family and community members with these diseases. The webinar brought together speakers who discussed current research, action and programming on Indigenous strategies and culturally-responsive approaches to support Indigenous people experiencing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their caregivers both within Canada and internationally.


Ms. Sarah MacNabb is an Inuvialuit beneficiary of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. She was born and raised in Inuvik and proud to call it her home. She attended Aurora College back in 2017 to pursue her education as a Personal Support Worker and had a few months short of 2 years’ experience in that career field. Back in October of 2019, she attended a program called the Dementia Ambassador Training held by the Alberta Alzheimer’s Society and is now a certified dementia ambassador. She has proudly taken on the position as a Dementia Project Coordinator here at the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and looks forward to connecting with the people of the communities and other organizations to engage and educate. She has a wealth of knowledge about dementia and will always have an open mind to seeking more as life is all about living and learning.

Dr. Jordan P. Lewis is Aleut from the Native Village of Naknek. He is the Associate Director of the Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team and a Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus. His expertise is in Indigenous successful aging, rural community health, generativity and healthy aging, and cultural constructions of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias.

Over the past decade, Dr. Lewis’s research agenda has significantly contributed to the development of a model of Alaska Native successful aging, the theory of Alaska Native healthy aging, the concept of Indigenous cultural generativity, and the role of cultural practices and generativity in dementia caregiver health and wellbeing. His research has identified indigenous cultural generativity as a critical ingredient to healthy aging, which has important implications for the wellbeing of Alaska Native and American Indians, including dementia caregivers, and family and community members.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the current context and risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias within Indigenous populations.
  • Explore the development of engagement and education resources for Indigenous Peoples related to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias at the community, national and international levels.
  • Identify innovative programming and research underway to support Indigenous Peoples living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Suggested Reading

Halseth, R. (2018). Overcoming barriers to culturally safe and appropriate dementia care services and supports for Indigenous peoples in Canada. Prince George, BC: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health.

National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (2018). Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias in Indigenous populations in Canada: Prevalence and Risk Factors. Prince George, BC: National Collaborating for Aboriginal Health.

Webinar Resources