A College of Dentistry faculty member is working to ensure oral health research is a co-operative effort with Indigenous communities.
Assistant professor Trish Goulet has been appointed chair of the Indigenous Peoples' Health Working Group for the Network for Canadian Oral Health and Research (NCOHR).
“I am looking forward to collaborating with members of the working group to help facilitate the work of oral health researchers across Canada and build a foundation for conducting meaningful and culturally safe oral health research in partnership with Indigenous communities,” Goulet said.
The NCOHR’s working groups support the strategic goals and priorities of the network. The mandate of the Indigenous People's Health Working Group is to build a foundation for conducting respectful oral health research with Indigenous communities in Canada. As group chair Goulet will provide leadership within the network, organize activities, and create awareness of its efforts among the oral health research community.
“The working group offers an excellent forum to consider and help guide the future scope of Indigenous oral health research and how that work can support our profession’s response — as oral health researchers and clinicians — to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action,” she said.
Goulet, a member of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, has focused her doctoral research on the diffusion of Indigenous Cultural Safety training programs in health care, with a particular interest around dentistry.
In addition to being a registered dental hygienist, she is a lawyer, having earned Juris Doctor and master’s degrees in law from the University of Manitoba. Goulet worked as a litigator for eight years before undertaking a PhD in public policy. Prior to joining the College of Dentistry, she taught at Vancouver Island University and the USask Indigenous Law Centre, as well as continuing education programs for the Canadian Bar Association.
Dr. Walter Siqueira, dean of the College of Dentistry, said Goulet will provide valuable perspective and leadership as chair of the working group.
“She believes in building relationships in order to listen to, understand and share the needs and values of Indigenous communities with researchers,” Siqueira said. “Her personal commitment reflects the College of Dentistry’s belief in research and oral health care practices that are inclusive and responsive to Indigenous and underserved communities.”
NCOHR offers resources to encourage collaboration and communication among oral health researchers and clinicians to make a difference in the health of Canadians.