International Network of INDIGENOUS HEALTH
Knowledge and Development


The International Steering Committee

An initial steering committee with representatives from universities in Canada, New Zealand, the United States of America and Australia has been established to begin planning the network and it’s activities.

The International Steering Committee have via teleconferences since February 2001, and face-to-face meetings to discuss the network and develop activities have been held in Townsville, Australia (November 2001), Toronto, Canada (March 2002), Hawaii (June 2002), Townsville, Australia (October 2003) and Winnipeg, Canada (September 2004). The costs associated with the meetings have largely been unfunded, and so the support of the institutions who have sponsored the INIHKD development is appreciated.

The members of the steering committee include:

  1. Dr Sue Crengle, Aotearoa (NZ)
  2. Mr Paul Robertson, Aotearoa (NZ)
  3. Associate Professor Jacinta Elston, Australia, (Chair)
  4. Mr Mick Adams, Australia
  5. Dr Barry Lavallee, Canada
  6. Ms Deborah Schwartz, Canada
  7. Dr Gayle Diné Chacon, United States
  8. Dr Bonnie Duran, United States

Brief Biographies

Dr Sue Crengle, Aotearoa

BHB, MBChB, MPH (Hons), FRNZCGP, FAFPHM is from the Waitaha, Kati Mamoe and Kai Tahu tribes in Aotearoa/New Zealand. She graduated with her medical and Master of Public Health degrees from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Auckland University. She holds specially qualifications in both general and public health medicine. She was a recipient of the Harkness Fellowship in Health Policy 1999-2000 spending time at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. On her return from the U.S. she spent a year working as a Senior Advisor in the Ministry of Health. Dr Crengle is currently Head of Discipline: Maori at the Department of Maori and Pacific Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Auckland and Director of Tomaiora Maori Health Research Centre. Her current research interests include a number of health services research and quality of care projects and surveys about youth and Maori men’s health.

Mr Paul Robertson, Aotearoa

Affiliates with the Ngai Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Waitahi tribes of Aotearoa/New Zealand. He is a lecturer based at the Māori /Indigenous Heath Institute (MIHI), Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Science (CSMHS), which he and two Māori colleagues established in March 2004, as a venue for the development of Māori Health research and clinical teaching, Mr Robertson is also affiliated with the National Addiction Centre (CSMHS) and works as a senior clinical psychologist at the Christchurch Community Alcohol and Drug Service. In his research activities he has applied critical, qualitative and quantitative methods within institutional, clinical and community settings. He has taken a lead role and contributed to the development and implementation of a number of surveys of Māori health workers, clients, community and tribal members, which has involved the deployment of western methods within a kaupapa Māori research framework. He recently submitted his PhD which investigated the discursive construction of addiction by a group of Maori men undertaking treatment. In addition to Maori focused research Mr Robertson has been involved with a range of more broadly focused research and teaching/training projects in the area of addiction treatment and co-existing mental health/psychiatric issues.

Associate Professor Jacinta Elston, Australia

An Aboriginal woman of the Kalkadoon people, Assoc. Prof. Elston has both a Masters and Diploma in Public Health and Tropical Medicine and is currently the Assistant Dean (Indigenous Health) in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Molecular Sciences at James Cook University. Her current research interests include indigenous models of care in health service delivery ad Breast Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Assoc. Prof. Elston is a current member of the Research Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia), having previously served on the NHMRC’s Research Agenda Working Group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people during the last triennium.

Mr Mick Adams, Australia

Is a descendent of the Yadhiagana people of Queensland, Australia with traditional ties also to the Wardaman people of Central Western Northern Territory and the communities of the Torres Straits, Warlpiri (Yuendumu), and East Arnhem Land (Gurrumaru). Mick has been actively involved in addressing the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males for over a decade. He has worked to ensure that men’s health issues are promoted and placed on the national and international agenda through advocacy, research, publication and health management. He is currently one of a few Aboriginal men undertaking a PhD in public health. In his endeavors to promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male health and wellbeing, Mick has facilitated and participated in international, national and regional male health conferences and workshops and played a leading role in the Television series of Staying Healthy Staying Alive.

Dr Gayle Diné Chacon, United States

M.D is Diné from Chinle, Arizona, Navojo Nation. She is married and has three children. Dr Dine’ Chacon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico School Of Medicine (UNMSOM). She is medical director of the pueblo of Sandia Health Center, medical director of the Bernalilo County Juvenile Detention Center, and serves on the UNMSOM Admissions Committee. Dr Diné Chacon’s is the founding Director of the Center for Native American Health (CNAH) at the UNIM Health Sciences Center. The CNAH was established to address the health priority needs of the 24 Native American tribal and urban Indian communities in New Mexico; she also is engaged in research in Pueblo communities.

Dr Bonnie Duran, United States

Dr. P.H., (Opelousas, Coushatta) is an Associate Professor of Public Health at the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico. She teaches public health theory and practice and directs the MPH Community Intervention Concentration, and is co-director for the Center for Native American (NA) Health and the Southwest Alcohol Research Group. Her research program includes NA mental health epidemiology; violence and trauma related risk factors and cultural, community and spiritual protective factors. She also conducts HIV/AIDS, mental health and substance abuse health services research with a Tribal collaborative in the four corners area and with the National Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research in Denver. She also conducts community capacity research among some Pueblo’s in New Mexico.

Dr Barry Lavallee, Canada

Is a member of the Métis and Saulteaux nations of Manitoba and belongs to the Bear clan. Barry is Senior Physician at the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre in Winnipeg, and is a Past President of the Native Physicians Association in Canada. Dr Lavallee has undertaken a Master of Clinical Science in Family Medicine (UWOnt), and is the Co-Chair for the INIHKD Canadian Working Group who is working in partnership with the International Steering Committee to conduct the Vancouver gathering in October 2005.

Ms Deborah Schwartz, Canada

Deborah is the Executive Director for the Aboriginal Health with the B.C. Ministry of Health Services, supporting the Ministry's priorities for Aboriginal health for the province of British Columbia.

Deborah is a Métis woman, born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is a proud mother of four adult children. With 18 years experience in program development and facilitation, Deborah has worked with diverse populations, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal to develop programs with people who have experienced violence, poverty, isolation and discrimination. She is the author of Catching Our Breath: A Journal About Change for Women Who Smoke and the companion Guide for Facilitators. Deborah wrote and implemented the Aboriginal Tobacco Strategy Honouring Our Health:An AboriginalTobacco Strategy for British Columbia providing training and support to over 100 communities. Her past work has also included managing the Canadian feminist magazine “HERizons”. Deborah believes that culture is at the heart of healing and transformation. She is honoured to work with Indigenous people. Deborah is the co-chair for Canadian Committee for the International Indigenous Network on Health Knowledge Development