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Federal and Territorial Governments funding medical research

The Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories will be funding medical research aimed at helping Indigenous people.

The two levels of Government, in agreement with the Tlicho Government, will provide $24.9 million in funding and in-kind contributions to establish a Northwest Territories Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) and Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Unit.

According to the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest:

SPOR is a pan-Canadian coalition of partners from the public and private sector, non-profit and philanthropic organizations – all dedicated to the integration of research into care.

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SUPPORT Units provide the necessary expertise to pursue patient-oriented research and help lead reforms in response to locally driven health care needs.

The plan is to support health research and training that is rooted in Dene, Inuvialuit and Métis knowledge. It looks to gather and share information that ensures culturally appropriate approaches are used when and where needed.

The Minister of Health for the Government of Canada, Jane Philpott, met with Tlicho representatives to discuss the priorities of the Tlicho peoples and other Northerners.

Philpott says that SPOR and SUPPORT units are an important step in putting patients at the heart of the Canadian health care system:

I applaud this important investment in the health of people living in the [NWT], in particular, for its emphasis on engaging patients in managing their own health, and for embracing Indigenous ways of knowing.


  • Government of Canada funding: $8.1 million
  • Northwest Territories partner funding: $16.8 million
  • Total funding: $24.9 million, spread out over 10 years
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