Dr. Brittany Bingham announced inaugural Director of Indigenous Research of the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE)

August 17, 2020   |   Blog, News

We are excited to announce today a new formal partnership of the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE) and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Aboriginal Health in the launch of a new Director of Indigenous Research. Dr. Brittany Bingham, Dr. Brittany Bingham, who is of mixed ancestry and a proud member of the Shíshálh nation, is fearlessly passionate about Indigenous health and gender equity and will assume the inaugural role of Director of Indigenous Research this month.

“This joint role will enable our research teams to collaborate on community-driven research that is directly responsive to international and national calls to action and justice for Indigenous peoples health and develop recommendations for achieving health equity for Indigenous peoples, with a particular focus on Indigenous women’s wellness”, says Dr. Bingham.

VCH Aboriginal Health and CGSHE are committed to research that contributed to reconciliation through conducting research that is framed within the context of UNDRIP and directly responsive to the TRC Calls to Action and MMIWG Calls to Justice.

Dr. Bingham has worked in various capacities of research and policy with Indigenous communities for over 15 years. She is passionate about community-driven research, health equity, sexual and reproductive justice, and reconciliation. Most recently, Dr. Bingham has overseen an ongoing process of building Indigenous cultural safety and humility efforts across research practices at CGSHE and VCH Aboriginal Health. She is the first Indigenous PhD graduate from Simon Fraser University (SFU) Faculty of Health Sciences and hopes to help build culturally-safe structures and decolonize academic framing to better support and grow Indigenous graduate student spaces.

In her new joint Director of Indigenous Research role, she is the Indigenous lead for a newly launched Access to Responsive Justice Project at CGSHE, funded by federal Ministry of Women and Gender Equality. This project focuses on access to responsive and restorative justice for marginalized and racialized women, including Indigenous women and Two-Spirit people, who experience gender-based violence across communities in BC. She has previously overseen Canadian Institutes of Health Research projects jointly led by FNHA and SFU examining co-decision making among key partners in the transformation of First Nations governance in BC. She has also held a number of high-level Indigenous advisor roles at BC Ministry of Health and regional health authorities.

“Indigenous women’s roles in communities were dismantled by colonialism, and returning to a focus on women’s leadership roles is key to decolonizing and reconciliation efforts,” she says. “Indigenous women have such resiliency and wisdom to inform research that has an impact on their health, wellness, and the policies that affect them. The research at CGSHE and VCH Aboriginal Health are closely linked with policy change and recommendations, which presents an amazing opportunity to engage Indigenous women in the research and elevate their voices to impact action and change.”

“Indigenous peoples have largely been marginalized from the research that creates the evidence base from which system level decisions are made and resources are allocated”

Dr. Bingham hopes that her future research and work contribute to system-wide transformational change through filling some of the large glaring gaps in data for Indigenous peoples. She hopes to centre all of her work around the importance of elevating Indigenous community voices in research and keeping these perspectives central to findings and interpretations.

Dr. Bingham was recently awarded new funding from Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research on “Informing The COVID-19 Response for Vancouver’s Urban Indigenous Population Using Community-Driven Methods and Big Data Analytics.” “We need to work with the Indigenous experts in the community to inform our use of data that will help us mitigate COVID-19 risk in these populations, creating responses that are led by and for Indigenous peoples,” she explains. “Indigenous people have faced structural level racism and barriers to service access as a direct consequence of colonial policies, it is essential these structural level barriers are considered in COVID-19 responses”.

In her new Director of Indigenous Research role, Dr. Bingham is deeply committed to Indigenous-led and decolonizing practices: “I specifically hope to work on projects and research that directly address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls to Justice. Most importantly, I plan to create a supportive and culturally safe research structure at CGSHE & VCH Aboriginal Health that will support training and building capacity for the next generation of Indigenous community-based researchers.”

About the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity

CGSHE is a UBC and SFU academic centre hosted at Providence Health ( CGSHE aims to advance gender equity and sexual heath equity for all in BC, Canada and globally through research, policy and practice. CGSHE is deeply committed to community-based and community-driven research and building equity, diversity and inclusion in affecting change and informing gender and equity-centred clinical practice and policy guidelines.

About VCH Aboriginal Health:

The VCH Aboriginal Health team works across all programs and departments to provide strategic leadership, partner collaboration and community engagement. They support staff and patients to ensure culturally safe care is provided and offer opportunities for educational workshops and learning to assist VCH to become a more culturally competent organization. Our goal is to work closely with both urban and rural Indigenous communities to help improve the health of Indigenous residents in our region. VCH Aboriginal Health leads and partners on research that is community-based and leads to findings that directly impact the health and wellness of Indigenous peoples in the VCH region.

At CGSHE and VCH Aboriginal Health we recognize our places of work lie on the traditional unceded homelands of the fourteen First Nation communities of Kitasoo, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, Wuikinuxv, Xa’xtsa, Tla’amin, Sechelt, N’Quatqua, Samahquam, Skatin, Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh.

Read the press release.