Our interview guest is Massey alumna Dr. Gwen Healey Akearok, executive and scientific director of Nunavut’s Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre which enables health research to be conducted by northerners for northerners. She will talk about how Nunavut is the only political jurisdiction in Canada with no reported cases of COVID-19 and relate it to the strong collective responsibilities Nunavummiut display for each other, especially for the elderly. Nunavut also has been declared basically off limits for all Canadians who are not Nunavummiut. Senior Fellow Michael Valpy will conduct the interview – they will be joined in conversation with 2019-2020 William Southam Journalism Fellow Sarah Rogers and Junior Fellow Rachel Lee.
The Dialogues are open to the public – we invite everyone to join and take part in what will be a very informative online discussion. Participants are invited to submit questions to the speakers in real time via the youtube channel’s chat function as well as through Twitter with the hashtag #MasseyDialogues. For information about the Massey Dialogues salon series, click here.
Dr. Gwen Healey Akearok is co-founder and executive and scientific director of Nunavut’s Qaujimajatuqangit Health Research Centre and assistant professor at Northern Ontario School of Medicine. She is a Massey alumna and holds a master’s degree in epidemiology from University of Calgary and Ph.D from U of T’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
The goal of the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre (pronounced Cow-yee-ge-ark-teet) is to enable health research by northerners for northerners in a culturally sensitive and ethical environment. Qaujigiartiit means collective knowledge in Inuvialuktun. See the Centre’s website: qhrc.ca
Michael Valpy has been a member of The Globe and Mail’s editorial board, Ottawa political columnist, Africa correspondent, deputy managing editor and columnist on social and political issues. Prior to that, he was a member of the editorial board and national political columnist for The Vancouver Sun. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in literature in 1997 by Trent University and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 for his journalism. He is a continuing senior fellow at Massey College in the University of Toronto, a senior fellow in public policy at University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the 2011-2012 Canwest Global Fellow in Media at University of Western Ontario, the 2012-2013 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy and, since 2019, chair of the editorial board of The Anglican Journal, national newspaper of the Anglican Church of Canada. He taught for nine years in U of T’s book and media studies program; he also has taught at the Munk School and at U of T Scarborough’s School of Journalism. Michael has produced public affairs documentaries for CBC Radio (Sunday Morning), written for the Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, Maclean’s, Elm Street, Shambhala Sun, Policy Options and Time (Canada) magazines, contributed chapters to several books on public policy issues, won three national newspaper awards (two for international reporting and one for the impact of children from dysfunctional families on the public education system) and been nominated for a fourth (for a profile of Michael Ignatieff), co-authored two books on Canada’s Constitution — The National Deal (1982) and To Match A Dream (1998) — and one on Canada’s emerging generation of millennial adults — New Canada: Report on the Next Generation (2003).
Sarah Rogers is an award-winning print journalist and this year’s Webster McConnell Fellow at Massey College. She has spent the last decade reporting in communities across Nunavut and Nunavik in northern Quebec.
Rachel Lee is a Junior Fellow pursuing her Master of Public Health in the social and behavioural sciences stream at the University of Toronto. She is the recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship and was recognized as the top candidate of the incoming cohort of students. She is interested in studying the health injustices related to social determinants of health and how to enact systems-oriented public health interventions rooted in anti-oppression and decolonization. At UBC where she studied sociology, she was the co-editor-in-chief of Sojourners, the first undergraduate journal of sociology in North America. She has been an avid volunteer in organizations she is passionate about including harm reduction services and youth leadership. She was an avid paddler in Vancouver and has paddled for her University Team and the Canadian National Team in dragon boat. She enjoys learning olympic weightlifting nowadays and is enjoying returning to the pool for a nice swim!