Anthony Rota
Hon. Anthony Rota
Member of Parliament for Nipissing—Timiskaming
Nipissing—Timiskaming punching above its weight in social sciences and humanities research
June 9, 2023

On June 8, the Honourable Anthony Rota, Speaker of the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Nipissing – Timiskaming welcomed Dr. Ted Hewitt, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council—or SSHRC—to Parliament Hill to co-host a special event showcasing world-class research being caried out across Canada.

SSHRC is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports research and research training in the social sciences and humanities, that in turn informs our understanding of people and the world, and addresses complex global challenges ranging from climate change to migration to income inequality.

The event on Parliament Hill was an opportunity to highlight the value of this important research in communities across Canada, including communities in Nipissing—Timiskaming Ontario.

This includes research into teaching methods, led by Nipissing University’s Kurt Clausen, and research into mental health in youth sport that Nipissing University’s Mark Bruner is co-conducting.

In the 2021-22 fiscal year alone, SSHRC funding for research at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario totalled nearly $700,000 across 18 projects. This funding, awarded through a rigorous competitive process, is supporting research in subjects from mental health to truth and reconciliation.

“I am proud of how the social sciences and humanities research community right here in Nipissing—Timiskaming is positioning Canada to flourish now and into the future,” said MP Rota. 

One way that SSHRC seeks to build a stronger Canada is by supporting the research priorities of Indigenous peoples, to directly address issues and concerns tied to community well-being and healing. The agency is currently funding the research project Taking Care of Our Stories, which is a partnership between Dokis First Nation and Nipissing University’s Dr. Carly Dokis. Together with Randy Restoule of Dokis First Nation and Adrienne Dokis, Director of the Dokis Museum, the SSHRC-funded project will create a repository of personal stories to preserve the community’s collective memory.

SSHRC has also funded research into how to improve policies and programs for the attraction, settlement, and integration of newcomers in small and medium-sized cities and towns in Canada. The City of North Bay was an active partner in the Pathways to Prosperity project, bringing in the expertise of the North Bay and District Multicultural Centre.

“People are at the very heart of social sciences and humanities research,” Dr. Hewitt told the audience on Parliament Hill. “The researchers here today explore relationships between individuals, groups, and their social worlds—work that helps build the foundations of vibrant, healthy and prosperous societies.”

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