MSc Public Health and Health Systems candidate

 Danielle Brandow - in winter jacket snow covered

Investigating health in indigenous communities

Danielle Brandow in snow landscapeAs a resident of Northern Ontario, Danielle has always been passionate about working with Northern communities and her experiences became the motivation for the course of her education.  She chose to focus many of her undergraduate and Master's projects on the health of indigenous people, and the disparities that many face when living in northern communities. These projects helped Danielle when choosing her research-based Master's, and choosing her supervisor - Professor Kelly Skinner.

As a part of Danielle’s Master’s program, she works as a Research Assistant with Professor Brian Laird in the School of Public Health and Health Systems. Professor Laird’s project focuses on investigating the links between contaminant exposure, nutritional status, and food use in First Nation and Metis communities in the Northwest Territories. She had the opportunity to visit four communities throughout the month of February, which helped to build relationships and learned ways to create a culturally sensitive and respectful research project. While living in the Northwest Territories for a month, Danielle learned a lot about First Nation and Metis history, culture, language, and how to incorporate traditional knowledge into research. 

Positive supervisor experience 

Danielle’s enthusiasm for research is supported and encouraged by her relationship with supervisor, Professor Skinner;

Professor Skinner is always available with an open door to chat – she is a constant support for classes and research. 

Their positive relationship is reflected in Danielle’s research and her ability to find a good balance between study and life. This Master’s experience has touched Danielle’s life. She is looking forward to building a career focused on health policy and communication or even pursuing her PhD to delve deeper into the research.   

 

Professor Brian Laird is leading a biomonitoring project in Canada's subarctic to evaluate people's exposure to contaminants and assess the risks to their health.

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo MSc Public Health and Health Systems student