A U of G student, currently the mayor of his town, can now add Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation scholar to his list of accomplishments.
Jamie Snook is one of only 15 people in Canada to receive the prestigious scholarship, which is awarded for academic excellence and civic engagement in the social sciences and humanities.
“It was both unexpected and very exciting to receive this news,” said the public health PhD student, who is one of four U of G students to receive the award since the program began.
“The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is a remarkable group of scholars, fellows and mentors, and to have the opportunity to work with, and learn from, this group is a privilege and an honour.”
Snook will study the relationship between public health and Indigenous co-management of fish and wildlife resources.
An Inuk from Labrador, Snook is mayor of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and executive director of the Torngat Wildlife, Plants and Fisheries Secretariat.
The organization provides public policy, research and administrative support to boards making recommendations on management of wildlife, plants and fisheries in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area of Nunatsiavut.
“Growing up in Labrador and being connected to the lands and waters of this region, I understand the importance of the environment and how it relates to health for people in Labrador,” said Snook, who will conduct his studies in that area.
“It has been increasingly clear to me that the way we are governed and the way decisions are made about access to fish, wildlife and plants affects our health through multiple pathways.”
He will work with population medicine professor Sherilee Harper, who uses ecosystem approaches to examine Indigenous health outcomes.
“Jamie has entered his PhD program with over a decade of applied research experience examining Indigenous people and their natural environment, which exemplifies his sincere interest in and dedication to discovery,” said Harper, who has coordinated research with Inuit in Nunatsiavut and Nunavut.
“He will make important contributions that will advance our understanding of Indigenous peoples’ relationship with the natural environment. Jamie is an unparalleled leader and a motivator, dedicated to serving Inuit populations.”
The scholarship will allow him to conduct research in Nunatsiavut and to work with colleagues and officials in fisheries, wildlife conservation and public health.
“This scholarship will help me expand awareness about the importance of Indigenous co-management structures, and their role in governance, health and reconciliation,” said Snook.
“U of G has an internationally renowned reputation in health and epidemiology, and I was attracted to the high-calibre training environment. It also has a strong dedication to supporting Indigenous students, and I have been impressed by their focus on recruiting and retaining Indigenous students. I really think U of G is demonstrating leadership in this area.”