Province funds Aboriginal early childhood research

Dr. Rod McCormick has been appointed the B.C. Regional Innovation Chair

Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services

The Province is investing $2.5 million in research that will help bring innovative, high-quality and culturally relevant services designed to give Aboriginal children the best start in life.

This funding will establish a new regional innovation chair at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops, specializing in Aboriginal early childhood development and maternal and child health. The chair will lead teams of researchers that will work closely with members of local Aboriginal communities. The community participants will bring their strengths, understanding of their children and tradition to the partnership, and help to identify current needs.

Dr. Rod McCormick has been appointed the B.C. Regional Innovation Chair in Aboriginal Early Childhood Development at TRU. Dr. McCormick has a PhD in Counselling Psychology and is recognized as a national expert in First Nations mental health.

He has a long history of working with the Canadian Institutes of Health research (CIHR). Throughout his career, he has focused on Aboriginal health research, worked on projects around Aboriginal careers and life planning, Aboriginal mental health and counselling and Aboriginal youth suicide prevention.

Government provided $2.5 million in funding for this position, including $1.25 million through the Leading Edge Endowment Fund (LEEF). The B.C. government launched LEEF to encourage social and economic development in B.C.

Based on a cost-sharing partnership with the private sector, LEEF has established permanent leadership research chairs at public post-secondary institutions throughout the province in the areas of medical, social, environmental and technological research. The fund also established regional innovation chairs to create opportunities in communities through B.C.’s colleges, universities and institutes.

Dr. McCormick is the final regional innovation chair to be appointed under this program.