New Science Lead for Indigenous Allyship and Engagement

New Science Lead for Indigenous Allyship and Engagement

The Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU) is excited to welcome Neil Forbes as the new Science Lead for Indigenous Allyship and Engagement.

Neil, a Ph.D. student in Interdisciplinary Studies at University of New Brunswick, is a familiar face as a mentee with the MSSU with the Indigenous Allyship and Engagement team. He is also the former Network Coordinator for Wabanaki-Labrador Indigenous Health Research Network at Dalhousie University and Director of Education for Lennox Island First Nation.

Neil assumes the role from Dr. Jason Hickey, who has been the Science Lead since 2020.

“I look forward to building meaningful partnerships and support opportunities with our Indigenous partners and working with our research community towards an organization that is increasingly empathetic and respectful of diverse worldviews,” says Neil.

Neil supported the design of the 2022 Maritime Health Research Summit and was instrumental in recruiting Jenny Perley for the MSSU Patient Partner Council and to share her knowledge and provide cultural teachings with the MSSU.

As the son and grandchild of Residential School survivors, Neil strives to use his experiences to give back to his family and community:

“Colonization has had a powerful impact on my life, positive and negative, and as a result, I struggle with my identity and my self-worth as an Indigenous person living in Wabanaki-Labrador. However, I always strive to keep my relations at the forefront of my mind and heart in an attempt to ensure my work is guided by love and respect.”

New Science Lead for Indigenous Allyship and Engagement