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Dr. Kristen Jacklin founded the Indigenous Cognition & Aging Awareness Research Exchange (I-CAARE) in 2015. She is the Guarantor of the I-CAARE website and is responsible for the intellectual development and oversight of the content and structure, and coordination of the interdisciplinary team. Dr. Jacklin is the founder and lead of the International Indigenous Dementia Research Network (IIDRN), and retains responsibility for convening network membership and activities. The I-CAARE and the IIDRN are funded and supported by Dr. Jacklin’s research grants and activities, particularly as a Principal Investigator for the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging Team 20 and as Director of the Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team – Health Equity at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth.​

The goals of I-CAARE are to (1) explore and promote healthy aging with Indigenous peoples, and (2) raise awareness about cognitive health in Indigenous communities. To do this work, we manage a number of research projects, from developing health care technology for older Indigenous adults to understanding the lived experiences of Indigenous people with dementia and their caregivers. Though research takes place all across Ontario, in Saskatchewan, and in Minnesota, much of our work is based on Manitoulin Island, and led by community research staff. In addition to our research projects, we also engage in a number of activities in the areas of capacity building and international collaboration.

About CCNA Team 20

The Canadian Consortium for Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) was launched in 2014 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). It is a hub for research involving neurodegenerative diseases that affect cognition in aging (like dementia or Alzheimer’s). CCNA teams are located across the country, each with their own independent research program. 

Team 20 has two focus areas: rural and Indigenous. The Indigenous team is the only team within the CCNA investigating neurodegenerative diseases in Indigenous communities. For this, we have received partner funding from the Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health at CIHR to research quality of life for Indigenous people affected by age-related dementia, to learn more, see the video, below left.

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Karen Pitawanakwat and Kristen Jacklin in Wikwemikong, Ontario.


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