Aboriginal people

Tight budgets complicate Canadian health research reforms

A major overhaul of the grant and peer review system at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is underway. But will finances and objections from researchers hamper plans?

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) received some good news in the federal government’s pre-election budget this spring: a modest CAN$15 million increase in its $1 billion annual funding. But the extra cash comes with strings attached. The annual increases don’t begin until next year, and all of the new money is earmarked for specific programmes. $2 million is reserved for research on antimicrobial resistance, while the rest will go to the agency’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), which is focused on health-care efficiency and effectiveness. The budget for individual research grants has not been cut, but has failed to keep pace with inflation over the past several years. Read more in The Lancet.

Fish fight

In Maine, indigenous tribes have severed ties with the state.

There are no border guards when you cross the bridge from the tiny village of Princeton, Maine, to the Indian Township Reservation, but according to the Passamaquoddy Tribe who live there, you have entered sovereign territory.

Last week, the Passamaquoddy and the nearby Penobscot Nation both withdrew their representatives from the Maine State Legislature, citing a breakdown in relations with the state government. Read more in Hakai.

Canada used hungry indigenous children to study malnutrition

Ire follows article detailing tests on unwitting aboriginal citizens in the 1940s and 1950s.

Canadian government scientists used malnourished native populations as unwitting subjects in experiments conducted in the 1940s and 1950s to test nutritional interventions. The tests, many of which involved children at state-funded residential schools, had been largely forgotten until they were described earlier this month in the journal Social History by Ian Mosby, who studies the history of food and nutrition at the University of Guelph in Canada. Read more in Nature.