Team

Christopher Fletcher – Project Leader/Principal Investigator

Christopher (Chris) Fletcher began working with Inuit in Montreal in the 1990s when he was employed by the Module du Nord. After working at the MNQ he began doing community-based projects and research in Nunavik. He has spent long periods of time living with people in the communities and for many years enjoyed camping, fishing and hunting in the springtime on the Hudson Straits. He completed his PhD in medical anthropology at the Université de Montréal and moved first to Halifax ,and then Edmonton, to work in universities there. He returned to Quebec in 2011 and now works in the Department of social and preventive medicine at Université Laval in Quebec City. Christopher led the community component of the Qanuilirpitaa? Nunavik health survey and is the Principal Investigator for the QS project.


Mylene Riva – Project Co-Leader/Co-Principal Investigator 

Mylene Riva is Canada Research Chair in Housing, Community, and Health. She is an Assistant Professor at McGill University, jointly appointed in the Institute for Health and Social Policy and the Department of Geography. She holds a bachelor degree in Geography and a doctorate in Public Health and Health Promotion from Université de Montreal, and was a postdoctoral fellow in Health Geography at Durham University in the UK. Mylene has long been conducting research for and with Indigenous communities to assess the impacts of housing conditions on health. Most recently, she co-led the community component of the Qanuilirpitaa? Nunavik health survey and is the co-PI of the Qanuikkat Siqinirmiut health survey.


Marie-Claude Lyonnais – Project Coordinator/Research Assistant

Marie-Claude Lyonnais first started her career as a chiropractor in 2004 before switching to journalism in 2009. After a few years covering news for Radio-Canada all over New Brunswick and the Eastern Townships (Quebec), she decided to combine her two passions of health and communications, and complete a Master’s degree in community health at Université Laval. Her Master’s project brought her to Nunavik in 2016, where she studied the way Inuit use Facebook for health purposes. Since then, she’s been working with Inuit communities, in both North and South contexts. She is the community component lead research assistant of the Qanuilirpitaa health survey, a project that allowed her to travel to 10 Nunavik communities on board the CCGS Amundsen for data collection. She also coordinated a need-assessment study for southern Inuit with substance abuse problems and is currently the project coordinator of the Qanuikkat Siqinirmiut project. When she is not working, she loves being outdoors and enjoying life with her kids. One of her proudest life achievement is to have survived a January night in an igloo at the Pingualuit National Park.


Tina Pisuktie – SQIA Executive Director/Liaison Coordinator

Tina Pisuktie is an urban Inuk, born and raised in Montreal. For the last eleven years, she has been working in a variety of positions that allowed her to contribute to the development of the urban indigenous community of Montreal, and for the past 6 years she worked specifically with the urban Inuit community. From 2013-2016, Tina was employed as a Caseworker for the Inuit Assistance Program at Chez Doris Women’s Shelter Foundation. She worked with at risk and homeless Inuit women in the city to ensure their access to health and social services, which provided her with invaluable insight and understanding of the emotional, physical and spiritual health of at risk and homeless Inuit in the city. From 2016-2017, Tina worked as a Student Life Animator for the Kativik School Board, where she provided support and referrals services to Inuit students attending College Montmorency while assisting them with their integration. She is a founding board member of the Southern Quebec Inuit Association, where she now works as the Executive Director. Tina has a DEC in Communications and a Bachelor’s degree in Community, Public Affairs and Policy Studies from Concordia University (Montréal).


Nathalie Boucher – Consultant/Methodology Expert

Nathalie Boucher is an anthropologist specialized in urban public spaces. She has a Master’s degree in anthropology from Université Laval as well as a doctorate in urban studies from the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique – Centre Urbanisation Culture Société. For the past 15 years, she has been working on public spaces, especially aquatic public spaces, and their urban social life role. She studied Los Angeles parks and squares, Australian beaches and pools, Taiwan thermal baths, and Montreal (upcoming) public beaches. She founded and leads REsPIRE, an organization offering qualitative research services for urban issues.


Mathilde Lapointe – Co-Project Coordinator/Research Assistant

Mathilde Lapointe completed her Bachelor’s degree at Université de Montréal (Montréal, 2017) and her Master’s degree at Université Laval (Québec, 2021), both in Anthropology. Her master’s study in critical medical anthropology focuses on urban Inuit’s perspectives of their health and well-being, as well as their capacity to maintain or restore them in Montreal. Since 2018, Mathilde has been working with Inuit in Nunavik (Puvirnituq, Kuujjuaq) as well as in urban settings, in Southern Québec. She is a research assistant at the research centre of the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ) and for the Research Chair on Relations with Inuit Societies (Sentinelle Nord, Université Laval). She is also a teacher assistant for different Indigenous health and wellbeing courses, at Université Laval. Mathilde is a research assistant and, with Marie-Claude Lyonnais, one of the project coordinators for the Qanuikkat Siqinirmiut health survey.


Ariane Benoît – Postdoctoral Researcher

Ariane Benoit is an anthropologist graduated from Inalco University. Her research focuses on interactional practices in educational and health institutions, and also on the place and the effects of interpersonal relationships on health, well-being and education. From 2008 to 2013, she followed a course about Inuit language offered by Michèle Therrien (1945-2017) at Inalco University. She also organised workshops about Inuit language and culture in primary schools in Créteil (France) for the Inuksuk association. Within the QS project, she works in collaboration with the members of the team at every step of the research. She is also conducting a project about the place of culture in fostered children’ health and well-being in urban settings. During her free time, she practices artistic and well-being activities, such as singing, dancing, poetry and meditation.


Alisha Tukkiapik – Community Coordinator

Originally from Kuujjuaq, Alisha lived for a decade in Kuujjuaraapik, where she worked as a community social worker for 7 years. She is the first Inuk woman to run in the provincial election, when in 2018 she sought to represent the Ungava region for Québec Solidaire. Alisha studied at John Abbott from 2015 to 2017, and she is also enrolled in Nunavik Sivunitsavut for 2021. She has lived in the South since 2019. Her main goal is to be a certified and registered social worker, and to pursue her political activities in the future. Alisha’s main interests are social justice, Inuit rights, politics, psychology and mental health services. She speaks English, French and Inuktitut.


Richard Budgell – Senior Advisor

Richard Budgell is a Labrador Inuk who was appointed a Professor of Practice in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University in 2020. He had a background of more than 30 years as a public servant with the Government of Canada, including in the health field for close to 15 years. From 1994 to 2003, he led the Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities program, an early intervention program for preschool-age First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and their families which became very popular throughout Inuit Nunangat. He worked on self-government initiatives with Nunavik institutions in the early 2000s and in 2015 became the executive director of the Quebec regional office of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada. As a proud member of the community, Richard is excited to join the QS team and continue to work to improve the lives of southern and urban Inuit in Quebec!