Indigenous Communities, Collectives and Organizations (ICCOs)

Our collective vision for the BC NEIHR is to create a supportive environment for Indigenous-led health research. Woven from the values, knowledge systems, priorities and leadership of Indigenous communities, collectives and organizations (ICCOs), academic researchers and students in British Columbia (BC), we hope to increase and enhance Indigenous-led health research in BC and Canada by:

  • providing resources, programs, administrative and organizational structures that support ICCO-based health research;
  • supporting Indigenous Peoples in leading health research that reflects their values, priorities and approaches;
  • providing funding to support ICCOs to undertake Indigenous health research and Knowledge Sharing Mobilization in BC;
  • developing, facilitating and supporting meaningful and constructive capacity bridging initiatives for ICCOs; and
  • supporting ethical and culturally safe partnerships between ICCOs and academic researchers, students and organizations.

Please view Research Development Grants and Knowledge Sharing and Mobilization Grants under the Funding Tab to learn about our annual funding opportunities for ICCOs. If you have anyone questions about funding opportunities, please reach out to the Network Coordinator ( or the Indigenous Health Research Facilitator (IHRF) for your region.

Watch this 2-minute video for an Overview of the BC NEIHR and its Funding/Resource Opportunities for ICCOs:

Click here

Meet our Indigenous Health Research Facilitators (IHRFs):

Our IHRFs are here to support ICCOs by:

  • engaging in relationship building and developing positive research partnerships with ICCOs and others in BC;
  • providing assistance to those who wish to prepare for and/or undertake Indigenous-led research;
  • helping to identify and address regional community research priorities;
  • providing capacity bridging support to ICCOs in BC;
  • helping to support the development of community-based research ethics review processes;
  • working closely with ICCOs to:
    • determine funding opportunities,
    • support and develop BC NEIHR and other research grant applications,
    • develop research budget,
    • connect ICCOs with appropriate academic and other research partners, and
    • communicate research ideas in grant applications;
  • designing and coordinating local/regional capacity bridging events and activities, including workshops, webinars, learning and sharing circles and workbooks or templates; and
  • helping ICCOs to create and develop innovative and integrative Knowledge Sharing Moblization strategies.

The IHRFs welcomes ICCOs in BC to email them with any questions or feedback. The BC NEIHR understands that we are living in an unpredictable and challenging time right now with the COVID-19 pandemic – our emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical selves may be feeling out of balance. Please know that the IHRFs are here to support you, so if you are unsure if your community needs fit within their role in how they can help you, we invite you to reach out.  


IHRF Interior & North Regions:


Laura McNab-Coombs is a Métis researcher and biomedical sciences student whose roots on her father’s side run deep in Battleford Saskatchewan, while those of her mother are of settler ancestry (England). She is currently employed with the BC NEIHR as an Indigenous Health Research Facilitator for both the Interior and North, thus dividing her time between the unceded ancestral territories of the Sinixt and Lheidli T’enneh (Dakelh) peoples.


Contact Laura:


IHRF Vancouver Island Region:


Jimena Garcia (Achalchiuitl) is a Global Leadership Master (M. A) student at Royal Roads University. Her research is focused on Indigenous-led recovery, revitalization and practice of traditional medicine, healing, and well-being practices. She has studied and practiced Indigenous medicine in multicultural contexts, bridging intercultural partnerships, and creating products and educational campaigns for women’s health.

She is currently employed with the BC NEIHR as an Indigenous Health Research Facilitator and living as an uninvited guest on traditional Lək̓ʷəŋən territory.

Contact Jimena: 


IHRF Fraser & Vancouver Regions:


Taylor Atwater is Stó:lō, from Semà:th (Sumas) First Nations with mixed ancestry. She has a background in clinical exercise physiology and is currently a MSc student in Indigenous population health at Simon Fraser University. Her research uses a Two-Eyed Seeing approach to understand the intersection of cultural wellness and chronic illness. She has over 4 years of quantitative and qualitative research experience, with the most recent working at the First Nations Health Authority. She is passionate for advancing the wellbeing of Indigenous peoples, promoting cultural safety and humility, and exploring structural racism. She is currently employed with the BC NEIHR as an Indigenous Health Research Facilitator for both the Vancouver and Fraser Regions and lives on the unceded and occupied lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səlilwətaɬ Nations.

Contact Taylor:


The BC NEIHR Indigenous Health Research Facilitator (IHRF) positions are generously co-funded by BC Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (BC SPOR).