Hotıı̀ ts’eeda Gets 5 Year $24 Million Investment

Governments of Canada and Northwest Territories and territorial partners renew investment that puts patients first

News Release: February 24, 2023 – Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Patients, their families, and caregivers have unique insights about themselves and what matters when they are receiving health care services. Through their lived experience, patients bring valuable firsthand perspectives to research that help lead to new and better ways of delivering care that will improve the health of all people in Canada.

Today, Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced a combined investment of almost $24 million over five years from the Government of Canada, the Government of Northwest Territories (NWT), and territorial partners to support the ongoing work of patient-oriented research in the territory through its SPOR SUPPORT Unit named Hotıı̀ ts’eeda. In the Tłı̨chǫ language, Hotıı̀ ts’eeda refers to peace and well-being in mind, body and spirit, and moving beyond diplomacy to true collaboration so that when we part ways we leave each other in a state of grace. 

Throughout the pandemic, Hotıı̀ ts’eeda has helped NWT Indigenous governments and communities create and disseminate culturally safe COVID-19 messaging through various information campaigns. These included culturally relevant posters and messaging in nine NWT Indigenous languages, as well as webinars and online sharing circles with Indigenous Elders and public health leaders. Moving forward, Hotıı̀ ts’eeda continues to make these resources available while focusing its attention on the Ełet’ànı̀ts’eɂah project. Through virtual sharing sessions, the Ełet’ànı̀ts’eɂah project helps NWT communities, partners, policy makers, and health professionals understand how the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples applies to and is being implemented in health and wellness programs, services, and research. 

The funding is provided as part of Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), a pan-Canadian initiative dedicated to integrating the voices of patients into research and health care. SPOR is led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) with support from partners across the country.  


“To provide Canadians with high-quality health care, we need research evidence to tell us what works. Patients, caregivers, and families help get at this evidence by adding their lived experience to the research process. Through this collaboration with Northwest Territories and Hotıı̀ ts’eeda, we are strengthening health care systems and improving patient care for communities across the territory.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health 


“The continued investment in Hotıı̀ ts’eeda demonstrates how valuable its work has been for the Northwest Territories. By connecting researchers with the needs of communities, families, and individuals, Hotıı̀ ts’eeda is playing an integral part in making sure the territory’s health research priorities are being addressed and are grounded in Indigenous knowledge and culture.” 

Michael McLeod
Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories


“Our work at CIHR has made patient-oriented research no longer just a concept in Canada; patients and researchers are working together to produce measurable improvements in service delivery and health care practice across the country. Patient-oriented research wouldn’t be where it is today without the ongoing support and contributions from all SPOR-funded entities and their steadfast commitment to patient-oriented research in each of their jurisdictions.”

Dr. Michael J. Strong
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research


“This five-year investment in SPOR funding demonstrates a commitment to culturally relevant health research, resources, and programming. The funding further supports Hotıı̀ ts’eeda’s continued recognition of the Indigenous patient’s voice as critical to successful outcomes in healing and wellness.”

Tłı̨chǫ Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty


“Hotiì ts’eeda has been a valuable collaborator for the Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services (HSS) in advancing health and social services research excellence. Their expertise and community connections have supported a number of HSS initiatives, contributing to programming that is culturally safe and relevant to Indigenous peoples in the NWT. We look forward to building on our partnership in the years to come.”

Bruce Cooper 
Deputy Minister, Department of Health and Social Services, Government of the Northwest Territories and Hotıì ts’eeda Governing Council Member


“Hotıı̀ ts’eeda looks forward to the next five years of work with our community and Indigneous government partners as we advance Ełet’ànı̀ts’eɂah and our partners’ research priorities. Hotıı̀ ts’eeda’s success to date is a testament to its partners’ talents and commitment to working together for good health.”

Dr. John B. Zoe
Hotıı̀ ts’eeda Chairperson


Quick Facts

  • SPOR is a pan-Canadian coalition of the federal government, provinces, territories, philanthropic organizations, academic institutions, and health charities with the goal of achieving better patient outcomes through patient-oriented research.

  • SPOR is about moving scientific discoveries to the bedside and producing the information that decision-makers and health care providers need to improve care.

  • SPOR SUPPORT Units are patient-oriented research centres in the provinces and territories that improve patient outcomes by enabling equitable access to data for health research, applying knowledge to improve health care practices, systems, and patient outcomes, providing training to conduct and use patient-oriented research, and engaging patients as active partners throughout the entire research process.

  • SPOR SUPPORT Units develop tools and provide opportunities for researchers, policymakers, and patients to work together to foster a research culture and environment that addresses inequitable health outcomes and access to health care in Canada

  • There are also SPOR SUPPORT Units located in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, the Maritimes, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Yukon. Discussions are underway to establish a SUPPORT Unit in Nunavut.

  • The Government of Canada, through CIHR, and its territorial partners are providing an investment of almost $24M over five years to help Hotıì ts'eeda continue its important work.

  • The territorial partners are: The Government of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Department, Aurora Research Institute, Dehcho First Nations, Délı̨nę Got'Įnę Government, Fostering Open Expression Among Youth, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Gwichyà Gwich’in Council, Gwich'in Tribal Council, TIDES Canada, Tłı̨chǫ Government, and the University of Alberta, Department of Medicine and Dentistry, Indigenous and Global Health Research Group. 


Associated Links


Guillaume Bertrand
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
[email protected]


Media Communications
Tłı̨chǫ Government
[email protected]


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