Our Team

ACHH Initiative Team Members & Collaborators

Sharon Rudderham (Co-Principal Investigator)
Sharon Rudderham is the Health Director of the Eskasoni Community Health Centre on Cape Breton Island. Sharon was a member of the Nova Scotia Tribal Council and the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, and has been involved with the Assembly of First Nations. She served as a member of the Nova Scotia Provincial Health Council, and has been instrumental in the development of the Un’maki Client Linkage Registry (a collaborative health care database for the 5 Cape Breton Mi’kmaq communities). She is responsible for all aspects of the ACHH Initiative, and provides leadership from an Indigenous knowledge perspective.

Dr. Margot Latimer (Co-Principal Investigator)
Dr. Margot Latimer is an Associate Professor in Dalhousie University’s School of Nursing as well as Faculty at the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research, IWK Health Centre.  She co-leads the Aboriginal Children’s Hurt & Healing (ACHH) Initiative and has worked in the area of Aboriginal health research for many years. Her research program focuses on Aboriginal children’s hurt and pain and improving the health care experiences and outcomes for this population. Margot’s work operates from a Two-Eyed Seeing perspective which aims to incorporate the best of both Indigenous and Western ways.

Dr. G. Allen Finley, MD FRCPC FAAP (Co-Investigator)
Dr. Allen Finley is a pediatric anesthesiologist and an internationally-recognized expert in pediatric pain research and culturally-diverse environments. Dr. Finley holds the Dr. Stewart Wenning Chair Endowed Chair in Pediatric Pain Management at the IWK Health Centre, is the Director of the IWK Complex Pain Clinic and is a Professor of Anesthesia and Psychology at Dalhousie University. His research interests are pain management and treatment for children both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Finley participates in the qualitative analysis and interpretation in the ACHH Initiative and the development of the electronic pain tool. He provides the team with expert knowledge on pediatric pain management.

Dr. Katherine Harman (Co-Investigator)
Dr. Katherine Harman is an Associate Professor with Dalhousie University’s School of Physiotherapy and has 15 years’ experience in inter-professional health education. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Toronto, her Masters of Science degree from the University of Ottawa and her PhD was completed at Carleton University. Dr. Harman’s research interest is in the study of pain and improving pain-related health care encounters.

Katherine contributes to the analysis of ACHH Initiative data and assists with the development of web-based learning modules.


Daphne Hutt-MacLeod (Co-Investigator)
Daphne Hutt-MacLeod is a registered psychologist and the Mental Health Director for the Eskasoni Community Health Centre. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and her Master of Arts in School Psychology at Mount Saint Vincent University. Daphne has worked with First Nation children and youth for over 25 years and volunteers with many community projects and committees including the Eskasoni Health Advisory Board and the Nova Scotia Mental Health Strategic Planning Committee.

Daphne contributes to the implementation of community-based data collection, analysis and facilitation of the knowledge sharing strategies within the ACHH Initiative.

Kara PaulKara Paul (Co-Investigator)
Kara Paul is from Eskasoni First Nation. Kara completed her undergraduate Biology degree at Acadia University before enrolling in the Aboriginal Health Enrichment Pilot at Dalhousie University. She graduated in 2009 and continued to work at Dalhousie University as the Director of the Aboriginal Health Sciences Initiative Program. She has extensive experience working with Aboriginal youth interested in choosing health sciences careers. Kara will be invaluable in the analysis of the ACHH Initiative stories and art qualitative data, and the development of the web-based learning modules for pre-and post licensure clinicians.

Lisa Perley-DutcherLisa Perley-Dutcher (Co-Investigator)
Lisa is from the Tobique Maliseet First Nation. She completed her Bachelor of Nursing degree at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Nursing Program at UNB. Lisa’s research interests centre on culturally-safe and competent health care and she has been actively involved in the area of First Nations health care for many years. She served as President of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada and is currently employed with the First Nations & Inuit Health Branch. Lisa brings an Indigenous knowledge perspective to the analysis of Maliseet stories and art for the ACHH Initiative and assists in the development of culturally-safe learning modules.

Dr. Donald Julien (Collaborator)
Dr. Julien is from Millbrook Mi’kmaq Community in Truro, Nova Scotia. He has worked throughout his life to improve the future for Mi’kmaq people and is currently the Executive Director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq (CMM). Don was actively involved in the development of a Code of Ethics for research involving Mi’kmaq people and continues to advocate on behalf of Mi’kmaq people everywhere.

Don is the CMM collaborator and is a senior advisor to the ACHH project. He participates in facilitating the Elder council and team-based meetings, as well as guiding knowledge sharing strategies.

Roseanne Sark (Collaborator)
Roseanne Sark is a member of the Lennox Island First Nation and has been employed with Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI since October 2004; positioned as the Director of Health. Roseanne has a degree in Sociology/Anthropology with a minor in History from Carleton University. She is Certified in Reality Therapy, Conflict Resolution and has recently received a First Nations Health Managers designation from the National First Nations Health Managers Association. Roseanne  serves as the Co-Chair for the Health Policy Planning Forum (HPPF) a Provincial Tripartite Health Forum established under the Mi’kmaq/Federal/Provincial Partnership Accord; and also Chairs the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI Health Advisory Committee. Roseanne will provide guidance and expertise to the ACHH Initiative regarding the health needs of children and youth in Lennox Island First Nation.

Alan Syliboy (Collaborator)
Alan Syliboy is an internationally recognized Mi’kmaq artist from the Millbrook First Nation in Nova Scotia. He attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) and studied under Maliseet artist, Shirley Bear. Mr. Syliboy has illustrated books, developed a coin for the Canadian Mint and developed a 30-metre long mural for the Vancouver Olympic Committee. Alan is also a musician and the owner of “Red Crane Studios” in Truro, NS.

Alan is a collaborator on this project and facilitated the pain and hurt art sessions in each of the participating communities.

View Alan’s website,  including an online gallery of his work.

Sam WongDr. Sam Wong (Collaborator)
Dr. Sam Wong is a pediatrician working out of Yellowknife and the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. He completed his Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education degrees at the University of Calgary and completed medical school at the University of Alberta. Dr. Wong is Chair of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Health Committee of the Canadian Pediatric Society as well as the Co-Chair of the organizing committee for several years for the International Meeting on Indigenous Child Health conferences. He will provide guidance for this project on First Nation’s health care needs.

Jim Hepworth (Collaborator)
Jim Hepworth is the Director of Community Programs and Corporate Services at the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq (CMM). Jim completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree at Saint Mary’s University and has worked at CMM for over 10 years. Jim will provide guidance to the ACHH Initiative regarding First Nations health care needs.

Dale Sheppard (Collaborator)
Dale Sheppard is the Curator of Education and Public Programs at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Dale is a Collaborator on this project and has provided the team with expertise and guidance on materials, children’s programming and art exhibiting.

Emily MacLeod (IWK Research Projects Coordinator) (currently on maternity leave)
Emily MacLeod is the Research Coordinator for the Aboriginal Children’s Hurt & Healing Initiative. Emily completed her Bachelor of Arts & Community Studies degree (psychology major) at Cape Breton University and went on to complete her Master of Arts in Child and Youth Study at Mount Saint Vincent University. She has worked as a research coordinator for several years at both the IWK Health Centre and Dalhousie University. Her research interests are focused on children and youth and include early childhood support services, children and youth with special needs and childhood pain.

John R Sylliboy (Community Research Project Coordinator)
John R Sylliboy is the Community Research Program Coordinator for the Aboriginal Children’s Hurt and Healing Initiative. John is from Millbrook Mi’kmaw Community and resides in Halifax. He graduated in International Relations from Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica. John worked over 15  years in Costa Rica, Washington, DC, and Colombia in education, youth leadership and community development.

In 2007, John returned to Mi’kma’ki to work with Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Secretariat (APCFNC) as coordinator of Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative (AHHRI) to develop strategies to promote health human resources in health care and post-secondary education in Atlantic Canada. In addition he has worked for Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Research Program (AAEDIRP) as well as Mount Saint Vincent University. John graduated Mount Saint Vincent University in MAEd in Educational Foundations and is currently enrolled in McGill University as a PhD candidate.

Julie Francis (Community Research Nurse)
Julie Francis is a Registered Nurse from Eskasoni First Nation. Julie completed her nursing education at Saint Francis Xavier University and now works as both the Community Health Nurse and Maternal Child Health Nurse at Eskasoni Community Health Centre. She is also the Community Research Nurse for the ACHH Initiative. Julie provides the project with expertise regarding the health care needs of First Nations children and youth as well as the training needs of health care professionals working with First Nations families. Check out Julie’s Nurse’s To Know article in Canadian Nurse.

Leah Carrier (Research Nurse Coordinator)
Leah Carrier is Niitsítapi (Blackfoot) registered nurse and research coordinator with the Aboriginal Children’s Hurt and Healing Initiative. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at Saint Francis Xavier University in 2010 and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Dalhousie University in 2018. She is currently enrolled in the PhD in Nursing program at Dalhousie University. Her research and clinical interests include Indigenous child and youth mental health, neonatal and pediatric pain, and the experiences of Indigenous families in the health care system.

Athanasius Sylliboy, “Tanas” (Community Nurse Research Assistant)
Athanasius Sylliboy “Tanas” is a Mi’kmaq Registered Nurse from Eskasoni First Nation. Tanas received his nursing education at Cape Breton University becoming one of the first two Mi’kmaq male graduates to complete their program. Tanas’ primary nursing background is both adult and pediatric emergency / critical care in various departments across Nova Scotia.

Tanas is currently working as a Clinical Researcher for the ACHH Initiative. His area of interest includes bridging gaps in healthcare for marginalized populations through health advocacy and collaboration. He provides the team with knowledge of working with pediatric patients and First Nation populations in both acute care and primary care settings. Tanas is currently enrolled in the Master of Nursing: Nurse Practitioner program at Dalhousie University.

Building Capacity

We are committed to infusing our project with youthful energy, sustaining our research into the future, and providing youth employment and work experience. To advance these goals, we are pleased to include the valuable insights of youth in our work.

Student Collaborators

Shanté Blackmore (2016-2017), Karlee Johnson (2015-2017), Allie Turner (2017), Brent Young (2016-2017), Angie Acquin (2016), Judie Acquin-Miksovsky (2015), Serge Francis (2015), Kayla Rudderham (2013-2015), Clarissa Sylliboy (2015), Vanessa Nickerson (2014).

Past Contributors

Lorraine Bear (Collaborator), June Lewis (Elder Council), Anita MacKinnon (Co-Investigator), Elizabeth Paul (Collaborator), Imelda Perley (Elder Council), Dr. Brett Taylor (Collaborator).