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International Summer School: Land, Food, Health and Well-being

August 12-20, 2024 – Uashat mak Mani-utenam (Côte-Nord) 
and Mushuau-nipi (Nitassinan/Nunavik), Quebec, Canada


Health and well-being of Indigenous Nations and their communities are closely linked to health of the land. Traditional food is at the core of this relationship. It is part of cultural identity and contributes to the physical and mental health, spirituality, knowledge transmission and well-being of Indigenous Peoples.

This International Summer School aims to explore the links between environment, food, health, and well-being. This unique transdisciplinary and experiential training program will take place in two locations. It will begin in Uashat mak Mani-utenam, an urban Innu community near Sept-Îles. After a train journey to Schefferville-Matimekush, the School will continue at Mushuau-nipi, an ideal place for reflection, where participants will enjoy the unique experience of an Innu camp on the land along the George River.

During the School, participants will develop and share their knowledge and systemic vision of socio-environmental change (including climate change), biodiversity preservation and conservation, food systems and their links to community and human health and well-being. Activities, workshops and discussions will explore these issues in greater depth, drawing on Indigenous, scientific and professional knowledge.

This School is a joint initiative of the Sentinel North program at Université Laval, the Littoral Chair and the Corporation du Mushuau-nipi, with the collaboration of APECS Canada.

This School will be offered in English.

Applications for this School are now closed. Thank you!


Who is it for?

About 15 students will be selected to take part in the school. Target audiences:

  • Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from all disciplines with a keen interest in health and well-being in an Indigenous context, food environments, natural resource management, and impact of climate change on northern environment.
  • Indigenous students with a keen interest in these subjects and with post-secondary education are strongly encouraged to apply to attend this school.
  • Program overview

    The school favors an experiential, transdisciplinary approach that includes lectures, discussions, and workshops supervised by mentors who will share their knowledge and expertise. The program will cover several topics, based on Indigenous, scientific, and professional knowledge:

    1. Public health in an Indigenous context (social and environmental determinants of health and well-being, prevention, and health promotion, etc.).

    2. Food environments and food security (traditional and market foods, socio-economic issues, socio-environmental justice, etc.).

    3. Impact of environmental changes on the land (availability and access to traditional food, contaminants, adaptation, etc.)

    4. Perspectives on Indigenous self-determination (food sovereignty, land conservation, spirituality, health and well-being)

    Participants will also contribute to a collective reflection on the adaptation and resilience of Indigenous Nations and their communities in the face of these changes, as well as possible solutions to improve food security and sovereignty, and the health and well-being of all segments of their populations, including youth.

    On-the-Land Camp

    Participants will have the opportunity to live a unique immersion experience on the land by visiting the Mushuau-nipi, located in the middle of the tundra and taiga, 250km northeast of Schefferville (Qc, Canada). This site is an ideal place for reflection and authentic exchanges between individuals and their Nations, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. All participants will take part in the daily life of the camp with elders and community members and contribute to the tasks and traditional Innu practices involved. Comfort conditions are rustic (accommodation in traditional tents, with showers and dry toilets).


    camp sur le site Mushuau-nipi

    Photo credit: Mushuau-nipi Corporation

  • List of experts

    Serge Ashini-Goupil, Co-founder of the Mushuau-nipi Corporation, Chief Advisor Innu Nation, member of the Innu community of Uashat mak Mani-utenam

    Bibiane Courtois, former Nurse, Doctor of Nursing Sciences, honoris causa, member of the Ilnu community of Mashteuiatsh

    Valérie Courtois, Professional forester and Doctor of law, honoris causa, Executive Director, Indigenous Leadership Initiative, member of the Ilnu community of Mashteuiatsh

    Glenda Sandy, Indigenous Nurse Consultant, McGill’s Ingram School of Nursing, Nurse Advisor for the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, member of the Naskapi Community Kawawachikamach, Quebec

    Mélanie Lemire, Professor in Environmental Health, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Université Laval and holder of the Chaire de recherche Littoral

    Geneviève Mercille, Professor in Nutrition and Public Health, Department of Nutrition, Université de Montréal

    Murray Humphries, Professor of Wildlife Biology, Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment, McGill University

    More experts will be announced.

  • Application and selection process

    Those interested in participating in the school must provide the following documents:

    • Completed registration form
    • Résumé (including your education, professional experience, and communications) 
    • Letter of recommendation from your program or research supervisor. In the case of Indigenous students, a letter of recommendation from an academic professor or community leadership will suffice.

    Selection process

    The organizing committee will evaluate applications according to the following criteria:

    • Relevance of the applicant’s field of research or education program to the school’s topic 
    • Applicant’s research and leadership ability


    To provide a transdisciplinarity and integrative experience, the selection process will also consider the diversity of applicants’ disciplines and backgrounds. Individuals from all geographic regions, as well as underrepresented minorities, are encouraged to apply.

    This school will be offered in English. Fluency in English is required. 

    All participants are expected to attend the entire session.

    Individuals will be notified of the final selection by April 22, 2024.

  • Participation fees

    The registration fee for this course is $1000 (Canadian dollars).*

    This fee includes:

    • Registration for the School
    • Transportation from Sept-Îles to Mushuau-nipi (round-trip)
    • Accommodation from August 12 to August 19, inclusively (double-occupancy rooms in Sept-Îles, and in traditional tents at Mushuau-nipi)
    • All meals from diner on August 12 to diner on August 20 (inclusively)
    • An attestation of completion from Université Laval (conditional to your participation)


    The fee does not cover:

    • Travel to Sept-Îles (round-trip)
    • Accommodation before August 12 and from August 20 onwards
    • Insurance coverage for a stay in a remote region of Quebec (north of the 51st parallel)


    Payment must be received in full on June 7, 2024. Payment details will be provided to the selected candidates.


    *Financial support 

    A limited number of training fee waivers will be granted based on merit and need.

    Priority will be given to Indigenous students to support their participation.



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This School is made possible, in part, thanks to funding from the Quebec government via the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes.

logo secrétatiat aux relations canadiennes du Québec Sentinelle Nord


For further information, please contact:


international summer school land food health wellbeing sentinel north


Header photo credit: Mushuau-nipi Corporation