Our team is comprised of staff members and Research Affiliates associated with IPHRC.
Kathleen McNutt is currently the Acting Director of IPHRC and also the Executive Director and Professor at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. Her current research priorities include e-government, social media, environmental issues and network governance. McNutt’s research on e-government and virtual policy networks is concerned with public engagement, policy formulation and multi-level governance examining public process intelligence. Her research on network governance explores how modern democratic processes and policy development are influenced by new information communication technologies, globalization, internationalization and shifting public administrative cultures, which all affect international, national and sub-national policy contexts. In addition, she is in the initial stages of developing an extensive research program on social media applications and functions among both government and third sectors organizations. McNutt regularly facilitates workshops for the school’s executive training program and works with various levels of government on Web related policy activity.
Specialties: Social media optimization, hyperlink analysis, social network analysis, impact assessment, program evaluation, policy analysis.
Cassandra J. Wajuntah
Associate Director/Platform Lead - Indigenous Research & Engagement Expertise
Cassandra J. Opikokew Wajuntah is from Canoe Lake Cree First Nation and was raised in Meadow Lake in Northern Saskatchewan. She graduated at the top of her class in 2009 from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (BAJ) and a Certificate in Indigenous Communication Arts (INCA). In 2012, she finished her Master's of Public Administration (MPA) after completing a social impact assessment of the federal funding program for First Nations post-secondary students where she advocated for maximum funding for student recipients of the program. Now, as a PhD candidate in her final year studying Indigenous health and education policy, she has been the recipient of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Doctoral Research Award worth $108,000 dissertation entitled "The Indian Solution to the Policy Problem: Developing an Indigenous Policymaking Model to Address First Nations Health Disparities." Cassandra is working with Indigenous health organizations in Saskatchewan and Hawai’i to examine how self-determined Indigenous health policymaking models are more effective at improving the health of Indigenous people than Western colonial models. She was most recently a Visiting Scholar at the U of Hawai’i's John A. Burns School of Medicine in the Department of Native Hawaiian Health while she worked with her community partners throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
Cassandra served in various roles at the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre (IPHRC) from 2010-16 under the late Dr. Jo-Ann Episkenew, whom she credits as a pivotal mentor and influence in her work. During her time at IPHRC, Cassandra assisted Dr. Episkenew with the creation of the Indigenous Research and Engagement Platform (IREP) for the Saskatchewan Centre of Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) and the transition of IPHRC to the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. As Associate Director of IPHRC, she also serves as the Platform Lead for the IREP where she will lead a team of Indigenous researchers tasked with providing support and expertise to SCPOR projects seeking to engage in meaningful and impactful research with Indigenous communities. As Indigenous Research and Engagement Platform Lead, Cassandra brings years of experience building research relationships with Indigenous communities and government, advocating for improved Indigenous health policies and building capacity in Indigenous health research in Canada. She currently resides in Regina, SK with her husband Justin, a member of Standing Buffalo Dakota First Nation, and their two sons, Wakinyan and Mahihkan.