November 23, 2021, Yahoo News
Dr. Moneca Sinclaire is feeling grateful these days.
Sinclaire, a post-doctoral health researcher at the University of Manitoba in the environment and geography department, was part of a team that developed and rolled out a mobile app for surveying Indigenous communities on health and wellness concerns.
Mitacs, a national innovation organization that “fosters growth by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions”, recognized the impact of Sinclaire’s work, and named her the 2021 recipient of the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation—Indigenous.
“I’m excited that the project got [recognized by the award],” Sinclaire said in an interview with Windspeaker.com. “To me, it’s an innovative project that is not out there in any place right now.”
Sinclaire is to be celebrated at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa this evening Nov. 23 at 6:30 (Eastern).
Sinclaire is a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Man. She began work on the project a year after it was developed. She joined forces with independent designer Craig Dietrich, Dr. Shanna Lorenz, and the Integral Ecology Group.
Sinclaire’s role in the project as an outreach coordinator sees her meeting with chiefs and councils to explain the app’s capabilities and usage. It was originally designed as a COVID-19 questionnaire, but interest quickly grew in seeing the app’s use expanded. The key assertion of its users was to be able to own and control their own data.