Spirit of SPHERU


At SPHERU, we recognize place is a culture and a geography.

Where you stand matters. SPHERU has a research focus on the unique geography of rural, northern, and Indigenous communities. For research to be meaningful, understanding the social and environmental context of partner research communities is crucial. That means getting your feet on the ground and out in communities.

Reflections, Insights, and Stories of FEET

We are a rural province and our research is rural

Dr. Nuelle Novik, SPHERU researcher

Dr. Novik reflects on the importance of authentic research in the context of rural Saskatchewan.

It’s ok to be off track, it means you’re listening

Dr. Sarah Oosman and Dr. Sylvia Abonyi, SPHERU researchers

Dr. Oosman and Dr. Abonyi reflect on the need for respect and a willingness to adapt research to make it relevant and meaningful to partner communities.

Value-added support, mentorship & training

Dr. Juanita Bascu, SPHERU Researcher

Dr. Bascu reflects on the important work of providing opportunities, mentorship, and learning for students and future policy makers.

How FEET comes to life in our work

Healthy Aging in Place

Despite urbanization, much of the Saskatchewan population still lives in rural areas, which are affected by economic restructuring in farming and forestry, young people moving away, deteriorating infrastructure, and restructuring of health and education services. Learn more about SPHERU’s research with rural communities.

Understanding the Aging Experience of Indigenous Seniors

Very little is known about the aging experience, aspirations, and support needs of Indigenous seniors overall, and even less about under-researched Métis peoples. In partnership with the Île-à-la-Crosse community, SPHERU completed a population health intervention research project to fill the knowledge gap and provide evidence of the effectiveness of current and emerging program and policy interventions. Learn more about Wuskiwiy-tan! Let’ Move! Aging well in a Northern Saskatchewan Métis Community.

The Built Environment & Mobility

Built environment and neighbourhood design play a key role in health, especially in allowing seniors to age in place and remain independent. SPHERU examined the role of the rural built environment on seniors’ mobility and ability to age in place. 

CPHR training program

Between 2003 and 2008, SPHERU provided feet-on-the-ground experience to 46 Masters and PhD students, who graduated from the innovative CPHR training program. Learn more about the Community and Population Health Research (CPHR) training program.