Outstanding Young Alumni Award - Dr. Christopher Mushquash

Outstanding Young Alumni Award - Dr. Christopher Mushquash

Dr. Christopher Mushquash is a dedicated psychologist and researcher respected for his integrity.

As well as being nationally recognized for his expertise in First Nations mental health and substance use, Christopher is an assistant professor with Lakehead University’s Psychology department and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

Christopher is Ojibway, and a member of Pays Plat First Nation. He grew up in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, where he saw how gaps in health care services and supports compromised the lives of Aboriginal and rural Canadians.

This situation sparked a resolve to do something. The turning point came when Christopher was studying at Lakehead and chose a psychology course elective.

“I realized that psychology provided an opportunity to learn research and clinical skills that might be useful for First Nations peoples, and rural and remote communities,” he says. Christopher completed his Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2002 followed by a master’s in Experimental Psychology, also from Lakehead, in 2004.

He was recruited to Dalhousie University’s clinical PhD program by Canada Research Chair and Dalhousie Professor Patrick McGrath who describes Christopher as “a leader who draws people to him.” After finishing his doctorate, Christopher returned to Thunder Bay as a Lakehead faculty member.

Since 2011, Christopher has garnered more than $2,227,000 in research grants and contracts and collaborates with First Nations to create community-based solutions to complex challenges like substance use. He’s also an enthusiastic mentor to emerging researchers.

Christopher earned the prestigious 2013 President’s New Researcher Award from the Canadian Psychological Association for his exceptional contributions. He’s been appointed to First Nations mental health and addictions advisory boards as well as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health.

Although Christopher Mushquash jokes that it’s easy to have a good work/life balance when your work is your life, he and his wife, Dr. Aislin Mushquash, a fellow psychologist, recharge themselves by spending time outdoors.