Community-Based Research Associates (CRAs)

The AHA Centre supports eight regional, part time Community Research Associate (CRA) positions across Canada in order to help facilitate building an on-the-ground presence for the AHA Centre across the country. Each CRA is hosted by an Aboriginal AIDS Service Organization (AASO) in their region. Host organizations offer the CRAs a workplace home, including access to computers and office equipment, and community connections. It is important to note that each CRA works in service to the communities, AASOs, students and academics in their region on behalf of the AHA Centre. CRAs undertake regional, provincial/territorial capacity building activities such as:

  • Assist with community mobilization and consultation and collaborative research planning;
  • Connecting academics, Aboriginal AIDS Service Organizations, students etc in each region;
  • CBR 101 workshops;
  • Help with finding national and regional research funding;
  • CBR grants-crafting workshops;
  • Aboriginal research ethics;
  • Innovative western and Aboriginal knowledge translation strategies;
  • Influencing policy through research.

Meet the AHA Centre’s Community-Research Associates:

CRA-Melissa Melissa Santoro Greyeyes-Brant – Inuit Territory

Melissa has travelled across the four Inuit regions- Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, Nunavut and Inuvialuit- engaged in community based work while working with Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada; the National voice for Inuit women. Melissa first worked as a Project Officer in Health Programs and Policy before becoming Manager of Social and Economic Development. She was a Masters Candidate in the school of Canadian Studies at Carleton University. Melissa brings with her a wealth of experience conducting research, community-based projects, advocacy and social justice with both Inuit and First Nations communities at the community, regional, and national level.

CRA-Patrick Patrick Brownlee – Atlantic

Patrick has worked with the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network since February 2008 in various roles. In 2010, he relocated his family to the Policy and Research office in Dartmouth, NS to become Executive Research Assistant where he works closely with the CAAN membership. Patrick sits on various steering committees for CAAN’s events and is a coordinator for the Stable Homes Strong Families project. Patrick has a certificate from the Community Social Services Program offered at the Herzing Institute in Ottawa, Ontario.

CRA-Renee Renée Monchalin – Ontario

Renée is a mix of Algonquin, Métis, and Huron Nations, and is from Fort Erie, Ontario. She recently has just graduated from Brock University with a Bachelor of Public Health, and is currently at York University perusing a Master’s of Environmental Studies. Renee has a passion for HIV prevention and health promotion within her urban Native community, and is involved in several initiatives at the community level and in academia.

CRA-Jaqueline Jaqueline Anaquod – Saskatchewan

Jaqueline is a Cree and Saulteaux woman from the Treaty No. 4 territory. She is completing her Bachelor of Health Studies at the First Nations University of Canada with a concentration in Indigenous health. As a matriarch, she has a strong commitment to the preservation and revitalization of her Cree culture, traditions and language. Jaqueline’s passion is researching ways to incorporate Indigenous values and knowledge into Western health care services and systems. Jaqueline works to further the advancement of Indigenous people in health and education through activism and advocacy work locally, nationally, and globally. She credits her knowledge keepers and mentors for their support and guidance on her education journey.

CRA-Jessica Jessica Daniels – Alberta

Jessica is Cree Métis from Edmonton, Alberta. She studied political science and philosophy at the University of Alberta in the Bachelor of Arts Program as well as a Business Administration at NAIT. She has worked in HIV for over a decade at the local, provincial, and national level as a researcher, front-line worker, manager, and policy analyst. Her other passions include beading, dance, music, travel, and spending time with friends and family.


CRAs are currently working in the following regions:

• Alberta: Shining Mountains Living Community Services (, Red Deer

• Saskatchewan: All Nations Hope (, Regina

• Inuit territory: Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, (, Ottawa;

• Ontario: 2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations, (, Toronto.

• Atlantic: CAAN – Research and Policy Unit, (, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

CAAN is currently under construction. Please check back soon for updates.