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USask places Dr. Carrie Bourassa on administrative leave

The University of Saskatchewan. File Photo/Global News

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) has placed one of its professors on administrative leave after information about her ancestry came to light.

The institution is conducting an investigation into Dr. Carrie Bourassa’s comments in regards to the harm it may have caused Indigenous individuals or communities.

Read more: USask community health professor’s claims of Indigenous ancestry questioned

Bourassa was the subject of a CBC investigation looking into her ancestry.

The community health and epidemiology professor has self-identified as someone with Métis heritage, but the investigation went through Bourassa’s family history tracing her great-grandparents as Czech-speaking Russians who settled in Punnichy.

On Nov. 1, the university’s provost and vice-president of academic said it has serious concerns with the additional information revealed in her responses to the media.

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“Bourassa will not return to any faculty duties during this investigation. The university is committed to expediting the investigation process. USask continues to be a part of larger conversations happening across Canada as they relate to Indigenous identity and hiring processes for positions specifically recruiting those with Indigenous ancestry,” Airini said.

Read more: ‘Raise the bar’: Researcher hopes COVID-19 means new policies for Canada’s Indigenous

This comes after the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) announced Bourassa would be stepping away from her roles there.

Bourassa was the scientific director of CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health.

Global News asked Bourassa for an interview, but she declined.

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