Water Economics, Policy and Governance Network (WEPGN)
Associate Professor, School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Lalita Bharadwaj is committed to finding solutions and understanding issues associated with inequitable access, supply and provision of safe sustainable drinking water supplies for First Nations, rural and remote Saskatchewan communities. Through her community-based participatory research activities she has provided learning opportunities for university and local students, facilitated regional, national and international interdisciplinary research collaborations and has provided opportunities to build research capacity at the local and university level.
Lalita Bharadwaj is a Toxicologist at the University of Saskatchewan with expertise in human and environmental health risk assessment and community-based participatory research involving Indigenous communities both regionally and globally. Dr. Bharadwaj has performed numerous human and environmental risk assessments on brownfield sites, impacted by creosote, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and heavy metals.
Dr. Bharadwaj strives to be a university leader in community-based participatory research with Saskatchewan Aboriginal communities. Over the past 10 years she has carefully established a working relationship and partnership with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, building strong ties, trust, cooperation and mutual respect using a participatory community approach to her research on water and health. In partnership with her community colleagues she has developed novel community-based research approaches “Science in a Circle”, where indigenous and western scientific knowledge is shared, student mentorship across all levels of education, age and status in the community is promoted, community capacity for research is built and long-lasting “Community Links” among researchers and community members are established. Her participatory community approach has extended to global contributions. She has worked in two different areas in Peru, Chachapoyas and Huaraz, where she fostered collaborative research and knowledge-sharing between sectors of government, health, education, non-profit organization, academics and Indigenous communities on issues of water supply, quality and policy. Both projects depend on community involvement, something at which she excels.