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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Health Sciences students’ video project shines at national competition

Fourth-year Health Sciences (Public Health specialization) students Nivaashinyi Srisakthivel (left) and Catarina Bray (right) were national runners-up in the EduTOX Video Challenge for their video Lead Exposure in the Environment and Human Health Effects.
Fourth-year Health Sciences (Public Health specialization) students Nivaashinyi Srisakthivel (left) and Catarina Bray (right) were national runners-up in the EduTOX Video Challenge for their video Lead Exposure in the Environment and Human Health Effects.

What began as a course assignment for two University of Ontario Institute of Technology students ended with recognition in the national spotlight.

Fourth-year Health Sciences (Public Health specialization) students Nivaashinyi Srisakthivel and Catarina Bray (class of 2018) teamed up to produce a video for their Environmental and Occupational Health course. Their task was to select a primary or secondary environmental exposure (such as toxic metal hazards) associated with health effects in a workplace setting.

Impressed with the final production of their video, Lead Exposure in the Environment and Human Health Effects, their professor, Caroline Barakat-Haddad, PhD, encouraged them to enter their work in a national student-made video contest. The EduTOX Video Challenge promotes public awareness on harmful toxins, climate change and associated health risks.

“Lead is one of the most common naturally occurring environmental toxins, exposed through drinking water, air, food, soil, dust and consumer products like cosmetics,” explain Srisakthivel and Bray. “Lead’s harmful human health effects are associated with cardiovascular issues, fertility and neurodevelopment problems, among many others.”

Lead Exposure in the Environment and Human Health Effects captured the runner-up prize for excellence in scientific accuracy, educational value as well as relevance to EduTOX’s objectives.

“This course and experiential learning activity equips students with the skills to critically examine how various environmental risk factors affect health outcomes,” says Dr. Barakat-Haddad. “I am proud of the submissions of all my students and the success Nivaashinyi and Catarina achieved in light of a record number of national EduTOX submissions this year.”