Projects and Research

PEGASUS Institute seeks to develop, participate in, and create collaborations with a focus on the nexus of Global Health, Peace and Environmental Sustainability with the purpose to generate multiple forms of knowledge that lead to the achievement of social and ecological justice through action and change. Our institute seeks partnerships, collaborations and opportunities to participate in exciting, cutting-edge research projects. This encompasses research involving interdisciplinary fields, as well as comprehensive and dynamic research topics that reflect local realities, some having a global dimension and usefulness in scaling up and adapting approaches.   

We hope to be a facilitator of community-based research and harness research resources by building relationships and creating a solid network of academic institutions, community organizations, donors, philanthropists, policymakers, communities and individuals who wish to address global health, peace and environmental challenges and achieve positive impacts for the benefit of health for communities and the environment. We aim to engage a wide variety of diverse research partners and those who hold multiple forms of knowledge in collaborative research initiatives that contribute to formative change and impact the wider community through applied and community-based research. Through our participation in collaborative research initiatives, we hope to generate evidence that is timely, robust and sufficient for informing policy and practice. Through such initiatives we also seek to advance social and environmental innovation, expand knowledge equity and co-create knowledge that creates positive change for the health and wellness of both humans and the environment.

In our research endeavours and in all the work that we do, PEGASUS Institute values multiple forms of knowledge, including Indigenous knowledge, academic knowledge and knowledge gained through lived experience. Thus, we validate multiple sources of knowledge and promote the use of multiple methods of discovery, inquiry and investigation as well as various methods of dissemination of the knowledge produced.

If your community, institution or organization is looking to collaborate and work with PEGASUS Institute on harnessing the resources of communities, donors and policy makers, academic institutions to address multifaceted and complex global health issues in the health, peace, and environmental realms that require multi-sector approaches and solutions, please contact us at

Current Projects and Research

Addressing Policing, Mental Health and Violence with Indigenous-Led Policing Initiatives

Academic Leads: Eliana Barrios Suarez (Waterloo), Matthew Torigian (Munk School of Global Affairs, UofT), Dorothy Larkman (Nipissing), Neil Arya (Waterloo, PEGASUS Institute)

Co-Leads/ Participants: Norm Taylor (Journal of Community Safety and Wellbeing, Melissa Whaling (PEGASUS Institute)

Summary: Following a PEGASUS Institute Roundtable on Policing, Mental Health and Violence academics, those impacted by police violence, global health/ public health experts and those interested in police reform, equity, justice, diversity, and inclusion expressed a desire to continue the conversation and develop a research project involving policing, mental health and violence and the impacts on Indigenous communities. As anecdotally, some representatives of various Indigenous communities noted clear differences in situations regarding violence between Indigenous-Led Policing Initiatives and general policing incidents, indicating that Indigenous-Led incidents often had fewer incidents of escalation and thus police resorting violent means, especially when involving persons with mental illness. This project is set out to be a multi-year, multi-layer project that 1. Investigates the differences in incidents of violence between regular policing interactions and Indigenous-Led policing involving people with mental illness, including differences in knowledge, attitudes, values and approaches. 2. Examines existing community strengths, Indigenous methods and approaches to enhance community well-being and safety and 3. Explores the most optimal methods for addressing inherently complex health and social challenges using effective, multi-sectoral, responsive and culturally appropriate collaborations with other sectors and within policing. 

Environmental Toxins and the Health of Racialized and other Marginalized Populations

Academic Leads: Susan Elliott (Waterloo), Dorothy Larkman (Nipissing) and Neil Arya (Waterloo, PEGASUS Institute)Co-Leads: Theresa McClenaghan (Canadian Environmental Law Association), Hannah Tait Neufeld (Waterloo), Bruce Newbold (McMaster), Melissa Whaling (PEGASUS Institute) Isaac Luginaah (Western University), Ketan Shankardass (Wilfrid Laurier University), 

Possible Participants: Mary-Louise McAllister (Waterloo), Barbara Birkett (IPPNWC), Sanjay Govindaraj (Director of Indigenous Initiatives, Anti-Racism, Accessibility and Equity, City of Waterloo), Shawna O’Hearn (Director of Global Health, Dalhousie), Jacqueline Wilson (Canadian Environmental Law Association), Don Sutherland (PEGASUS Institute Board), Stephanie Rosen or Manvi Bhalla (Shake up the Establishment), Ingrid Waldron (Dalhousie, McMaster, founder and Executive Director of the ENRICH Project)

Summary: This project stems from the on-going work of a working group called “Making the Links” which is a group of service providers, NGOs, citizens groups, academic partners, civil society organizations, clinics, legal representatives and others who seek to collectively address policy and practice relating to inequitable exposure to environmental toxins among racialized and other marginalized populations.  After numerous meetings with this group and others over the last decade culminating with a formal Roundtable discussion that was hosted by PEGASUS Institute, participants indicated an expressed need and desire for a central open access community repository of information on inequitable exposure to environmental toxins among racialized and other marginalized populations including a list of community resources, toolkits, contacts, working partners, research, data, and steps individuals and communities can take in addressing such challenges in their own communities. The aim of the project is to develop and provide an information repository related to environmental exposures, inequities and impacts on communities that can be utilized as an important resource and tool for communities, experts, academics and the general public to access data, information, and resources that can assist them in taking action to influence policy and practice. 

NOTE: Depending on the partners involved, communication strategies among partners, the development of papers and academic outputs can also be developed. 


In addition to the aforementioned projects, PEGASUS Institute is in the midst of developing other specific projects and outputs as our partnerships and networks grow and as emerging challenges call for innovative and holistic solutions. This includes mentorship of students and young professionals in global health through our lens, mentorship of professionals engaged in international work, projects such as Peace and Health for Afghan Populations in Canada and Afghanistan – Policy and Practice; information sharing on COVID vaccine accessibility; mobilization regarding Sustainability in Healthcare and Other Sectors (greening health care); The development of a Francophone/ African network; Indigenous communities and the impacts of climate change; and migrant issues to name a few.  

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