Alt tag
James Waldram (left) and cultural interpreter Tomas Caal (centre) interview Q'eqchi' Mayan healer Francisco Caal in southern Belize as part of a documentary film. (Submitted photo)

U of S anthropologist shortlisted for SSHRC Impact Award

James Waldram (Department of Archaeology and Anthropology) is one of three finalists for the $50,000 award


College of Arts & Science medical and psychological anthropologist James Waldram has made the shortlist for the 2016 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Impact Awards.

James Waldram
James Waldram (photo by David Stobbe)

Waldram is one of three finalists for the $50,000 SSHRC Insight Award, which is given to an individual or team whose SSHRC-funded project has resulted in significant contributions to knowledge and understanding about people, societies and the world.

The professor in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology is being recognized for his ongoing work with the Q’eqchi’ Maya of southern Belize and for his overall career achievements.

“Prof. Waldram has done outstanding work in advancing understanding of Indigenous health and healing in Canada and Belize,” said University of Saskatchewan Vice-President Research Karen Chad. “He has made exceptional contributions through community-based research to his discipline, to student training, to policy development, and mostly importantly, to the communities with whom he partners. Being named to the shortlist for this distinction is a testament to the high regard in which he is held by his peers and partners.”

Waldram has spent more than a decade travelling to Central America each year to live with the Indigenous Q’eqchi’ people of Belize and study their traditional healing practices, some of which date back thousands of years.

Waldram’s work, which has included producing a 45-minute documentary and an information booklet distributed in the Central American country, has helped the Maya Healers Association of Belize share its knowledge with the government and the medical community in Belize in order to gain wider acceptance for the healers’ traditional knowledge, practices and methods.

The winners in each Impact Awards category—as well as the overall gold medal recipient—will be presented with their awards in Ottawa on Nov. 22, 2016.

One of the leading Canadian researchers in his field, Waldram received the U of S Distinguished Researcher Award in 2013 and was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2014.

Related Articles

A golden retriever provided comfort and calm to gymnasts at the Olympic trials. How pet therapy works.

USask's Dr. Colleen Dell (PhD) discusses the benefits of interacting with dogs

Q&A with Saskatchewan's longest serving woman parliamentarian

Pat Atkinson (BA’73, BEd’77) has been selected as an Alumni of Influence Award recipient

Outstanding faculty member, graduate receive Women of Distinction Awards

Retired USask faculty member Dr. Lesley Biggs (PhD) and graduate Tasnim Jaisee (BA’24, BA'24, CQGS’24) were named as recipients