Chris Lalonde Indigenous Wellbeing Award

Dr. Chris Lalonde was an internationally recognized scientist based in the Department of Psychology at the University of Victoria. His research focused on the role of culture in reducing suicide risk among Indigenous youth. Chris’s innovative research focused on how and why some First Nations communities had no suicides in decades, while others had disturbingly high rates. The key, his research posited, was Indigenous communities having control over their political and cultural lives.

Dr. Lalonde was also the lead investigator in developing and evaluating the LE, NOṈET project at the University of Victoria, the goal of which is to create a welcoming environment at the university for Indigenous students. Chris’s research showed that the program improved graduation rates among Indigenous students. He secured a significant amount of research funding for UVic to study this important topic, was invited to present his results widely, and promoted the adoption of such projects at other Canadian post-secondary institutions.

Chris had profound, life-long appreciation and respect for all the Indigenous communities in Canada and around the world. 

In his personal life Chris wore many hats—most of them silly: devoted husband, father, uncle, and grandfather, trivia quiz master on family Zooms, tech adviser and loyal friend. He loved: watching his beloved Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Blue Jays, billiards and Euchre, nicknames, and nonsense words. He was a masterful storyteller who delighted children. His singing voice will be deeply missed, especially around campfires in Tofino, Penetang and Quinnville. 

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