Picture of Dr. Barb Fornssler

Dr. Barb Fornssler Assistant Professor

Research Areas

substance use, harm reduction, decriminalization, research-creation methods, intercultural communications, philosophies of technology, gender and health.

Current Research

Principal Investigator - Perspectives, Pathways and Priorities of People with Lived and Living Experience of Substance Use: Informing Policies  (Website: https://p5projectyxe.ca/)
Knowledge Translation and Exchange - Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairie Node. (Website: https://crismprairies.ca/)

Current Courses

PUBH 847 'Studies in Addictions'

Recent Grants and Awards

Principal Investigator

2023-24 Mobilize Grant, Call #1 - $10,000
Conscientious Conversations: A Community-Based Knowledge Mobilization Effort for Service Providers Offering Harm Reduction Supports in the City of Regina

Stakeholder and Patient Engagement Application Development Award - $3,000
Saskatchewan Centre for Patient Oriented Research, Learning Health Systems (LHS) Expression of Interest. (*Accepted for full application, due September 15 2022).
Project Title: Reducing the harms of health data gaps: Pilot for substance use data synthesis. 
Grant timeline: May 2022 – September 2022 

Node Development Fund - $15,000 
Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairie Node 
Project Title: Substance Use Research Group for Engagement (SURGE) Student Training Module.  
Grant timeline: August 2020 – December 2020 

SPROUT Grant Competition - $180,000 
Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation & SK Centre for Patient Oriented Research  
Project Title: Perspectives Priorities and Pathways of people with lived and living experience of substance use: Informing policies.www.p5projectyxe.ca 
Grant timeline: March 2020 – February 2023     


Research Connections Grant – $4,200, In collaboration with PI, Dr. K. Alphonsus 
Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation 
Project Title: Spreading awareness on prescription drug misuse among older adults in Saskatchewan 
Grant timeline: March 2022 – March 2023 

Solutions Impact Grant - $150,000, In collaboration with PI, Dr. C. Plante
Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation 
Project Title: Emergency Department Visits for Substance Addiction and Their Consequences: A Saskatchewan Population-based Retrospective Cohort Study. 
Grant timeline: March 2022 – February 2024             

Innovation Grant - $50,000, In collaboration with PI, Dr. S. Tupper
Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation & SK Centre for Patient Oriented Research  
Project title: Solutions-focused storytelling to promote people-centered care: challenging stigma in chronic pain and substance use through graphic medicine. 
Grant timeline: March 2022 - February 2023 

Node Development Fund - $15,000, In collaboration with PI, Dr. K. Alphonsus 
Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairie Node 
Project Title: Sociodemographic factors associated with prescription drug misuse among older adults in Saskatchewan.  
Grant timeline: October 2020 – October 2021 

Select Publications

Hanson, L., Fornssler, B. (2022). Decriminalization in the City of Saskatoon: Moving forward from evidence and lessons learned. Report prepared for the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners & City of Saskatoon. 40p Available online: https://p5projectyxe.ca/project-resources/


Fornssler, B & P5 Project Team. (2021). A Guide to Hope and Healing: Substance Use Services in Saskatchewan.An environmental scan of harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services in Saskatchewan. Available online:https://p5projectyxe.ca/project-resources/


Fornssler, B., Hall, L., Dell, C., Mushquash, C., Duncan, R., Butt, P., Hopkins, C., Poole, N., Menzies, P., Rowan, M., Dell, D., Martin, M., Mykota, D., & Fiedeldey-Van Dijk, C. (2018). Travelling the Möbius Strip: The Influence of Two-Eyed Seeing in the Development of Indigenous Research Accomplices. In R. Henry, A. LaVallee, N. Van Syvendale, & R.A. Innes (Eds.), Global Indigenous Health: Reconciling the past, engaging the present, animating the future. University of Arizona Press: Tucson


McKenzie, H., Dell, C.A., Fornssler, B. (2016). Understanding addictions among Indigenous people through social determinants of health frameworks and strength-based approaches: A review of the research literature from 2013 to 2016. Current Addiction Reports (pp. 1-9) doi:10.1007/s40429-016-0116-9


Fornssler, B., Hopkins, C., Dell, C.A., (2015) Sharing Culture, Promoting Strength: The Native Wellness Assessment™ AFN Mental Wellness Bulletin Fall. Available online: http://health.afn.ca/en/highlights/general/afn-mental-wellness-bulletin-fall-2015 


Hall, L., Dell, C.A., Fornssler, B., Hopkins, C., Mushquash, C., Rowan, M.  (2015).  Research as Cultural Renewal: Applying Two-Eyed Seeing in a Research Project about Cultural Interventions in First Nations Addictions Treatment. International Indigenous Policy Journal 6 (2). DOI: 10.18584/iipj.2015.6.2.4
Available from: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/iipj/vol6/iss2/4


Fornssler, B., McKenzie, H., Dell, C.A. Laliberte, L., Hopkins, C. (2013). “I got to know them in a new way”: Rela(y/t)ing rhizomes and community-based knowledge (brokers') transformation of Western and Indigenous knowledge. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies doi 10.1177/1532708613516428 Available online:http://csc.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/12/27/1532708613516428


Vannini, A. & Fornssler, B. (2011). Girl, Interrupted: Interpreting Semenya’s Body, Gender Verification Testing, and Public Discourse. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies 11(3), 243-257. doi: 10.1177/1532708611409536


Fornssler, B. (2011). The Cyborg Affect: Encountering via Switch. eTOPIA: Intersections Conference Journal 2010. Eds. Paul Couillard & Sara Martel. York University: Toronto, Ontario. Available online: https://etopia.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/etopia/article/view/36562


Fornssler, B. (2010). Affective Cyborgs. In Cardenas, M. / Fornssler, B. (Auths.). Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs.New York: ATROPOS Press.


Select Presentations

10th Annual Global Health Conference: Substance Use and Harm Reduction University of Saskatchewan. January 15, 2022. Invited Keynote: “Belonging is Harm Reduction: Innovative KTE partnerships for community building, policy advocacy, and resource awareness with P5 Project YXE and Hard Knox Talks”  In collaboration with Mr. Daniel Hearn & Ms. Maggie Coupland. 


Division of Social Accountability, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. June 5, 2020. Invited Presentation:“COVID-19 and Harm Reduction” (Webinar) Presented in collaboration with Kayla DeMong, Executive Director Prairie Harm Reduction.


Graduate Students Association Conference, University of Saskatchewan. February 13, 2020. Invited Keynote: “How community-based research can mobilize advocacy and policy change to reduce the harms of problematic substance use”


Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, Issues of Substance 2019 (November 25-27) Panel Presentation: “Academia in Action: How Research led to Renewed Community Advocacy Efforts for Safe Consumption Sites in Saskatoon Saskatchewan” Co-Presented with Maryellen Gibson MPH, Harm Reduction Programs Specialist.


 Stimulus: Drugs Policy and Practice in Canada 2018 (October 3-5) Workshop Presentation: “Realizing the potential of lived experience: Knowledge sharing and curricular change” Co-presented with Brandi Abele, Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs.


HR17: Harm Reduction International 2017 (May 14-17). Poster Presentation: “Strengthening inclusion and advocacy: the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM)


Project Anywhere: Art at the Outermost Limits of Location-Specificity 2014 (November 14 & 15). Invited presentation: “Channel Surf: Ethical Gestures and Conditions of Possibility for Research-Creation”  Co-presented

with Dr. Sean Smith & Department of Biological Flow.