Picture of Dr. Barb Fornssler

Dr. Barb Fornssler Assistant Professor

Select Presentations

CBC Radio Interview  Aired: Jan. 22, 2024
Saskatchewan provided clean pipes to drug users nearly six years ago. It was meant to help injection drug users transition away from using needles to the safer method of smoking. But that practice is no more. Saskatchewan will end the distribution of clean pipes. We talked to Barabara Fornssler a University of Saskatchewan professor from the School of Public Health. She researches substance use and harm reduction.
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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.

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.