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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Serene Kerpan

Assistant Professor

Faculty of Health Sciences

My research focuses on the health and educational success of children and youth through the promotion of physical activity. Specifically, I investigate how physical activity impacts mental health and learning. Through community-engaged scholarship I cultivate strong relationships with Indigenous schools and communities to investigate the effect of physical activity on the well-being of Indigenous children and youth.

Contact information

North Oshawa
2000 Simcoe Street North
Oshawa, ON L1G 0C5

905.721.8668 ext. 2961

Research topics

  • Physical activity and learning
  • physical activity and mental health
  • school-based physical activity
  • Indigenous health
  • Indigenous physical activity
  • community-engaged research

Research and expertise

  • Background and interests

    My most recent projects bring together research on physical activity, learning, and mental health with community-engaged Indigenous health research. Most recently, during my post-doctoral fellowship, I conducted research examining the impact of physical activity on the mental well-being of Indigenous children and youth through community-based research. Prior to this, I conducted a mixed-methods, participatory action research project that explored how physical activity affected on-task behaviour for Indigenous elementary school children.

  • Publications

    For a comprehensive list of publications, please visit Research Gate.

    Kerpan S., Humbert L. (2016) Playing Together: The Physical Activity Beliefs and Behaviors of Urban Aboriginal Youth. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 12(10), 1409-1413.

    Kerpan S., Humbert L. (2015) Determinants of Diet for Urban Aboriginal Youth. Health Promotion Practice, 16(3), 392-400.

    Kerpan S., Humbert, L. (2015). The Effects of Integrated Classroom-Based Physical Activity on On-Task Behavior for Aboriginal Children in Grade Four & Grade Five. Journal of Exercise, Movement, and Sport, 47(1).

    West, K., Henderson, A., Kawalilak, C., Ferguson, L., Krushelinski, C., Morris, E., Neumann-Boxer E., Smyth S. (2013) Difficult … But Worthwhile: Teaching Portfolios and Graduate Student Professional Development. Studies in Graduate and Professional Student Development: Context and Content in the Preparation of Future Faculty. New Forums Press.

  • Courses taught

    Undergraduate level:

    • Contemporary Health Issues
    • Health and Indigenous People in Canada (winter 2018)
    • Health Aspects of Physical Activity
    • Social Behavioural Foundations of Physical Activity
  • Grants
    • Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
      • 2016, $100,000         
    • Canadian Institutes of Health Research Doctoral Research Award
      • 2014, $108,000
    • Indigenous Peoples Health Research Centre
      • 2012, $21,000
    • Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Frederick Banting & Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship
      • 2009, $17,500
  • Education
    • PhD: the University of Saskatchewan, College of Kinesiology
    • Postdoctoral Fellowship: the University of Saskatchewan, College of Medicine, Community Health and Epidemiology