Skip to main content
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 Photo

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

  • Indigenous child health
  • Prenatal opioid exposure
  • Community-engaged research
  • Patient oriented research
  • Implementation Science
  • School-based physical activity promotion
  • Public health

Research and expertise

  • Background and interests

    Dr. Kerpan has two primary areas of research interest:

    • Indigenous child health
    • School-based physical activity promotion

    Dr. Kerpan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sport, Health, and Physical Education & History at Vancouver Island University. She completed a Masters and Doctorate in Kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan, focusing on Indigenous child health and physical activity. She conducted her Postdoctoral Training in the Department of Community Health & Epidemiology within the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.

    Dr. Kerpan’s work focuses on community-engaged research and the integration of multiple worldviews in research. She has experience in designing and leading mixed methods projects alongside community partners. Her most recent research focuses on prenatal opioid exposure within Indigenous communities, drowning prevention and swimming promotion for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and physical activity promotion through professional development and implementation science.

  • Publications

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

    Mohammed, S., Kerpan, S., Stanyon., W., Barakat, C. (2020). Examining Constraints to Sport Participation among Immigrant Adolescent Girls who reside in the Greater Toronto Area. Archives of Health Science, 4(1), 1-13.

    Kerpan, S., Humbert, L., Abonyi, S. (2019). Perceptions of Canadian Indigenous Teachers and Students on Movement Integration in the Classroom. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 1-10. doi:10.1017/jie.2019.1

    Kerpan, S., Humbert, L., Rodgers, C. (2019). The Effects of Integrated Classroom Based Physical Activity on On-Task Behavior for Aboriginal Children in Grades Four and Five. Revue phénEPS/PHEnex Journal, 10(2).

    Kerpan, S., Humbert, L., Rodgers, C., Stoddart, A. (2019). Improving On-Task Behavior in Kindergarten and Grade One Indigenous Students with the use of Integrated Classroom Based Physical Activity. Journal of American Indian Education, 58(9).

    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:

    • Research Applications
    • Research to Practice
    • Public Health and Physical Activity
    • Health and Indigenous People in Canada 
    • Healthly and Active Living
  • Grants
    • Enhancing Learning, Well-Being, and Reducing Attrition with Physical September 2018.  Activity Cohorts: A One-Year Pilot Project. (Principal Investigator).  UOIT Student Success Initiative Fund Grant Program - $15,000
    • Sport and Successful Aging in Indigenous Older Adults (Principal Investigator). June 2018.  SSHRC Small Grants Program - $2,609
    •  Prenatal Opioid Exposure and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: A Research January 2018. Project with Indigenous Peoples in Ontario First Nations (Principal Investigator).  CHILD-BRIGHT Network - $319,233
    • Bringing Together Physical Activity and Culture to Promote Mental Health for July 2016. Indigenous Youth (Principal Investigator). Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship - $100,000
  • Education
    • PhD: the University of Saskatchewan, College of Kinesiology
    • Postdoctoral Fellowship: the University of Saskatchewan, College of Medicine, Community Health and Epidemiology