Seeking Models for Aboriginal Health Human Resource Planning (SMAHHRP)
A research initiative led by the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan is joining forces with the aboriginal community and health agencies to find ways to put more aboriginal doctors and nurses into Saskatchewan communities.
With an investment of more than $295,000 over four years from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the researchers will address aboriginal health issues by creating strategies and models that allow communities to build human resources capacity.
"We know that the availability of nurses and physicians has a large impact on the health of a population," says Eber Hampton, professor and executive-in residence in the U of R Faculty of Business Administration. "We also know the health of aboriginal populations is below the standard of the rest of the Saskatchewan community. We believe that by working closely with aboriginal communities and other agencies we can develop strategies to build a representative, aboriginal health care work force, capable of serving those communities in a culturally appropriate way."
Pammla Petrucka, assistant professor in the U of S College of Nursing, is co-principal investigator leading the project with Hampton. Other academic team members include Marlene Smadu and Sandra Bassendowski from the U of S College of Nursing Regina site, and Ron Camp from the U of R Faculty of Business Administration.
Community partners include the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA), which includes the Prince Albert Grand Council, Meadow Lake Tribal Council, Lac La Ronge Indian Band and Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation - between them representing more than 30 northern communities. The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations and Health Canada's First Nations Inuit Health Branch are also collaborating partners.
"Our research is unique in that it works closely with NITHA at all stages,"Petrucka says. "It is this approach that is most likely to provide culturally appropriate and meaningful results that may help our community and other aboriginal groups address the significant need for aboriginal health providers."
Both Petrucka and Hampton are researchers with the Indigenous Peoples Health Research Centre (IPHRC), a joint initiative of the First Nations University of Canada, the U of R, and the U of S. The research team has extensive background in northern communities and aboriginal organizations. It includes experts in nursing and training of nurses, health care management and human resources management. Their work will address issues in aboriginal health human resources planning; community-based research; aboriginal career development; local health systems capacity; and building a representative workforce.
For more information, contact Eber Hampton at (306) 585-4712 or Pammla Petrucka at (306) 535-9597.
- *NEW* Larry Sanders, Research Associate, SMAHHRP/IPHRC, Presentation to National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO), National Conference, November 2009. NAHO PresentationNov 2009.pdf
Aboriginal Mentoring in Saskatoon:
A cultural perspective (2007)
Summary: Mentoring is being recognized as a significant factor in enhancing skills and interpersonal development within the workforce and the education system. In response to the significant projected growth rate of Aboriginal youth over the next 25 year in Saskatchewan, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatoon (BBBS) partnered with the Community University Institute for Social Research (CUISR) and the Indigenous Peoples' Health Research Centre (IPHRC) to examine the issue of culturally relevant mentoring for Aboriginal youth. The report discusses current approaches to mentoring from western and Aboriginal perspectives and presents the words of Elders, youth, community members, and helping professionals and their views on successful mentoring. Participants were clear that Aboriginal mentoring is needed and has to come from the Aboriginal community. These key informants made several recommendations for sound Aboriginal mentoring approaches.
Some key recommendations include:
- Partnering with existing Aboriginal programs where the Aboriginal community has input, influence, and decision making power in the mentoring program
- Mentoring training need to include cultural awareness. Elder involvement is crucial.
- Mentoring program development and evaluation needs to be conducted by Aboriginal people and include Elders in the process. Programming needs to be culturally based and provide cultural activites, such as cultural camps.
- Within the mentoring relationship, trust needs time to develop. The youth identified that the mentor needs to have a non-judgmental attitude and be more of a “friend” than a “mentor”, as they felt the term mentor indicated positions of power.
The findings of this research study emphasize the importance of including the Aboriginal community in all areas of mentoring program design, from inception to delivery.
- View the final report - .pdf
Miyo-Mahcihowin: A report on Indigenous Health in Saskatchewan (2006)
Summary: Indigenous health in Saskatchewan is in a critical state that requires immediate and focused attention. This report validates the findings of studies such as the First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey (2002/3), the Statistical Profile on the Health of First Nations in Canada (2003), and the Saskatchewan Health Research Strategy (2004) which reflect poor conditions of Indigenous health in Canada and Saskatchewan.
Indigenous community members, health workers, academics, and researchers are at the frontlines of health in communities and are, therefore, the experts on current conditions. There is an urgent request to move from rhetoric to action, to find ways to address the issues and implement strategies that have positive, tangible outcomes for communities. The experts who were surveyed were clear that Indigenous and mainstream health research institutes, the academy, and, most importantly, the funders, need to listen and be willing to shift policies and programs to better reflect the needs and wishes of Indigenous peoples.
Sharing What We Know About Living a Good Life – Knowledge Translation Summit Report and Toolkit (2006)
Summary: Led by Indigenous peoples, the summit brought together community Elders, primary health care providers, academic and community-based health researchers, health policy makers and others to explore the concept of KT and address the following objectives:
- 1. Provide Indigenous peoples from across Canada and invited guests from the United States, New Zealand and Peru with the opportunity to define the concept of KT in their own terms and contexts.
- 2. Provide Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in leadership and research roles with an opportunity to discuss the theory, politics and practice of KT.
- 3. Discuss practical tools required to engage in KT activities at the community, regional and national levels.
- 4. Link the concept of Indigenous knowledge translation to discussions of literacy, culture and health.
Over the course of the four busy days, a set of critical, insightful questions emerged through plenary panel discussions, research project presentations, story telling, music, meals and personal reflections.
In keeping with the stated objectives of the summit, the discussions centered around definitions of KT; desired outcomes of KT activities for Indigenous communities; best practice examples of KT by/for/with Indigenous communities; partnerships and processes for KT; and future directions for knowledge translation.
- View the Final Summit Report - .pdf
Action Oriented Indicators of Health and Health Systems Development (2006)
Summary: The project team for the international research project “Action Oriented Indicators of Health and Health Systems Development for Indigenous Peoples in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand” are pleased to present the following three background papers and a Compendium of Indigenous Health Indicators in Canada.
- Canadian Background Paper
- Maori Background Paper
- Australian Background Paper
- Compendium of Indigenous Health Indicators in Canada
These papers are in PDF format and you will need adobe acrobat reader.
Kwayask Itotamowin: Indigenous Research Ethics (2005)
Summary: In the spring of 2004, the Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health (IAPH) called for input from the Aboriginal Capacity and Developmental Research Environment (ACADRE) centres in the form of literature reviews and projects that might glean information about ethics from Aboriginal communities. IPHRC responded to the call and undertook to explore the issue of Aboriginal health research ethics through a three-fold project: a literature review, a legal issues review, and a series of dialogues with the Elders in Saskatchewan.
The literature review summary highlights the findings and recommendations from the recently released The Ethics of Research with Indigenous Peoples authored by IPHRC. The legal review is intended to explore potential and emerging legal issues that arise as a result of the assertion of Indigenous ethics and culturally relevant and ethical research practices and procedures. The Elders’ dialogues summaries presented in narrative form are intended to represent the voice of the Elders in Saskatchewan on issues pertaining to community focused research and the ethics thereof.
- View the final report - .pdf
Knowledge Translation and Indigenous Knowledge Symposium (2005)
Summary: This report represents the response of IPHRC to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health (CIHR-IAPH) call for ACADRE statements on enhancing research efforts in the area of knowledge translation. Knowledge translation is understood to be a key link between academic health sciences research and improved health outcomes. The high levels of ill health among Indigenous peoples create a sense of urgency in articulating how knowledge translation links can be enhanced to positively influence health outcomes. Knowledge translation efforts to date have been aligned with mainstream approaches that either do not adapt to Indigenous community contexts or take a ‘pan-Indigenous’ approach then tends to disregard geographic, language, and cultural divides.
The IPHRC initiated a series of dialogues in the spring and summer of 2005 aimed at addressing these shortcomings in mainstream knowledge translation approaches by bringing together health practitioners, health researchers, community members, and Elders to determine what knowledge translation means from an Indigenous standpoint in Saskatchewan.
Isi-Askiwan – The State of the Land: Prince Albert Grand Council Elders’ Forum on Climate Change (2004)
Summary: The purpose of this report is to highlight the contribution of Elders and other traditional knowledge holders to the discussion of the impacts of climate change. It is argued that First Nations perspectives of the natural world can enhance western scientific research and understanding about the natural forces of climate change. It should be noted that, for the most part, the observations of the PAGC Elders reinforced, confirmed and animated scientific observations on climate change in Saskatchewan. The Elders’ forum was an appropriate and important venue for documenting this knowledge and for developing a better understanding of the relationship between healthy communities and healthy environments. Elders can bring forward the collective wisdom of countless generations living in particular geographic locations, adding considerable depth to society’s view of climate change and human adaptation.
As observed by the Elders, there is a deep connection between the health of the physical environment, and the holistic health of individuals, families and communities. Increasingly, western scientists and academics are recognizing the importance and value of the traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) held by Elders and other members of Indigenous communities. Recent initiatives in this area point to the growing need for collaboration between western scientists and Indigenous communities to understand and address climate change issues.
- View the final report - .pdf
The Ethics of Research Involving Indigenous Peoples (2004)
Summary: In the spring of 2004, the Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics (PRE) called for input in the form of literature reviews from Aboriginal research organizations across the country. IPHRC responded to the call and undertook to summarize the current state of the art in Aboriginal health research ethics. As an Indigenous, community-based health research organization with a mandate to build health research capacity in the Aboriginal community in Saskatchewan, the collective experience and knowledge of the IPHRC review team combine to provide a unique perspective of the current debate on Aboriginal research ethics.
This document is intended to inform the process of review and revision of ethical policies for research involving Aboriginal peoples and asserts a primary recommendation that the granting agencies endeavour to incorporate the notion of the ethical space as a framework for the emergence of a new paradigm for research with Aboriginal people.
The document is in two parts. The first part is the Literature Review, and the second part comprises the Appendices, which include thematic bibliographies, and an extensive annotated bibliography.