An Environmental Scan of Service Adaptations in Community-Based Harm Reduction Services for Indigenous Peoples in Response to the COVID‑19 Pandemic
INTRODUCTION: The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) and the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation (DPAF) are partnering to propose a real-time, knowledge synthesis environmental scan of Indigenous and non-Indigenous harm reduction organizations across Canada to identify: 1) How harm reduction programming for Indigenous people has been impacted by the COVID‑19 pandemic, 2) how such programs have adapted in response to the pandemic, and 3) what knowledge translation resources could help address gaps in services resulting from the COVID‑19 impact on harm reduction programming. This scan will result in the co-creation of wise practices for culturally responsive Indigenous harm reduction services which will support harm reduction organizations in sustaining and improving the ways that they deliver harm reduction services to their Indigenous clients. METHODS: The methodology of this environmental scan is guided by several core foundations of Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Doing, OCAP, Two-Eyed Seeing, and Ermine’s ‘ethical space of engagement.’ This environmental scan – using a strengths-based, trauma-informed, culturally responsive, and asset-mapping approach – will include published and grey literature, as well as sharing circles and interviews with key informants representing harm reduction organizations. The research team of experts in harm reduction, knowledge translation, and Indigenous epistemologies will ensure that this project proceeds from an Indigenous research epistemology in accordance with CIHR’s definition of Indigenous Health Research and Meaningful and Culturally Safe Health Research. OUTCOMES: This project will create an evidence base of culturally safe harm reduction programming for Indigenous Peoples in the context of COVID-19. We will subsequently use this evidence to develop a suite of capacity-building resources for harm reduction programs and services that are grounded in Indigenous Knowledges for diverse community contexts.