Developing wise practices for a culturally safe rapid public health response to COVID‑19 with Pikwàkanagàn First Nation
The aim of this research is to understand how the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan ways of knowing can inform public health responses at local, provincial, federal and global levels, to mitigate the negative impacts of COVID‑19 and maximize the health of Indigenous Peoples. At the time of writing this proposal, Pikwakanagan First Nation had no confirmed cases of COVID‑19 despite high prevalence of people at risk. Our team includes an Algonquin First Nations Knowledge Keeper of traditional ways of knowing and practices, a health and social services supervisor within Pikwakanagan First Nation, and an Indigenous scholar from the First Nation with expertise in public health policy and sex and gender. We are using innovative methods to identify wise practices and inform culturally safe policies, programs, infrastructures and responses that include: sharing circles, journey mapping, photography and Anishinaabe symbol-based reflection, individual interviews and consultations. To facilitate a rapid response and impact, our knowledge translation plan involves the use of short video as part of a documentary film to rapidly create and share learnings and practices with a broad and diverse audience, in addition to disseminating summaries to Indigenous health forums, provincial and national health agencies and ministries. Deliverables can inform Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments and community members re-evaluate their own disaster mitigation approaches in pandemics or for future threats.