Gathering stories to inform culturally safe community strategies (CSCS) to improve trust in public health measures (PHM) in Indigenous peoples (IP) in Northwest Territories (NT)

Sharma, Sangita | $498,465

Alberta University of Alberta 2021 CIHR Operating Grant

This project will gather stories and experiences of Northwest Territories (NT) Indigenous peoples (IP; men, women, and non-binary) with COVID‑19 (C19) public health measures (PHM) and confidence in following PHM to provide culturally relevant, safe, and gender specific suggestions for increasing utilization of C19 PHM. The team is well-positioned to effectively and quickly collect these data as an extension of a CIHR-funded C19 project, which is co-led by Hotii ts’eeda SPOR Unit in NT, partnered with 10 NT communities, and guided by a Community Advisory Board (CAB), that includes Elders and youth. Using a community based approach and Indigenous methodologies (e.g. storytelling), we will recruit 200 IP for one-on-one open-ended interviews to: 1. Gather stories from IP on experience with PHM and healthcare services and confidence in following PHM (e.g. social gathering restrictions, travel restrictions) and how this differentiates by gender; 2. Identify the barriers to and opportunities for improving confidence in PHM and safety measures; 3. Document recommendations from IP to inform culturally safe community strategies to increase the following of C19 PHM; and 4. Disseminate findings to communities, governments, Indigenous governments and organizations, international Indigenous partners utilizing an Integrated Knowledge Translation approach. We will contribute to local capacity building, employment, and sustainability by hiring community research assistants to recruit and host interviews. Data will be analyzed qualitatively using a narrative approach guided by the CAB. The team is comprised of Indigenous researchers, NT public health policymakers, specialists/experts (qualitative research, C19 pandemic research) and international and national collaborators/advisory board members, and therefore results will be relevant for Indigenous Arctic communities at the community, regional, territorial, national and international levels.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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