How Indigenous communities in Quebec responded to COVID-19: A synthesis of community-level asset mobilization during the first wave of the pandemic
With the arrival of COVID‑19 Indigenous communities in Quebec moved quickly to protect the health and wellbeing of their people. Individuals, community organizations, informal and non-health institutions have initiated numerous activities with the intention of protecting people from infection and mitigating the unintended impacts of public health measures on other health determinants. At writing, the incidence of C-19 in the First Nations and Inuit communities in roughly 20 times less than that of the province at large. Community mobilisation is an important yet understudied aspect of this remarkable success. This knowledge synthesis and translation project builds on preliminary work documenting the mobilization of community-level assets in defence of health. Using social media and other web sources, we have catalogued instances of community asset mobilization by the 55 indigenous communities in the province between March 1 and July 31, 2020. A geo-referenced archive of all instances – over 1500 at present – is nearing completion. The aim of our proposed knowledge synthesis project is to engage representatives of each of the 10 First Nations and the Inuit communities of Quebec in a collaborative analysis of the data gathered. The analysis will focus on creating Knowledge Translation products and processes that can integrate into future epidemic and disaster planning efforts. This project will broaden the understanding of Indigenous community-level response to pandemic disease threat in several ways and contribute to: 1) optimizing disease containment strategies, 2) facilitating effective public health interventions, 3) recognizing and valuing citizen engagement, 4) deepening the understanding of community resilience and 5) mitigating the unintended effects of the COVID‑19 response on other determinants of health.