Noochokooyishi Anavaan (The Ways Forward): An equity-focused approach on the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic and perspectives on future pandemic responses among Métis in Alberta

Ospina, Maria B | $244,000

Alberta University of Alberta 2021 CIHR Operating Grant

The COVID‑19 pandemic has affected people around the world. Yet, the problems of the COVID‑19 pandemic are not equal for all. The pandemic has affected Indigenous peoples and increased their risk for poor health. Colonialism has played an important role on COVID‑19 consequences among Indigenous people. In particular, we do not know much about Metis experiences during the covid-19 pandemic. The Metis Nation of Alberta (MNA) in collaboration with academic allies conducted the first study in Canada (Misi Yehewin (“big breath” in Michif) to evaluate physical, mental health and well-being among ~1,500 Metis Albertans aged 16 years and older at different stages of the COVID‑19 pandemic. The proposed study, Noochokooyishi Anavaan (“the ways forward” in Michif), aims to explore risk and resilience factors associated with Metis health, well-being, and health care use during the pandemic and before and after COVID‑19 vaccination. The study will also hold community gatherings to understand the experiences of Metis Albertans during the pandemic and will reach consensus among Metis knowledge holders responsible for decisions related to the MNA’s responses to pandemics that are responsive to the lived realities of Metis people in Alberta and supportive of Metis’ self-determination. This research will inform the design and adoption of culturally appropriate pandemic response plans that consider Metis health and well-being needs.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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