Can-SOLVE CKD and Diabetes Action Canada are partnering to create a new training platform that will help researchers and patient partners build respectful partnerships with Indigenous peoples.
Wabishki Bizhiko Skaanj (wah-bish-kih biish-ih-goo skaa-nch) is a learning pathway that aims to enhance researchers’ knowledge and awareness of racial biases, Indigenous voices and stories, the impact of colonization on Indigenous health, and culturally safe health research practices. Existing resources such as San’yas, Tri-Council Policy Statement Chapter 9, and the KAIROS Blanket Exercise will form foundational elements of the pathway. Participants may complete one or more components of the pathway depending on their learning needs and ability. Self-reflection will be a critical part of each component.
The objectives of Wabishki Bizhiko Skaanj are closely aligned with those of the Can-SOLVE CKD Network. Participants are encouraged to look, listen, learn, and lead their way along the pathway:
Looking: Look within to observe and examine racial identities, privileges, and biases
Listening: Listen to Indigenous voices and stories by participating in interactive learning exercises, facilitated online modules and webinars
Learning: Enhance knowledge of the history of colonization in Canada and its impacts on Indigenous peoples and their health
Leading: Reflect on the learning and commit to taking appropriate actions in building genuine partnerships with Indigenous peoples and communities in the spirit of reconciliation.
The Can-SOLVE CKD Indigenous Peoples’ Engagement and Research Council (IPERC) has commissioned a working group to develop the pathway’s content and oversee its roll-out. The working group is led by Helen Robinson-Settee and includes members of the Can-SOLVE CKD Network, Diabetes Action Canada, First Nations Health Authority (BC), and Provincial Health Services Authority (BC) Indigenous Health.
Wabishki Bizhiko Skaanj – White Horse
The name and identity for Wabishki Bizhiko Skaanj were given by Anishinaabe Elder Dan Thomas at a pipe ceremony in March 2018. The name means “White Horse” in Anishinaabemowin. Along with the name, Elder Dan gave four colours for the learning pathway: white, blue, red, and yellow.
The name Wabishki Bizhiko Skaanj was formally revealed at the Can-SOLVE CKD Annual Meeting on May 5. IPERC co-chair Helen Robinson-Settee presented the learning pathway to Patient Council members and shared the story of how the pathway’s name came to Elder Dan.