Kidney disease has a strong impact on the health and wellness of Indigenous communities, and it is crucially important that we work to eliminate gaps in kidney health based on culture and geography.
Our research program includes three projects focused on developing and executing culturally appropriate research that will keep kidneys healthy and reassure communities and families about kidney wellness.
In addition to the research projects above, we are committed to building respectful partnerships with Indigenous peoples and communities. One of the key activities in this area is the development of a new training platform, Wabishki Bizhiko Skaanj, that will help researchers and patient partners enhance their knowledge and awareness of Indigenous voices and stories, racial biases, the impact of colonization on Indigenous health, and culturally safe health research practices.
Wabishki Bizhiko Skaanj is a learning pathway that builds on existing resources such as San’yas, Tri-Council Policy Statement Chapter 9, and the KAIROS Blanket Exercise to foster an understanding of the histories and cultures of Indigenous peoples. 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
- 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.