Government of Canada announces funding that promotes better health for Aboriginal Peoples

PEKEs grants will help translate research into new health benefits for First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities

OTTAWA, July 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced funding for three recipients of the Partners for Engagement and Knowledge Exchange (PEKEs) grants through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's (CIHR) Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples (or Pathways) signature initiative. The overall goal of Pathways is to promote health equity among First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in four key areas: suicide prevention, obesity and diabetes, tuberculosis, and oral health.

Through $25 million in funding support, Pathways research will create an evidence base that supports the design and implementation of health interventions in the four areas listed above. The research will also identify how these interventions can be adopted by First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities across Canada by respecting their cultures and traditional knowledge. PEKEs grant recipients will play an important role in facilitating the knowledge exchange effort between researchers and Aboriginal peoples' communities and organizations through the establishment and promotion of ongoing communication, and cultural integration activities.  

The recipients of the PEKEs funding, selected by an international peer review panel, will receive approximately $1 million a year each over a five year period. The successful recipients are:

  • National Association of Friendship Centres
  • First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba
  • Native Women's Association of Canada

Quick Facts

  • In 2012, the Government of Canada launched Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples (or Pathways) as a long-term Aboriginal health research initiative.
  • At the core of Pathways is a focus on finding ways to increase and adapt existing health research to the diverse needs of Aboriginal communities (where values, traditional knowledge, and history vary greatly).
  • Today's PEKEs grants complement the other funding components of Pathways including Implementation Research Teams (IRTs), Applied Public Health Chairs (Chairs), and Population Health Intervention Research (PHIR).

Quotes

"Our Government is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of First Nations, Métis and Inuit.  Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples ensures that the research is connected to the community to find meaningful solutions.  By funding these three recipients and their collaborators, we will help translate health information that considers traditional practices and culture."
Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

"This investment is an important step towards improving the health of Canada's indigenous populations. Pathways aims at finding new ways of implementing interventions that will help fight suicide, obesity and diabetes, tuberculosis, and oral health problems in First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. The three PEKEs recipients will facilitate this process, by ensuring that knowledge exchange between researchers and residents of these communities incorporates and respects their traditional knowledge."
Dr. Alain Beaudet
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

"The Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) is very pleased that the project submitted for funding to CIHR's Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples – Partners for Engagement and Knowledge (PEKEs) has been approved. Working in collaboration with partners and a research team, this project will, through a culturally-relevant gender based framework, explore and identify traditional and non-traditional health care models that can complement western science to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people."
Claudette Dumont-Smith
Executive Director
Native Women's Association of Canada

"The First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba (FNHSSM) (as proposed by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs), was the only regional body to be chosen as a Partners for Engagement and Knowledge Exchange (PEKEs) because of the outstanding outreach and relationships established across Canada and internationally. In collaboration with these partners, we are committed to moving from promising practices to knowledge exchange and action in communities."
Leona Star
Research Associate
Coordinator of Manitoba Regional Health Survey (RHS) &
Regional Education, Employment and Early Childhood Development Survey (REEES)
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

"This funding is an important first step in developing a better understanding about the health of the urban Aboriginal population. In an effort to ensure that research outcomes are relevant and meaningful to urban Aboriginal communities, the NAFC-PEKE will support and develop research and knowledge translation capacity among 119 geographically and culturally diverse Friendship Centres across the country."
Jeff Cyr
Executive Director of the National Association of Friendship Centres

Related Products
Backgrounder

Associated Links
Government of Canada's announcement of funding for CIHR's Pathways signature initiative
CIHR's Pathways signature initiative

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened health care system for Canadians. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 13,200 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

Backgrounder

Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples

The numerous health inequities among First Nations, Inuit and Métis and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada have been well described and are an important focus for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Poor health arises from a variety of factors including poverty, lack of education, culture loss, inadequate living conditions, exposure to trauma and violence, and lack of social support and resources. Many of these factors and conditions are particularly pronounced among Aboriginal peoples, and we must listen to and learn from their communities in order to improve things effectively.

To promote health equity among First Nations, Inuit and Métis and as part of its work to turn knowledge into improved health, CIHR has launched a signature initiative called Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples (Pathways). The overall goal of the Pathways initiative is to develop the evidence base in how to design, offer and implement programs and policies that promote health and health equity in four priority areas: suicide prevention, tuberculosis, diabetes/obesity and oral health.

Promising practices to address these health inequities are occurring today in urban settings, First Nations reserves, and Inuit and Métis communities across Canada. Through Pathways research, we will learn how best to have these promising approaches adopted by communities across the country. Through Pathways and related initiatives, CIHR and its partners will contribute to the creation of better preventive health services, and health equity for Aboriginal peoples.

Impacts of Pathways

By collaborating with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, CIHR and its partners will:

  • improve health and health equity for Aboriginal peoples in priority areas;
  • generate evidence to inform decision making;
  • advance our understanding of how to reduce health inequities and how to apply this new knowledge more broadly; and
  • increase research capacity for effective and evolving Aboriginal health programs and policies.

Partners for Engagement of Knowledge Exchange

In order to strengthen the impact of the Pathways initiative, CIHR launched its Partners for Engagement and Knowledge Exchange (PEKEs) funding opportunity. PEKEs will engage Aboriginal peoples', communities and organizations by incorporating Aboriginal voices, Ways of Knowing, and culture into the research. The PEKEs will play a central role in linking and facilitating interactions between researchers from Implementation Research Teams (IRTs) and Applied Public Health Chairs (Chairs), and Aboriginal communities. This will, in turn, help scale-up interventions that improve the health of residents in these communities.

Implementation Research Teams

Implementation Research Teams develop policies and programs that have the potential to improve health and health equity for the Aboriginal population in Pathways' four priority areas.

Applied Public Health Chairs

Applied Public Health Chairs build the knowledge base and mentoring for health interventions in Pathways' four priority areas, by considering the Aboriginal Ways of Knowing, the economics of implementing interventions in Aboriginal communities, whether the interventions are relevant to Pathways, understanding the role of gender and sex of Aboriginal men and women on health outcomes, and studying whether the interventions take into consideration Aboriginal concerns and ethics.

Population Health Intervention Research

Population Health Intervention Research evaluates the impact of health interventions regarding Pathways' four priority areas in First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, by requiring close collaboration between researchers and policy-makers. Recipients of these grants will assess what interventions will help promote health and health equity for Aboriginals on the whole.

2014 PEKEs Recipients:

Through its network of 119 Aboriginal Friendship Centres and 7 Provincial Territorial Associations, the National Association of Friendship Centre (NAFC) plan to help demonstrate the benefits of new research to Aboriginals who live in urban centres across Canada. Established in 1972, NAFC has already reached Aboriginals of all genders, sexual orientations, ages, and socio-economic backgrounds regarding various concerns (such as tobacco cessation and identity/citizenship). In order for members of this community to work effectively with non-traditional researchers/clinicians, NAFC's PEKE will ensure that new implementation activities that show the merits of research in fighting suicide, diabetes and obesity, tuberculosis and oral health, are passed along in ways that are respectful of their traditions. NAFC, which is based in Ottawa, ON, will receive $999,965 in funding support over a five year period.

First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba (FNHSSM), developed by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, will forge a solid connection between non-traditional researchers and Indigenous communities that is based on knowledge translation, exchange and action (KTEA). In collaboration with the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, Diabetes Integration Project, the University of Victoria, Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada, National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health, Saint Elizabeth, National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, Aboriginal Midwives, Manitoba Health, Public Health Agency of Canada, First Nations Inuit and Health Branch, Te Atawhai o te Ao: Independent Maori Institute for Environment and Health and the Whakauae Research for Māori Health and Development, FNHSSM will engage Aboriginal community members as partners - not recipients - of health information. That way, the vast network of traditional knowledge, research, self-government and traditional practices in these communities can be shared and incorporated into the work of non-traditional scientists/clinicians. As a result, the implementation of new health practices to combat diabetes and obesity, tuberculosis, oral health and suicide will be seen as a natural progression. FNHSSM, which is based in Winnipeg, MB, will get $988,755 in funding over five years.

Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC), in partnership with the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada, and the National Aboriginal Diabetes Association, will specifically focus on facilitating communication between the non-traditional scientific community and Aboriginal women. Founded in 1974, NWAC adheres to the concept that in most Aboriginal cultures women are the primary caretakers of the family. So the organization will try to engage mothers as participants in the PEKE. Mothers will likely adopt new methods to treat diabetes and obesity, tuberculosis, oral health and prevent suicide in their families if it's presented in a fashion that is respectful, relevant, responsible and reciprocal of their traditions. By following these wishes, NWAC will plan to provide residents in all Aboriginal communities with alternatives that can ultimately translate into a healthy future. NWAC, which is based in Ottawa ON, will receive $1 million in funding support over a five year period. 

 

SOURCE: Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 613-941-4563, mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890