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2008.02.10 - First Inuit Health Research and Planning Winter Institute 2008

Building Inuit skills to link traditional knowledge and Western Science in Canada’s North
  
Ottawa, 10 February 2008 --  CIETcanada's first Inuit Winter Institute (IWI) trained a group of Inuit working, or wishing to work, in the field of Inuit health research and planning, and set the stage for an Inuit masters and doctoral program. The intensive two-week course, held in Ottawa from January 28 to February 9, 2008, focused on practical skills to articulate Inuit traditional knowledge with modern epidemiology and community participation in research and planning.
 

 

 

Inuit participants and CIET staff during the Inuit winter institute
in Ottawa

Participants laid out an Inuit view of health and reviewed historical and contemporary Inuit health issues. They chose to work on key research concerns, such as youth suicide, parenting, housing, and environmental contamination. For many of the participants this was their first approach to research methods which in this case emphasized tools for working with small, dispersed populations in Northern Canada. They also studied the use and communication of research evidence for planning –a strongly felt need within the group.

 

The 21 participants who graduated from the course came from across the four Northern Inuit regions and from the Ottawa Inuit community. Many of them are working with Inuit organizations at federal, regional and community levels; others are involved in community health care and local government. Their breadth of experience and enthusiasm shaped discussions and course content, making it relevant to Inuit needs and circumstances.

 

CIETcanada hosted this first IWI, together with Anisnabe Kekendazone -- the Ottawa Aboriginal Capacity and Development Research Environment (ACADRE) -- and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.  Funding for the initiative came from CIETcanada, Nasivvik Centre for Inuit Health and Changing Environments at Laval University, and Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. Other Inuit organizations and ACADREs contributed by providing trainers and participants from across Canada.

 

The 2008 IWI was a first step in a partnership among these institutions to improve access to graduate studies in health research and planning among Northern Inuit, and to build on research and planning capacity across Inuit communities.