Tlicho Natsedzi Nihtsi: Tlicho Healing Wind Project / Promoting Sexual Health

Regions: North Slave Region

Tags: health, social sciences, education, sexual health

Principal Investigator: Martin, Jim L (6)
Licence Number: 14932
Organization: Tlicho Community Services Agency
Licenced Year(s): 2011 2010 2008 2007
Issued: Jun 23, 2011

Objective(s): To reinforce the well-being of Tlicho communities in a sustainable and culturally relevant way.

Project Description: The overall goal of this research program is to reinforce the well-being of Tlîchô communities in a sustainable and culturally relevant way. Sexual health was a pressing health issue identified by Tlîchô communities and is the focus of the initial research program and will expand into a broader program to address related aspects of community well-being.

The objectives of this program are to:
- sustain a research base for the Tlîchô Community Service Agency (TCSA) that will help us track and mitigate the spread and prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in the Tlîchô region;
- provide guidance for the continued development of sexual health intervention strategies for the region and expand these strategies to help address a broader context of community wellness;
- further enhance research capacity of TCSA through ongoing training opportunities in collaboration with university based research partners; and
- build strong collaborative communication networks among health care professionals and educators.

This project’s methodology is rooted in community based research approach where the issues are identified by the community, the project is designed in a collaborative process with research partners, data is collected and entered by community based researchers, analysis is supported by research team, and training is incorporated at every step of the process.

The research team, led by the community based researchers (CBRs), will complete a follow up survey from the 2007 baseline in all four Tlîchô communities. Community wellness workers and health representatives will be trained in all aspects of survey implementation, data entry and analysis. Also, secondary data sources such as focus groups and interviews with in and out of school youth, elders, parents, and health care professionals as well as analysis of regional STI statistics will aid in completing a holistic picture of the sexual health issues in the Tlîchô region. Intervention programs are being implemented in the community based on the baseline survey and evaluation of these programs will be ongoing to ensure content relevance and use of secondary data sources will allow us to evaluate impact.

This research program is led by the Tlîchô Community Services Agency. The rationale and objectives stem from relevant regional sexual health initiatives. The program development and entire research process, from design to analysis and dissemination, is guided by the Tlîchô Healing Winds Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of front line community health care workers from the Tlîchô regions and selected elders.

The educational benefits of this research program include:
- research and program management training for the Community Action Research Team (CART) members;
- training and short term employment for a group of community based researches (CBRs) who will implement the follow up survey in all four Tlîchô communities; and
- sexual health awareness and education programs/interventions for Tlicho people targeted to key survey outcomes & community priorities.

The outcomes of the baseline survey have been shared across the Tlicho regions by the Community Action Research Team (CART) and other research team members working within the region. Interventions have been created based on the outcomes of the baseline and the same premise will be followed for the follow up survey. For example, one of the outcomes of the baseline survey was identifying lateral violence in the communities and the impact that it has on individuals. The community has taken a step in addressing this issue by creating a video project that engages community actors and youth to identify the issue through a docudrama and provide avenues/prospects for resolution.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from June 23, 2011 to December 31, 2011.