Pregnancy stories across the generations

Regions: North Slave Region

Tags: wellness, traditional knowledge, pregnancy

Principal Investigator: Dawson, Leslie C (2)
Licence Number: 15503
Organization: Depatment of Anthropology
Licenced Year(s): 2014 2013
Issued: Jul 16, 2014

Objective(s): To illuminate local factors impacting pregnancy and maternal health; to promote biocultural approaches to Aboriginal maternal health and wellbeing that incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing and traditional knowledge; and, to elucidate factors that contributing to the developmental origins of diabetes among Aboriginal Canadians.

Project Description: The purpose of this research project is to:
- Illuminate local factors impacting pregnancy and maternal health that may then be later addressed through community based participatory research;
- Promote biocultural approaches to Aboriginal maternal health and wellbeing that incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing and traditional knowledge; and
- Elucidate factors impacting pregnancy and maternal health and wellbeing and contributing to the developmental origins of diabetes among Aboriginal Canadians.

The research methodology will involve individual and group interviews of Tlicho women, from a variety of ages reflecting broad generational categories, who have had at least one biological child, and who are willing to participate in an interview regarding their pregnancy experience(s). This inclusion criteria reflects the research methodology in that it will allow for the pregnancy stories of different generations of Tlicho women from the four Tlicho communities to be recorded and thematically analyzed to reveal factors impacting maternal and prenatal health across time and space. The research sample will include three to five women from three to four broad generations reflecting the four Tlicho communities (~20 women in total). The Principal Investigator (PI) will be asking participants to volunteer 30 to 60 minutes of their time for individual interviews and 2 to 3 hours for group interviews. Follow up interviews may also be requested. The PI will also be asking participants to fill out a one page demographic survey. For recruitment of participants, the PI will be attending and assisting at diabetes training sessions with Tlicho community members, from which group the trainers will be recruiting volunteers for this research. The Healing Wind Advisory Committee members, which include two Elders and represents the 4 Tlicho communities, will also help with recruitment. Participants will be given a choice of oral consent or written consent: Oral consent is considered the norm in the North and is expected to be form of consent requested. Oral consent will follow and adhere to the ethical guidelines outlined in the written consent form. Written consent forms will be available to all participants if requested. Participants are free to withdraw from the study at any time.

This study will allow the pregnancy stories of different generations of Tlicho women to be recorded and written down for future generations. It is hoped that by having access to the pregnancy stories of previous generations this may help future generations of women ensure their own healthy pregnancies. As well, the traditional knowledge associated with the pregnancy stories will also be recorded and reveal local views of a healthy pregnancy and how different generations of women faced or mediated barriers to a healthy pregnancy. It is hoped that this research will provide insight into factors influencing pregnancy and maternal health and well-being among Tlicho women, and further, to help understand and address the developmental origins of diabetes among Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Identification of factors impacting maternal health may then be addressed through future community based research.

Results of this study will be presented to the Healing Winds Advisory committee and to the Tlicho Government. Community presentations will also be offered. A copy of all data will be provided to the Tlicho Government and archived with the Tlicho Research and Training Institute.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 16, 2014 to December 15, 2014.