Welcoming the “Sacred Spirit (Child): Connecting Indigenous and Western ‘ways of knowing’ to inform future policy partnerships to optimize maternal child health service delivery initiatives in remote

Regions: Dehcho Region, North Slave Region, South Slave Region

Tags: social sciences, wellness, health services, traditional knowledge, maternity care, prenatal health, healthcare

Principal Investigator: Thiessen, Kellie (1)
Licence Number: 16606
Organization: University of Manitoba
Licensed Year(s): 2019
Issued: Jul 30, 2019
Project Team: Elder Katherine Whitecloud; Jennifer Schneider; Pertice Moffitt; Andrew Kotaska; Johanna Tiemessen; Andre Corriveau; Darlene Birch; Muriel Scott; Rob Santos; Wanda Phillips-Beck; Rhonda Campbell; Annette Schultz; Patricia Gregory; Catherine Cook; Nathan Nickel; Kheira Jolin-Dahel; Julia Witt; Margaret Haworth-Brockman; Rebeka Tabobondung; Ivy Bourgeault; Helga Hamilton; Ashlyn Haglund; Kathryn Sibley; Kristine Robinson; Maggie Morris; Melissa Brown; Vicki Van Wagner; Neil Andersson; Anne Marie Chomat; Carol Griffin

Objective(s): To understand how maternity care programs and policies effect life-giving processes for individuals and communities in Northern Canadian regions.

Project Description: This licence has been issued for the scientific research application No.4496.

This research study is being conducted to understand how maternity care programs and policies effect life-giving processes for individuals and communities in Northern Canadian regions.

Firstly, the research team will study which maternity service delivery models are the best at supporting people to maintain health and wellness in their own community, and which ones are cost-efficient and culturally appropriate. In order to study this, the team are conducting interviews and focus groups with maternity care clients and others involved in maternity care. The research team will also describe and compare the effects of maternity programs and policies on patients’ and other community members’ health and experiences, and the accessibility of maternity programs. The team will focus on Indigenous people’s physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Secondly, the research team will identify how healthcare providers define maternal health and wellness, and compare this to how Indigenous communities define maternal health and wellness. The team will also identify the types of questions/indicators that healthcare providers use to report maternal health, and what is done with this information.

The research team want to establish an Indigenous knowledge keeper advisory committee in each community with members from that community to co-develop a knowledge translation protocol sensitive to each community’s needs and context. The Indigenous knowledge keeper advisory committees will also assist in creating and translating the interview guides. The team will work across jurisdictions to standardize the guide so results are comparable, however each jurisdiction is treated as a case, so differences will exist on the interview guide based on community input. The research team and the Indigenous knowledge keeper advisory committee in each community (who know the language of each community) will co-analyze the data. Those analyzing the data will need to have the same language as those who participate in the focus groups. The Indigenous knowledge keeper advisory committees will also help disseminate the protocol and results to their community.

Second, with the help of community liaisons and study collaborators, focus groups/sharing circles will be formed with community members. All focus groups will be in person in the communities. Identified Indigenous Elders from each community will facilitate the focus groups.

Third, the team want to analyze documents related to maternity health service delivery. The documents will be identified according to their relevance to the research aims. Content analysis will keep in mind the type and purpose of each document and who was involved. The strategy for document analysis will be to review and examine the research aims in relation to the document. A documents analysis guide will be co-created by the research team and community leads in each site. Document sources will include publicly available documents in the following categories: government (federal, provincial, community Chief and Council), regulatory bodies, community agencies, hospital policies, clinical practice guidelines, policies and protocols, policy evaluations etc. The patients, co-applicants and collaborators on the team will work together to identify a comprehensive data collection plan at each site that conforms to the research licenses and ethics protocols in each community.

The data is co-owned by the study communities, First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba, and Dr. Thiessen and Elder Whitecloud. The data will be given to each respective community. The data from all study communities will be stored at the University of Manitoba and the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba.

Once the data from all communities have been analyzed with the advisory committees, the results will be sent to all participants in the study and will be presented to the community.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from August 8, 2019 to December 31, 2019.