Communities as Patient Partners

Building Research Relationships with Indigenous Communities

A training module offered by IPHRC and SCPOR

The Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre (IPHRC) and the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) are pleased to offer training modules for researchers and their teams seeking to engage Indigenous communities in research. Entitled Building Research Relationships with Indigenous Communities (BRRIC), these modules offer a diverse array of essential information covering issues such as:

  • History of Indigenous health and research in Saskatchewan;

  • Existing policies and frameworks guiding research with Indigenous communities such as OCAP™, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, Tri-Council Policy Statement Chapter 9 and; 

  • Protocol on how to respectfully and meaningfully engage communities in research projects. 

The module is beneficial for faculty, researchers, patient and family advisors, health care providers, SCPOR supported research teams, students, research and health organizations, and any other individual or organization seeking to engage Indigenous communities in research. The aim of the module is to provide participants with practical skills for engaging in transformative research with Indigenous peoples that utilizes best practices to ensure research is effective and produces outcomes that benefit Indigenous communities.

Indigenous people deserve to work with researchers who are properly equipped and ready to create reciprocal research relationships that provide real benefits back to our communities while acknowledging our rights to be self-determining. This training module is just one in a series of modules that we hope to create and deliver over the next two years for researchers, communities and patients.
— Cassandra Opikokew Wajuntah, director of the IPHRC

The following is an Excerpt from Erica Schindel’s article

“IPHRC and SCPOR launch first-of-its-kind training for health researchers engaging with Indigenous communities”

BRRIC also incorporates traditional Indigenous knowledge and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. It is designed to provide researchers with the necessary policies, frameworks, and Indigenous ethical standards needed to respectfully engage with Indigenous communities and patients.

While some researchers have been successful in building long-term relationships with Indigenous communities, many are often unsure about where to start and what they need to know due to geographic barriers, misinformation and a lack of training in respectful Indigenous engagement.

Here we have the opportunity to provide the research community and those organizations that plan to work closely with Indigenous communities, with skills, knowledge and practical training that will enhance their work. Historical context matters, and responsible research takes this into account.
— Jackie Mann, SCPOR Executive Director

To address this, BRRIC will highlight the historical role of colonialism as a determinant of Indigenous health—such as the Sixties Scoop and residential schools—as well as provide current considerations when conducting research with Indigenous peoples—like the chronic underfunding of Indigenous health and education. This background enables researchers to understand and uphold the self-determination of Indigenous nations while being cognisant of the diversity within these communities.

Read the rest of Erica Schindel’s article about the BRRIC Training Modules here!


Upcoming BRRIC Training Modules

For more information and other events, visit our events page or our calendar.