200025 Graduate researchers in Aboriginal health & Indigenous methodologies

Monday, November 9, 2009: 5:20 PM

Katherine Minich, MHSc , Centre for Health Promotion, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Krista Maxwell, MA, PhD (C) , Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
This paper will explore perspectives on self-location and identity, cross-cultural collaboration and Indigenous methodologies amongst Indigenous and newcomer graduate students doing research in Aboriginal health in Canada. The Institute of Aboriginal People's Health, established in 2000 as one of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, has made efforts to develop Aboriginal capacity in health research through its support for national Network Environments for Aboriginal Health Research (NEAHRs).

At recent annual national gatherings of graduate students doing research in Aboriginal health through the NEAHRS, close to 50% of participants have self-identified as Aboriginal. Issues of partnerships with Aboriginal communities and ethics guidelines specific to Aboriginal health research have featured prominently in discussions at these gatherings. Less attention has been given to critical reflection on researcher identity, the relevance of Indigenous methodologies, and the complex and challenging power dynamics amongst researchers, and between researchers and Aboriginal communities. We will present on a participatory action-research project with graduate students which aims to stimulate individual and group reflection and discussion on these issues. This project is being jointly developed and executed by an Indigenous and a newcomer graduate researcher, and will be co-presented.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the opportunities and constraints experienced by graduate students in engaging with and applying Indigenous methodologies in their research. 2. Discuss the range of individual identities and perspectives which Aboriginal and newcomer graduate students bring to their work in Aboriginal health research, and the implications for power relations, communication and collaborative relationships.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have extensive prior experience of qualitative research using methods comparable to that which I will be presenting on. I have not published on the topic of Indigenous methodologies, but have studied post/colonial theory at graduate level and have been conducting research in Aboriginal health for the past three years. My co-presenter identifies as Aboriginal, and has also worked in Aboriginal health for several years and completed graduate-level study in relevant theory. We shall be presenting on the perspectives of our fellow graduate students who are doing research in Aboriginal health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.