240450 Community Building and Engagement: Lessons Learned from an Urban Métis Health Assessment

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 8:30 AM

Janet K. Smylie, MD MPH , Centre for Research on Inner City Health, University of Toronto/St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
Michelle Firestone, MhS , Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Donna Lyons , Métis Nation of Ontario, Director of Health Services, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Lisa Pigeau , Primary Care Manager, Metis Nation of Ontario, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Conrad Prince, BA , Centre for Research on Inner City Health, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
Purpose: Population based health information regarding Métis people in Canada is almost non-existent. Using Participatory Action Research (PAR) methods, the Our Health Counts Study aimed to generate a representative sample of Métis adults and children residing in Ottawa, Ontario. Métis people in Ottawa, Ontario have diverse histories, kinship systems and cultural backgrounds. Despite such heterogeneity, through the appropriate application of PAR, the Our Health Counts project was successful in strengthening community engagement and partnerships among the Ottawa Métis population. Methods: Community concept mapping was conducted with Métis community stakeholders in order to develop a culturally relevant urban Aboriginal health assessment survey Métis adults and children in Ottawa, Ontario. Respondent driven sampling was used as a tool to recruit community members to complete the health assessment survey. Extensive community networking, including attendance at and participation in numerous community events was employed by project staff as a means of increasing community awareness and understanding of the health assessment survey. Results: A 10-cluster concept map, reflecting local Métis understandings of health was generated. The map was then used to develop a unique, urban Métis health assessment tool which was completed by 78 community members. Conclusions: Using culturally relevant community based methods; the Our Health Counts project successfully engaged a diverse urban, Métis community.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the rationale, principles and methods implemented for the Our Health Counts Project 2. Describe the implementation of PAR as a means to overcome some of the challenges with engaging a diverse urban, Métis population 3. Discuss lessons learned and the implications for future program planning and policy development in urban Aboriginal health in Canada.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee community based research with Aboriginal communities in areas such as Indigenous health measurement systems and Indigenous knowledge translation.
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.