International collaboration to improve the health and wellness of Indigenous peoples through research
Improving the health and wellness of Indigenous Peoples in Australia, New Zealand and Canada is the goal driving a partnership between three medical research funding agencies.
In December 2017, the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC), the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) renewed their commitment to collaborate on mutual health research priorities for Indigenous Peoples in these three countries.
In developing and undertaking any initiatives, the agencies will respect and harness the expertise, culture and values of the populations they represent – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Māori people and the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples – while supporting Indigenous methodological approaches to health and wellbeing research.
Previous agreements prompted joint research action into areas of significant burden experienced by Indigenous Peoples, including diabetes and suicide prevention, and strategic initiatives to improve the support of emerging researchers of Indigenous ancestry, including an international mentorship workshop.
Strengthening the Indigenous health research workforce, from early researchers and up, remains a central focus under the renewed agreement.
NHMRC, HRC and CIHR are in a strong position to set additional priorities this year having each worked with their communities recently to understand what matters the most, which will also inform agencies' broader research strategies. This will prove invaluable throughout the partnership as agencies develop a joint action plan and re-assess priorities each year.
The three agencies have built a solid working relationship that spans 15 years. They are confident that positive and measurable outcomes with broader reach can be realised for Indigenous Peoples and the research sector, while celebrating, reflecting and building on the gains that have already been made.
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