Manitoba Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research
Kishaadigeh is a NEIHR that offers support to Indigenous Peoples in Manitoba through ethical partnerships with five organizations
Dr. Jaime Cidro, Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation, University of Winnipeg
With the largest CIHR grant ever given to the University of Winnipeg, Dr. Jaime Cidro developed Kishaadigeh (which in Anishinaabemowin means “she who guards the lodge”) as a Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research (NEIHR) that will increase research capacity, improve infrastructure and develop research lodges for five partner organizations: First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba (FNHSSM), the Manitoba Association of Friendship Centres (MAC), the Manitoba Inuit Association (MIA), the Aboriginal Health & Wellness Centre of Winnipeg (AHWC Wellness/Clinic), and Fearless R2W. Each organization provides best practices for their research projects that reflect their values and priorities. Thanks to this NEIHR, FNHSSM has funded their First Nations regional ethics board and the Health Information Research Governance Committee, while the MAC has developed a digital storytelling project that catalogues and preserves their local archives. The AHWC Wellness/Clinic has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by developing a community-based testing centre for the virus, and creating access to an immunization clinic for Indigenous people living in and around urban centres. The MIA is prioritizing COVID-19 support by providing emergency food hampers and a pop-up vaccine clinic for the Manitoba Inuit population. Fearless R2W has been able to continue its parent advocacy programs online, and will give students and community members the chance to register for a week-long course in August (co-designed by graduate student Darrien Morton) so that they can learn about the engagement of grassroots Indigenous organizations and activists. Completing this course will result in either an academic credit or a University of Winnipeg certificate.
“While each of the five organizations has a different focus, they are all undertaking incredible work that will benefit either the health or education of their Indigenous communities,” said Dr. Cidro. “By working with them, this NEIHR emphasizes how ethical partnerships in Indigenous research can lead to the prioritization of self-determination in research and collaborations with representatives from the Blackfoot Confederacy, the University of Manitoba, the University of Toronto, the University of Ottawa, Ryerson University, and the University of Calgary.”
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