NWAC – Announces Official Release of its Research Report and Community Resources, on neurological conditions among Aboriginal peoples

Ottawa, ON (June 17, 2013) – In 2010 the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) was successful in obtaining funding through the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to undertake a three-year research project entitled Understanding from Within: Developing community driven and culturally-relevant models for understanding and responding to neurological conditions among Aboriginal peoples (UFW).  Today, NWAC is proud to announce its research findings and series of community resources or posters utilizing a rapidly emerging technology called augmented reality (AR).

The Federal Minister of Health funded thirteen research projects through the National Population Health Study in an effort to fill gaps in knowledge about individuals with neurological conditions, their families, and caregivers. A comprehensive report providing a clear picture of the state of neurological conditions in Canada will be published by the PHAC in 2014.  This report will be used to aid governments and stakeholders in program and service planning and will identify the scope of prevention needs.
Of the thirteen funded projects the UFW is the only one that sought to examine neurological conditions through the lens of Aboriginal realities and worldviews.  The research team was lead by Dr. Carrie Bourassa, Associate Professor at the First Nations University of Canada, and Principle Investigator.
Researchers used a narrative approach to data collection, allowing participants to tell their story in a way that was most comfortable to them.NWAC has collected a considerable amount of extremely rich data, privileging the story as a culturally informed interpretation process.
Major themes and sub themes emerged through the research, along with a series of recommendations intended to improve relations between the health care system and Aboriginal peoples, and to promote the importance of Aboriginal control of health service policy and delivery. In addition, the UFW study showed that more research and further analysis of the UFW research data is needed.
NWAC President Michele Audette hopes that the authors of the national report at PHAC will use the UFW outcomes to ensure that the findings from other projects are interpreted in a way that respects the unique and diverse needs of Aboriginal people who are affected by neurological conditions.
NWAC’s community resources were developed in collaboration with the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health and Healthy Aboriginal Network and employ augmented reality (AR), a new technology developed by Layar. AR is a way viewing digital information, which has been superimposed, or augmented, onto a live view of the physical, real-world environment around you. Both the research report and the AR posters are available in both official languages on the NWAC website http://www.nwac.ca/research/neurological-conditions
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.
For additional information please contact:
Claudette Dumont-Smith
NWAC Executive Director
Toll free 1-800-461-4043
Tel.: 613-722-3033 x. 223

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