Turning to Indigenous Knowledge in creating Hep C Awareness – RRU

January 10, 2023

When the Canadian Institute for Health Research funded Royal Roads Doctor of Social Sciences student Kate Dunn with a Doctoral research award for First Nations Métis and/or Inuit Health in Canada, she knew that her approach would be different. She says she has seen how even the most well-intentioned messaging from within the health care system doesn’t effectively engage with Indigenous people. Her idea is that by pursuing true collaboration with Indigenous Elders and community people with lived experience can have a greater impact on health and wellness.

Originally from Mississauga First Nation in Ontario, Dunn lived all over North America growing up. She attended nursing school in the U.S. before working in remote communities in Alaska. From there she did public health work in Seattle before returning to Canada in 2018, where she began to focus on Hepatitis C awareness. It was obvious to Dunn that there was a need to educate people on treatment, to dispel the stigma and raise awareness that a cure was available.

Her approach is built on the idea of respect and of building relationships through listening to perspectives on liver health from Indigenous knowledge keepers. Too often, in too many communities, clinic staff are flown in and flown out once a month and this delivery model doesn’t establish trust or relationships between community and health practitioners. Very real socio-economic and political barriers are in place that discourage people to connect with messaging about living in a good way. Dunn points to an example of the problem:

Read More: https://www.royalroads.ca/news/turning-indigenous-knowledge-creating-hep-c-awareness

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