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Canadore College moving forward with culturally-safe health care research

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Canadore College has received a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to carry out research to promote safe healthcare for Indigenous peoples. The research will use simulations to improve the relationship between healthcare providers and Indigenous people dealing with cancer. Researchers have indicated Indigenous peoples face many barriers in receiving cancer treatment, including unequal access to cancer screening and prevention programs. In a release, officials say these studies indicate an urgent need for improved culturally-safe care in health care settings to address systemic stereotyping, racism and discrimination and further encourages opportunities to access and utilize strength-based approaches to care with Indigenous Peoples.

Indigenous studies associate dean Mary Wabano says cancer is a serious disease that can prey on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of an individual and their family. She says in First Nations, Métis cultures, each diverse and unique in their own way, traditional knowledge and concepts are essential to integrate into the healing journey. Simulations will be developed using a collaborative inter-professional process involving health care and wellness practitioners, consumers and educators. Unique to this research project is the integration of Elders knowledge and Indigenous concepts of health and wellness. Successful skill acquisition will be measured in culturally-based methodologies, including oral discourse and storytelling to help provide culturally-safe conditions within the healthcare system.

The $140,000 research project will see the need for training across multiple health professions increase and address the alarming rise of cancer in Canada’s Indigenous populations. Training extends from prevention to palliation and takes place over the course of one year beginning in September. Once the research initiative has completed, the results generated will be made available to the community.

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