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The “Weaving Our Wisdoms” Study: Using a Land-Based Approach to Optimize Whole-istic Health among Indigenous People Living with HIV. (2017)

Home / Research Office / Current/Ongoing Research Projects / The “Weaving Our Wisdoms” Study: Using a Land-Based Approach to Optimize Whole-istic Health among Indigenous People Living with HIV. (2017)

Lamouche (2010) notes that “break with the land is the single most important factor in health problems among Indigenous peoples”. It follows that reconnecting to the land is a crucial pathway to health, including for Indigenous people living with HIV. But HIV interventions are usually based on Western ways of knowing. This study, designed by Indigenous People living with HIV, focuses on the potential for land-based approaches to promote wellness. First, we will convene “HIV olders” (i.e., Indigenous people living long-term with HIV) and other Indigenous community leaders to design a 4-6 day land-based wellness program. Next, we will implement the program with Indigenous People living with HIV from throughout Alberta and BC – we call these participants “knowledge gatherers”. During this phase, we will investigate research questions about the impact of land-based approaches, the role of “HIV olders” in building the capacity of others, and about land-based research methods. In the final phase, we will “weave our wisdoms”. That is, we will build on existing and new relationships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities across the country to explore land-based approaches to wellness. This study will be housed at the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, which has a long track record of successfully implementing research that is meaningful to Indigenous People living with HIV. The study is guided by four complementary approaches to research: (1) community-based research, (2) Indigenous knowledge, (3) decolonizing methods, and (4) two-eyed seeing. The overall goal is to “weave the wisdoms” of Indigenous people living with HIV to improve their own wellness while also building the capacity for wellness among others.

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