Dr. Margo Greenwood,left, and Dr. Sarah de Leeuw will be leading the $1.3 million-dollar project for the University of Northern British Columbia. UNBC photos

UNBC researchers spearhead $1.3M Indigenous health care project

Initiative seeks to employ more Indigenous health care professionals, create ‘culturally safe’ environment

Researchers at the University of Northern British Columbia are looking to enhance Indigenous employment and cultural safety in health care, and have received a funding injection of $1.3 million to do so.

Over the course of five years, the project will focus on ways to transform health service delivery in Northern B.C., across existing organizations and professions, into a “culturally safe” environment in which to provide and receive care, according to a UNBC press release, issued today (Nov. 26).

Cultural safety refers to creating health services that are inclusive and respectful of Indigenous people, by encouraging health-care professionals to have awareness of and sensitivity for local Indigenous cultures, according to Northern Health.

The project also aims to inspire new generations of Indigenous youth in the North to enter the health-care field.

Dr. Sarah de Leeuw and Dr. Margo Greenwood received $1.3 million as part of a Healthy and Productive Work Initiative – Partnership Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to launch the initiative.

It is the first joint federal research partnership grant of its kind to be held at UNBC, and is one of only nine such grants held across Canada. The work builds on a pilot project launched in 2016.

Key partners on the five-year project include numerous Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders across the North, Northern Health, Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George, and the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (NCCAH). The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), also a major partner, is contributing an additional $130,000 in funding.

“We are excited to have started this journey with our partners through which we will explore ways to celebrate Indigeneity in health care,” said de Leeuw, Northern Medical Program and Geography associate professor. “It’s an opportunity to develop northern-focused solutions that seek to create a more culturally humble health-care system that embraces Indigenous people and Indigenous knowledge.”

“We are going to look at what each of us in the North can do to help support our common goals in this project,” noted Greenwood, First Nations Studies and Education professor, and Northern Health vice president of Indigenous Health. “This means getting together with stakeholders across the region, having good conversations around the issues, and encouraging people to be self-reflective on practice, programs and the system.”

The project is also receiving support through in-kind contributions, valued at approximately $460,000, from the project’s other major partners, including Northern Health, Two Rivers Gallery, NCCAH and UNBC.

“Access to culturally safe care is a critical part of our ongoing commitment to improving services in our region and fostering respectful and collaborative relationships with our Indigenous communities,” said David Williams, Northern Health vice president of Human Resources. “We are committed to becoming more reflective of the people we serve in the North and look forward to furthering that goal through this project. We hope to attract more Indigenous employees to our workforce and also continue to improve the workplace for those employees.”

READ MORE: Indigenous children still being treated unequally by provinces: advocate



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

District looking for public input on cycling plan

Survey is open to the public until May 25

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Flooding highly unlikely this year throughout Skeena watershed

Region’s snowpack among lowest in the province

Cameras and convoys: Graduation in the age of COVID-19

Schools in Terrace and Kitimat are thinking outside the box to give students a graduation ceremony

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Still a lot of work to do to fully connect regional district

Draft strategy shows dependence on on single fibre optic cable route, poor cellular service on roads

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Most Read