Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through nutrition research

Date:  Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Time: 13:00 - 14:30 ET

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Webinar description:  

Nutrition researchers may not realize that nutrition research conducted using a Eurocentric paradigm has the potential to marginalize and harm Indigenous communities.  Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through decolonizing research that builds trust and has respect for Indigenous culture and traditions can be achieved by practicing community-based participatory research that is community-led, embraces Indigenous values, sees strength in Indigenous cultures, and benefits communities. This webinar will highlight two examples of reconciliation through research. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. To understand the characteristics of decolonizing research in Indigenous communities that can lead to reconciliation.
  2. To learn about reconciliation through research from two community-based participatory research projects that are strength-based, decolonizing and health-promoting.
  3. To know that nutrition researchers can apply decolonizing approaches to their research with Indigenous communities.


Moderators: Noreen Willows, PhD and Rhona Hanning, PhD, FDC

About the Speakers:   

Dr. Noreen Willows is Professor, Population and Public Health Nutrition, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences (ALES), University of Alberta. Dr. Willows’ primary research focus is population health intervention research to enhance food access in First Nations communities in Canada through school-based, food security and food sovereignty initiatives. Dr. Willows champions a decolonizing community-based participatory approach to research in which community members and academic co-researchers form community-university partnership to develop culturally appropriate solutions to health issues identified by community members. Dr. Willows is a member of the Alexander Research Committee.

Jody Kootenay is Cree from the Alexander First Nation where she was born and raised. A mother of three children, wife and kohkom to a 2-year-old grandson, she has been the Director of Education with her Nation for the last 16 years. Since obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies in 1999 she has worked in education. She also has an after degree in education, a master’s in education and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Alberta in Education Policy Studies. She loves learning and sees her involvement as an Alexander Research Committee (ARC) member since its beginning in 2008 to keep learning. When Jody is not working, she loves sports, travel and spending time with her family.

Dr. Ashleigh Domingo is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the School of Public Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo. She currently collaborates with Indigenous communities, organizations, and an interdisciplinary team of researchers to support community-led responses to food security and climate-health adaptation in Canada. Ashleigh obtained her PhD from the School of Public Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo and holds an MSc in Population and Public Health from the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include Indigenous food security, health equity, and food systems using a range of methodological approaches such as participatory action research and implementation science. She has led partner engagement processes using relational approaches to centre community priorities and actions towards health equity.

Jade Johnson Zaagaasige izhinikaazh. Georgina Island onjibaad. Jade Johnson is the climate change project support associate at Cambium Indigenous Professional Services, specializing in research, community engagement, and proposal writing for environmental partnerships and renewable energy projects. She is a member of Georgina Island First Nation, spending half the year in community, and is the co-ordinator for the Georgina Island project for the William’s Treaties First Nations Food Sovereignty and Food Security Program.

About the Moderator:  

Rhona Hanning PhD, FDC  is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Waterloo (UW) and Fellow of Dietitians of Canada. Rhona has worked with First Nations communities over the past three decades on research to support healthy eating for youth and enhance community food systems.  Her current teaching and research activity explores decolonizing education and healthcare practices. A recipient of a UW Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision and former Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Rhona counts mentorship as her career highlight. Rhona has served on the CNS Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group.

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