Resources: Nutrition and Indigenous Health
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimates that many thousands of Indigenous children died while attending residential schools. The legacy of the residential school system affects almost every Indigenous family and the effect on communities is ever present. This includes the food and nutrition research practices that failed to protect the health and safety of residential school children.
On September 30, 2021 - National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – CNS hosted a special webinar, Out of the Darkness and into the Light, to learn about how government policies created conditions of malnutrition in Indigenous Peoples, and how Indigenous Peoples - including children - continue to be affected disproportionately by malnutrition and diet-related health problems. This webinar was an opportunity to acknowledge past harms and ongoing colonial practices that negatively impact the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples, and to learn how we can move forward knowing that there are many shining examples of fully participatory nutrition research projects that are occurring from a place of respect, honour, trust and collaboration.
Moderated by Noreen Willows, PhD - Population and Public Health Nutrition, University of Alberta: "Colonizing research in Indigenous communities | Reconciliation through decolonizing research"
- Lopresti, S., Willows, N. D., Storey, K. E., & McHugh, T. L. F. (2021). Indigenous Youth Mentorship Program: essential characteristics of a Canadian multi-site community-university partnership with Indigenous communities. Health Promotion International.
- Pigford AAE, Ball GD, Plotnikoff RC, Arcand E,... Willows ND. (2013) Community-based participatory research to address childhood obesity: Experiences from Alexander First Nation in Canada. Pimatisiwin: A Journal of Aboriginal & Indigenous Community Health, 11(2), http://www.pimatisiwin.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/02PigfordFehderau.pdf
- Willows, N. D., Hanley, A. J., & Delormier, T. (2012). A socioecological framework to understand weight-related issues in Aboriginal children in Canada. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 37(1), 1-13.
- Willows N. (2013) Ethical principles of health research involving Indigenous peoples. https://cdnsciencepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1139/apnm-2013-0381
- Willows, Noreen D. (2019) Ethics and research with Indigenous peoples. In Handbook of research methods in health social sciences, ed. Pranee Liamputtong. Singapore: Springer. pp. 1847-1870
Examples of participatory research:
Indigenous Youth Mentorship program, https://everactive.org/projects/resilient-schools/iymp/
Alexander Research Committee, https://ojs.lib.uwo.ca/index.php/iipj/article/view/7518
Food sovereignty initiative
Salmon and our health project with Syilx Okanagan peoples. Webpage about this research on the Okanagan Nation Alliance website: https://www.syilx.org/university-of-alberta-salmon-health-research-project-2020/
- See also: Syilx-led reintroduction of sockeye salmon into the Okanagan River Basin, Rosanne Blanchet, PhD, RD - University of Alberta and Suzanne Johnson, MSc, RD - Okanagan Salmon and Our Health
Indigenous Canada is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada: https://www.ualberta.ca/admissions-programs/online-courses/indigenous-canada/index.html
Ian Mosby, PhD - Toronto Metropolitan University, Department of History: "Hunger, Human Experimentation and the Legacy of Residential Schools"
Dr. Mosby's presentation explored the history and legacy of a series of nutrition experiments conducted on nearly 1000 children in six residential schools between 1948 and 1952.
- Mosby, I. (2013). Administering colonial science: Nutrition research and human biomedical experimentation in Aboriginal communities and residential schools, 1942–1952. Histoire sociale/Social history, 46(1), 145-172, https://muse.jhu.edu/article/512043/pdf?casa_token=Lv1UcHISMU8AAAAA:JHHJeRtDVEco0axsE46u0oNLM8Ys3Ai6fBhEktoIGMcumw6HR_AdUZxYaR0pZlF1Jq258arYMAyY
- Ian Mosby and Tracey Galloway, “‘Hunger Was Never Absent’: How Residential School Diets Shaped Current Patterns of Diabetes among Indigenous Peoples in Canada,” Canadian Medical Association Journal 189, no. 32 (August 14, 2017): E1043–45, https://www.cmaj.ca/content/189/32/E1043
- Ian Mosby and Tracey Galloway, “‘The Abiding Condition Was Hunger’: Assessing the Long-Term Biological and Health Effects of Malnutrition and Hunger in Canada’s Residential Schools / ‘La Faim Était Un État Permanent’: Évaluation Des Effets Biologiques et Sanitaires à Long Terme de La Malnutrition et de La Faim Dans Les Pensionnats Autochtones Du Canada,” British Journal of Canadian Studies 30, no. 2 (September 29, 2017): 147–62. https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/journals/article/20621
- Catherine Carstairs and Ian Mosby, “Colonial Extractions: Oral Health Care and Indigenous Peoples in Canada, 1945–79,” Canadian Historical Review 101, no. 2 (March 13, 2020): 192–216, https://www.utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/chr.2018-0097
- Ian Mosby and Jaris Swidrovich, “Medical Experimentation and the Roots of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy among Indigenous Peoples in Canada,” Canadian Medical Association Journal 193, no. 11 (March 15, 2021): E381, https://www.cmaj.ca/content/193/11/E381
Treena Wasonti:io Delormier, PhD, PDt - McGill University, School of Human Nutrition: "Bridging capacity for ethical research with Indigenous communities: The Kahnawake School Diabetes Prevention Project Code of Research Ethics"
This presentation discussed how the Code of Research Ethics that was developed in 1994/5 guided the research program of the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project. The principles of the code was presented along with the protocols that are practiced ensuring research respects the interests and needs of the community, as well as the obligations of academic researchers.
- Cargo, M., Lévesque, L., Macaulay, A. C., McComber, A., Desrosiers, S., Delormier, T., & Potvin, L. (2003). Community governance of the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project, Kahnawake Territory, Mohawk Nation, Canada. Health Promotion International, 18(3), 177-187.
- Cargo, M., Delormier, T., Lévesque, L., Horn-Miller, K., McComber, A., & Macaulay, A. C. (2008). Can the democratic ideal of participatory research be achieved? An inside look at an academic–indigenous community partnership. Health Education Research, 23(5), 904-914.
- Cargo, M. D., Delormier, T., Lévesque, L., McComber, A. M., & Macaulay, A. C. (2011). Community capacity as an “inside job”: Evolution of perceived ownership within a university-Aboriginal community partnership. American Journal of Health Promotion, 26(2), 96-100.
- Delormier, T, McComber, AM, Macaulay, AC. (2018) Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project Code of Research Ethics: Development and application, In: Toolbox of research principles in an aboriginal context: Ethics, respect, fairness, reciprocity, collaboration and culture. First Nations of Quebec & Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC), Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Université du Québec en Outaouais. (https://files.cssspnql.com/index.php/s/8aBAkl1pjHeOWd0)
- Macaulay, A. C., Delormier, T., McComber, A. M., Cross, E. J., Potvin, L. P., Paradis, G., ... & Desrosiers, S. (1998). Participatory research with native community of Kahnawake creates innovative code of research ethics. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 89(2), 105-108.
- Potvin, L., Cargo, M., McComber, A. M., Delormier, T., & Macaulay, A. C. (2003). Implementing participatory intervention and research in communities: lessons from the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project in Canada. Social Science & Medicine, 56(6), 1295-1305.
- Tremblay, MC., Martin, D.H., McComber, A.M. et al. (2018) Understanding community-based participatory research through a social movement framework: a case study of the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project. BMC Public Health 18, 487.