In 2010-2011, Dr. Howard led a collaborative research project with the One Nation in Unity Youth Program of the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto and local Aboriginal diabetes educators to gather the perspectives of Aboriginal persons living with diabetes in Toronto, and of providers of health and social services which impact diabetes prevention and management in this community. That project was funded by the Indigenous Health Research Development Program (a Canadian Institutes of Health Research sub-grant). This project will continue Aboriginal youth engagement in the dissemination of perspectives that were gathered during the initial research, and bring together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health and social service providers to review and assess strategies to incorporate results of the research into practices that support the development of more efficient better quality services aimed at the prevention and management of diabetes within the Aboriginal community. The research emphasizes the significance of urbanization for Aboriginal health, and the ways in which the social determinants of Aboriginal people’s health are elaborated by a multiplicity of healthcare knowledges and practices, unique urban-adapted kinship and social networks, as well as gender, age, socioeconomic and cultural diversities. The research will also examine shifts in the production of knowledge emerging from the evolving implementation of the new Canadian ethics guidelines (Tri-Council Policy Statement 2, Chapter 9) required for research with Aboriginal communities, focusing in particular on the capacity-building and dialogical processes of knowledge translation. The study is situated in the context of broader analyses of the dynamics and complexities of fluctuating Native community culture and politics in social and health service delivery, which Dr. Howard has described elsewhere in her publications.
Howard, H.A. Principal Investigator, “Sharing Transformation of Diabetes Prevention and Management for and by Urban Aboriginal Peoples,” Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Meetings, Planning and Dissemination Grant – Knowledge Translation Supplement Priority Announcement: First Nations Inuit or Métis ($98,069).
[IMAGE: Urban Aboriginal Diabetes Research Project Team in training during this recently completed community-based project led by Anishnawbe Health Toronto. Left front (and then clockwise) Heather Howard (Co-lead Investigator), Ernie Sandy (Indigenous Research Integrity Advisor), Krystine Abel (RA), Jessica Keeshig-Martin (RA), Lynn Lavallee (Co-lead Investigator), Nancy Sagmeister (Project Coordinator), Carolyn Akiwenzie (RA, standing), Melissa Riciutti (RA).]02.14.12