Are you an Indigenous woman, who is aged 45 years or older, and live in Metro Vancouver or the Fraser Valley of British Columbia? We want to know your experiences on aging well with HIV.

If you are, you might be able to participate in our research study if you fit the following criteria:

  1. Self-identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, or Inuit)
  2. Self-identify as female
  3. Are living with HIV/AIDS

 

What is this Research Project About?

This is a community-based Indigenous women’s wellness research project focused on Indigenous women aging well with HIV.

The goal of this project is to develop a deeper understanding of what it means to age well as an Indigenous woman living with HIV/AIDS. We are attempting to accomplish our goal by asking how do Indigenous women aging with HIV experience wellness; and what do Indigenous women aging with HIV want and need for wellness for their wellness interventions, service provision, programs, and healthcare.  To support Indigenous women in their journey of wholistic wellness using methods grounded in Indigenous Ways of Knowing and notions of healing and wellness. To better understand these, we hope that you will share your knowledge and experience with us throughout this project. Your voice will be heard, valued, and honoured during the project, and in our research.The goal of this project is to develop a deeper understanding of what it means to age well as an Indigenous woman living with HIV/AIDS. We are attempting to accomplish our goal by asking how do Indigenous women aging with HIV experience wellness; and what do Indigenous women aging with HIV want and need for wellness for their wellness interventions, service provision, programs, and healthcare.  To support Indigenous women in their journey of wholistic wellness using methods grounded in Indigenous Ways of Knowing and notions of healing and wellness. To better understand these, we hope that you will share your knowledge and experience with us throughout this project. Your voice will be heard, valued, and honoured during the project, and in our research.

Towards this end, we will be conducting the following for participants:

1. A 4-day (10am-03:30pm) research project over a two-week period (Nov, 1-17, 2017) featuring:
2. Cultural and wellness activities and sequential sharing circles.

What Does Participation in This Research Project involve?

Participation in this research project will involve a total of 4 days (10am-3:30pm) over a two-week period. Participation in this project involves wellness and cultural or land-based healing activities along with sharing circles.

The wellness and cultural/land-based healing activities held during the project may include making a shawl or drum-making and rattle-making, depending on the Elders and the participants. Sharing circles will be facilitated by peers under the guidance of an Elder and will involve sequential sharing circles. Additional wellness activities such as sharing of food, stories, art, songs and drumming will be included.

Lunch, light snacks and beverages will be provided at these events and participants will receive an honorarium in appreciation of their time. We expect to have between 8 to 12 participants.

In total, we expect that participation in this project will require 4 days (10am-3:30pm) over a two-week period.

The project is expected to be held between November 1st – 17th 2017 (dates, times and venues will be made available to participants after enrollment in the project).

 

Who is Conducting this Study?

The research component of the intervention will be conducted by a team composed of Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous advocates for Indigenous health. Here is a brief introduction to the research team:

Dr. Alexandra King, Nipissing First Nation, is the Principal Investigator. She is a physician and health researcher.

Bernice Thompson, Indigenous Community Research Associate

Elizabeth Benson, Peer Research Associate/Collaborator

Cynnimon Rain, Community Research Associate

 

Why Participate in This Project?

Although your participation in this research project might NOT grant you any direct medical benefit, it is our aim that you will find the participation in the wellness and cultural activities and sharing circles to be a validating and re-affirming experience with consequent improvement in resilience, social/mental/emotional/spiritual wellbeing.

As a participant, you might also benefit knowing that the output of this study will contribute to increasing the body of knowledge regarding the utility and impact of cultural wellness interventions for Indigenous women aging with HIV/AIDS and these programs may be available to support you (or your community).

This project is led by the community. The leadership includes Elders and champions within Indigenous communities including individuals with lived experience of HIV. The research component will be conducted by Indigenous research associates, Indigenous researchers (Drs. Alexandra King) and community research associates. Oversight of this study will be provided by a Community Steering Group which includes Indigenous Elders and members of the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN).

 

 

Interested in Participating and/or Learning More About This Study?

Please contact:

Bernice Thompson, Indigenous Community Research Associate

Phone: 604-833-2641

Email: [email protected]

 

Cynnimon Rain, Community Research Associate

Phone: 604-446-1853

Email: [email protected]

 

Funding for this research study is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Ethics approval has been obtained from the Simon Fraser University Research Ethics Board.