Thompson Rivers University

Forum Brings 54 Chiefs Together To Shape Wellness Research

September 11, 2014

With a Strategic Research Plan that prioritizes Aboriginal Understanding and Community and Cultural Engagement, Thompson Rivers University is pleased to host the first ever Interior Nation Research Forum in partnership with the Secwepemc Health Caucus and the First Nations Health Authority.

Chiefs from 54 First Nations communities in the Interior have been invited to the Research Forum, and will be joined by scholars, elders and health representatives from the region’s seven Indigenous Nations, in what is hoped to be the first of an annual gathering.

The objectives of the forum — which takes place Sept. 12 and 13 on the TRU campus — are to strengthen relationships among the Interior Nations with academics and universities in relation to Indigenous research, as well as to begin shaping the Interior Nation’s Research Agenda with a focus on wellness.

The forum also hopes to begin establishing a common ethical ground upon which to build respectful and mutually beneficial relationships to advance both individual and collective agendas. The gathering provides an opportunity for nations in the Interior to lead the discussion and collaborate with partners on defining what meaningful research means to each Nation, and how partners can work best with their communities to serve and involve them in effective and innovative ways.

The forum will include dialogue sessions on:

  • First Nations Data Governance
  • Sharing Research Experiences
  • Respectful Engagement
  • Research Ethics
  • Community and Population-Based Public Health Research
  • Capacity Building

Thoughts from participants

“We are all born to make a difference and in order to do this we need to be informed. The Secwepemc Health Caucus is utilizing this forum to establish concrete steps on how to build research capacity and use new relationships to build self-determination by informing governance decisions with knowledge and information relevant to the Secwepemc Nation.”

Kukpi7 Christian
Secwepemc Health Caucus Chair

“First Nations recognize the importance of research and many are in the process of rebuilding their regulatory environment related to the ownership and control of data. Research partnerships with individuals and organizations must be built on a solid foundation. We hope to move this work forward together during the Interior Research Forum.”

Gwen Phillips
First Nations Health Council

“This forum represents a major milestone in transforming health research into a community-driven, nation-based practice that generates and shares meaningful knowledge. The First Nations Health Authority is excited to support relationship building between research institutions and the Interior Nations.”

Amanda Ward
Director of Research Analysis and Knowledge Management
First Nations Health Authority

“The university’s research community is pleased to be invited to this event and to co-facilitate some of the working sessions. Our Strategic Research Plan focuses on Aboriginal Understanding, Education, Health and Diversity, and Community and Cultural Engagement as key areas of interest; and we see our inclusion in the Interior Nations Research Forum as a wonderful opportunity to explore, refine, and develop these areas.”

Dr. Will Garrett-Petts,
Associate Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies
Thompson Rivers University

More information

Dr. Will Garrett-Petts
Associate Vice-President Research and Graduate Studies
Tel: 250-828-5410

Kukpi7 Wayne Christian
Secwepemc Health Caucus
Splatsin First Nation
Tel 250-503-7072

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