Health Research’…let’s get something right before the sun goes down




The main objective of this article is to provide a quick reference for health researchers working in Indigenous communities. It is intended to provide a series of preliminary checkpoints which will provide an idea of community concerns and identify support mechanisms and personnel necessary for the success of the research project. It is important that the research be centred and controlled according to region or location. Some research is guided, monitored, and assessed by external forces who are not “on the ground” to see and feel the real picture. The community has an important role to play in determining how the research is to be conducted, written up, interpreted, and shared. One could think of this as a type of advisory or overseer group. These objectives may be stated in point form thus:

  • 1. To examine, consider and respect any concerns and misunderstandings the people/community may have concerning “research.”
  • 2. To explore the concept of offering partnerships as a “buy in” option.
  • 3. To generate shared interests.
  • 4. To promote effective geographic control.

Ex-tra Considerations

In considering health research with communities, there are important preliminary steps that, if taken, will foster and encourage participation.

  • 1. Ex-plain the practice and language of health research and vaccination trials. Answer the questions how, who, when, where, and why?
  • 2. Ex-plore community priorities and cultural values.
  • 3. Ex-tend out, rather than ex-clude from.
  • 4. Ex-pect obstacles, delays and interruptions.

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