Year(s) Funded: 2015-2016
Topic Area: Adaptation Planning
Contact: Jack Shiwak, Rigolet Inuit Community Government (email@example.com)
Partners: Rigolet Inuit Community Government, Nunatsiavut Government Department of Health and Social Development, Cape Breton University, University of Guelph
Title: Building Foundations for a Community-Led Environment-Health Monitoring System
Action: Following community-based and community-led participatory methods, the research objective was to design, pilot, and evaluate a community-based health monitoring and response strategy that brought together Indigenous and scientific knowledge to decrease the health impacts of climate change with the potential to be scaled up regionally and/or transferred to other Northern regions.
Data was gathered by Rigolet community members through an interactive app that was collaboratively developed with the community for this project and is usable on electronic devices. The data can be accessed by health professionals and governments at the local and regional levels to support community health decision-making. There was also the option to make some information available to community members through online platforms. Through past research, researchers understand how and why the community is vulnerable to climate-health impacts. This project was developed as a response to the desire to take action and respond to these vulnerabilities.
Results: Two Research Associates from Rigolet, Nunatsiavut were hired to lead the program in the community, work with local government and organizations, and lead the research and app development on the ground. In-depth, semi-structured, conversational interviews were conducted with key stakeholders in Labrador and in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut.
Community engagement was essential: The community responded very well to providing feedback on the app development. They had clear ideas and suggestions about how they wanted to use the app and what would provide useful data allowing them to adapt to changing conditions.
Partnerships improve scalability of the project: Ongoing discussions and coordination with regional government officials has led to the expansion of this project’s scope. The Nunatsiavut government is interested in working with the research team to use the eNuk app platform to conduct a Nunatsiavut wide census. This census will allow the Nunatsiavut government to gather regionally specific health data for the five Nunatsiavut communities.
Outputs: Two peer-reviewed journal articles were co-written with community governments and program participants. A chapter for “The Handbook of Indigenous Wellbeing” was written.