Alberta Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research

NEIHR aims to transform primary healthcare system for Indigenous wellness and health equity

Dr. Lindsay Crowshoe, Assistant Dean, Indigenous, Associate Professor, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Through the Indigenous Primary Health Care and Policy Research Network (IPHCPR) NEIHR, Dr. Crowshoe is collaborating with Indigenous communities, researchers, health system leaders, and health service providers to promote a renewed and transformed Primary Health Care system that will lead to Indigenous health equity. IPHCPR NEIHR can achieve this by engaging Indigenous knowledges and ethics that are central to this primary healthcare transformation through framed research, engagement, and knowledge of Indigenous community wellness. While Western and Indigenous knowledge systems have different intentions and assumptions regarding ethical health practice, it is important not to default to westernized views as the sanctioned truth. IPHCPR NEIHR seeks to validate and align Indigenous knowledge with primary healthcare so that Indigenous wellness and health equity can be improved. This strengths-based approach will highlight how Indigenous culture and community attributes, relationality, self-determination, and structural competencies can help address health disparities and structural inequities. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, IPHCPR NEIHR has been able to bring network partners together through virtual platforms for creative engagements that collectively explore dynamic priorities and advance the network’s goals. As a result, this NEIHR’s partners have been able to take part in meetings, seminars, and webinars. IPHCPR NEIHR has also established a listserv, archived meetings on their website, and encouraged partners to promote this information.

“This network is about engaging and connecting a diverse set of Indigenous primary healthcare, community and research stakeholders,” said Dr. Crowshoe. “Our aim is to support building a primary health care system that is responsive to the needs of Indigenous community through generating, gathering and sharing critical transdisciplinary knowledge.” 

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