Main Article Content
While First Nations communities are well aware of the unique health challenges and requirements of their populations, research evidence is often needed to support this knowledge. First Nations communities face continual challenges accessing data pertaining to the health of their people that is held by the government or other organizations.
Objectives and Approach
Through the Applied Health Research Question (AHRQ) program at ICES, First Nations communities in Ontario, Canada, have an avenue to access vital population health information about their people. While keeping questions of privacy, data sovereignty, data governance, and the OCAP® principles at the forefront, First Nations partners are active members and collaborators on community driven projects that are of importance to their communities. An Indigenous health data training program has also been developed to run concurrently with these projects, to enhance research knowledge and capacity within partner First Nations communities.
First Nations community partners are the main drivers in deciding and refining the research questions for their projects. They are engaged throughout the project process to ensure the production of results that suit the specific needs of the partners. Project results are only shared with the partners, who utilize and disseminate them as appropriate within their communities.
Conclusion / Implications
With access to previously difficult to access population health data sources, First Nations communities are able to use health system data as an additional tool to better plan and implement community health programs, to lobby for additional funding, and ultimately to contribute to positive policy change.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.