Laurentian researchers highlight the value of Indigenous patient engagement in research

The new OSSU Supplement features the work of Dr. Jennifer Walker and Dr. Nancy Young

(2018-11-08)  Two Laurentian University researchers have contributed articles on Indigenous patient engagement in research for the new Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit (OSSU) Supplement in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).

The projects of Dr. Jennifer Walker, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Health, and Dr. Nancy Young, Research Chair in Rural and Northern Children's Health, both focus on research in First Nation communities. 

An Ontario-wide study to support the diabetes-related information needs of First Nations leadership, government and community workers is featured in Dr. Walker’s article, entitled Describing the process of ethical conduct of research in an Ontario-wide First Nations diabetes research project. The study was conducted in partnership with the Chiefs of Ontario and the article was co-authored by Robyn Rowe, an Indigenous Ph.D. student in Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian University. “Our First Nation-led research addresses important gaps where data are needed to improve decision-making and advocacy,” said Dr. Walker.

Dr. Young’s article, Beyond the patient: lessons from community engagement in a rural First Nation, discusses an ongoing project aiming to evaluate the effectiveness of screening, triage and subsequent treatment of the health of children in Wiikwemkoong. The project was co-led by Mary Jo Wabano, Health Services Director for the Naandwechige-gaming Wikwemikong Health Centre. “Research has the potential to improve the health of Aboriginal Children, when all aspects of the work are carried out in respectful collaboration,” said Dr. Young.

Launched yesterday, the Supplement is a collection of articles reflecting on the experiences, learnings and value of 17 research demonstration projects supported by OSSU. It is a resource for researchers and others interested in this growing approach that involves patients and caregivers as partners in health and health systems research.



Located on the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850 territory, Laurentian University recognizes that we are on the traditional lands of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek and Wahnapitae First Nation. Laurentian is committed to strengthening the foundation of knowledge in higher education and research to offer an outstanding university experience in English and French with a comprehensive approach to Indigenous education. Together with its federated partners, Laurentian University prepares leaders who bring innovative and intelligent solutions to local and global issues.