Cultural safety in knowledge exchange: Supporting dissemination activities for the FNHA Guest Edition of the International Journal of Indigenous Health


  • Katie Bauder

Team members: 

  • Alexa Norton
  • Namaste Marsden
  • Kate Jongbloed
  • Riley Bizzotto
  • Jennifer Murray

In 2019, the FNHA partnered with the International Journal of Indigenous Health to release a special Guest Edition titled "Health Systems Innovation: Privileging Indigenous Knowledge, Ensuring Respectful Care, and Ending Racism towards First Nations in Service Delivery.” This proposal describes a series of knowledge translation (KT) activities that will bring wider awareness to the edition and will result in a timely and relevant KT tool. Through a Virtual Launch of the FNHA Guest Edition, we will showcase the range of submissions by Indigenous researchers and allied collaborators and engage in dialogue about how to best translate this information so that it is relevant and useful for Indigenous people and communities. Armed with insight about how to best translate and disseminate the FNHA Guest Edition, we will collaborate with Indigenous creatives (for example artists, filmmakers or digital storytellers) to develop and disseminate a KT tool for building capacity in community. By engaging in community-defined KT, we help to ensure that the findings and knowledge assembled within the Guest Edition are appropriately translated and will be of value to Indigenous people and communities.

First Nations Perspective on Mental Health and Wellness, Culturally Safe and Trauma-Informed Harm Reduction: Collaborative Response to the Impact of the Opioid Crisis on First Nations

Research co-leads:

  • Amanda Ward
    First Nations Health Authority
  • Will Small
    Simon Fraser University

Research user co-leads:

  • Warren Clarmont
    BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres
  • Kora Debeck
    BC Centre on Substance Use
  • Michelle Degroot
    First Nations Health Authority

Team members (FNHA):

  • Harmony Johnson
  • Namaste Marsden
  • Shannon McDonald
  • Jennifer Murray
  • Patricia Vickers

The current opioid crisis in British Columbia (BC) has been devastating to First Nations individuals, families and communities, who continue to be disproportionately affected compared to other BC residents. The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) provides health programs and services throughout BC to all First Nations and has collaborated with BC’s Ministry of Health, and provincial, regional, and community partners over the past year to develop strategies and solutions toward reducing harm and preventing death due to opioid use. Despite this work, the crisis is showing no signs of slowing without the adoption of multi-faceted and collaborative approaches designed to strengthen community and nation-based responses. A dramatically enhanced collaborative approach for First Nations is needed, grounded in the First Nations Perspective on Health and Wellness, addressing root causes of drug use including intergenerational trauma, and guided by people who use drugs.

FNHA will form a network that includes First Nations people who use drugs, community members, Elders, provincial stakeholders, and service providers from across BC. The proposed “First Nations Mental Health and Wellness Opioid Use Network” will focus on four priority areas grounded in the First Nations Perspective on Health and Wellness, community-informed Mental Health and Wellness Service Model, and the priorities of people who use drugs:

  1. Strengthening service delivery.
  2. Addressing social determinants of health and root causes of opioid use.
  3. Enhancing strategies for culturally safe and trauma-informed engagement, prevention and harm reduction.
  4. Informing and strengthening strategic directions for First Nations.

FNHA will convene a workshop for Network members and invited guests to collaboratively work toward a community-informed approach, implementation plan, and develop research and knowledge exchange activities. We aim to build enduring partnerships between organizations and individuals involved in First Nations health and wellness activities across BC seeking to prevent further death and harm due to opioid use and misuse.