Feast Centre for Indigenous STBBIs Research

Initiative Summary

The current political and social realities of Indigenous life in Canada—i.e., higher rates of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs), ongoing colonization, the need for health policy and programs responsive to Indigenous strengths, practices, worldviews, etc.—requires thoughtful and respectful attention to health intervention and program science partnerships, planning and delivery that effect positive, transformational social change. Towards meeting this need, the Feast Centre for Indigenous STBBI Research has been carefully designed to significantly enhance the use of Indigenous knowledges in current efforts to design and mobilize multi-disciplinary research into high impact actions and programming. The core pillars of the Feast Centre support include: a mentorship program targeting undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral candidates; release time support for early-, mid-, and late-career scholars; supporting processes integral to knowledge uptake; and producing results through the implementation of evidence-informed practices, policies, and programs.

Initiative Objectives and Goals

The guiding strategic goal of the Feast Centre is to reduce the incidence of STBBIs and improve the quality of life for Indigenous people living with HIV, HCV and other STBBIs. To achieve this goal, the Feast Centre team will undertake the aforementioned activities designed to achieve the following objectives: Engage, facilitate and support the use of Indigenous knowledge systems in STBBIs research; Further stimulate and coordinate multi-stakeholder collaboration in Indigenous STBBIs research across the key pillars of health research (clinical, basic science, epidemiology, social science); Contribute to the development of a highly skilled, multidisciplinary community of investigators, research trainees, and Indigenous community stakeholders; and foster the development of Indigenous knowledge translation products and processes that accelerate the uptake and implementation of evidence to policies, programs and practices.

The Role of this Initiative to End the HIV Epidemic

In order to meet the needs of Indigenous communities living with or affected by HIV and other STBBIs, the Feast Centre will comprehensively support Indigenous STBBIs research that privileges Indigenous being and knowing and engages in multiple methodological frameworks across key health pillars (clinical, epidemiological, basic, and social sciences).

Meaningful Engagement with People with Lived Experience

The Feast Centre is led by two Indigenous people—one of whom has lived experience of HIV—and will be governed by a Council of Elders, a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and scholars, and a strong cohort of Indigenous community stakeholders who bring lived experience of HIV and STBBIs to the vision and priorities of the Centre. In the context of a response to STBBIs, the greater and meaningful involvement of Indigenous peoples living with HIV and/or other STBBIs is a guiding principle of our work and will have a significant impact on how projects will be funded.

Key performance indicators

Primary target audience

Indigenous communities living with or affected by HIV and other STBBIs

Secondary target audience

Indigenous and allied HIV/STBBIs researchers

Start Date
July 1, 2019
-
June 2024
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Strategic marketing and support tactics

Website, Social networks, Print pieces, Webinar/Seminar

RESULTS

The Feast Centre will have contributed towards: • Funding up to (15) research development and pilot projects to increase use of Indigenous knowledges, with a focus on Indigenous method, at the provincial and national levels with research that addresses Indigenous and CIHR priority themes; • Strengthened existing and supporting the creation of new, collaborative research partnerships by linking with existing grants, engaging new team members and working closely with other networks and like-minded research groups, communities, policy makers and program managers; • Attracting, training and mentoring outstanding Indigenous STBBI academic and community-based researchers/year (50+ over 5 years) across diverse disciplines, career stages and communities through an intensive program designed for success by increasing the number of people skilled in research leadership; • Generating, demonstrating and leading the integrated translation, communication and use of new knowledge about innovative prevention of STBBIs among Indigenous peoples; • Increasing collaborations across disciplines and regions with national and international Indigenous and Allied STBBI research partners, community organizations, policy advisory bodies, and Indigenous community stakeholder groups.

Results

The Feast Centre will have contributed towards: 
• Funding up to (15) research development and pilot projects to increase use of Indigenous knowledges, with a focus on Indigenous method, at the provincial and national levels with research that addresses Indigenous and CIHR priority themes;
• Strengthened existing and supporting the creation of new, collaborative research partnerships by linking with existing grants, engaging new team members and working closely with other networks and like-minded research groups, communities, policy makers and program managers;
• Attracting, training and mentoring outstanding Indigenous STBBI academic and community-based researchers/year (50+ over 5 years) across diverse disciplines, career stages and communities through an intensive program designed for success by increasing the number of people skilled in research leadership;
• Generating, demonstrating and leading the integrated translation, communication and use of new knowledge about innovative prevention of STBBIs among Indigenous peoples;
• Increasing collaborations across disciplines and regions with national and international Indigenous and Allied STBBI research partners, community organizations, policy advisory bodies, and Indigenous community stakeholder groups.

Insights

Challenges

"But I also learn from the women after hearing their stories. I put them into practice. ‘Cause they teach me. I teach them. They learn from me." —Valérie, a BSC Collaborative member

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Feast Centre for Indigenous STBBI Research