Back to Search Results

The Changing Tide: Indigenizing Re-Search with Indigenous Women Living with HIV to Explore, Understand, and Support their Health and Well-Being

Valerie Nicholson, Rebecca Gormley, Debbie Cardinal, Sheila Nyman, Angela Kaida

2022 Canada

The Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study – Positive Aboriginal Women (CHIWOS-PAW) actively Indigenizes and honours re-search by, with, and for Indigenous communities. In this study, as Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers, we weave our ways of knowing and doing together on the Ancestral, Traditional, and stolen lands of the ww ́x mƏθk Əy ́Əm(Musqueam),Skwxwu ́7meshUxwumixw(Squamish), (Tsleil-Waututh),S’ólhTe ́me ́xw(Stó: lo”), and the Kwantlen Territories. We conceptualize ‘re-search’ as a cyclical journey that is not about ‘discovering’ new knowledge but designing a process to search for what is known, existing, and embodied by Mother Earth and our Ancestors. In this paper, we describe our process of using strengths-based approaches grounded in our connections with the Lands and Waters to explore how Indigenous Women living with HIV support their health and well-being by drawing upon Indigenous teachings and healing. Over the course of multiple gatherings conducted over 1 year with the same group of women, we utilized arts-based research methods, Indigenous teachings and ceremony, and Sharing Circles to collect and analyze women’s perspectives and experiences of their health and healthcare. The Wise Women were living in the Coast Salish Territories, yet came from different Communities, including Coast Salish, Cree, Blackfoot, and Navajo Nation. Our Indigenized re-search process was healing for the Wise Women who participated in the study and for us as the re-search team, which promoted re- connection to self, nature, and culture. We share insights on our learnings to support other community-based research teams to engage in re-search by, with, and for Indigenous Women that prioritizes safety, healing, and benefit for those who participate. Such insights include the importance of centering Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Ceremony, and Cultural Practices; changing re- search jargon to more inclusive and honouring language; and reaffirming commitment to Indigenous Communities.

Community-based research, arts-based methods, focus groups, emancipatory research, social justice