HELP strives to engage in First Nations, Métis and Inuit research, data collection, and reporting in a culturally-responsive and safe manner that acknowledges the history, language and culture of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and their families. HELP also recognizes the importance of conducting research that is guided by First Nations, Métis and Inuit ways of knowing.
To support this approach, HELP established an Aboriginal Steering Committee (ASC) in 2003. ASC members are leaders and experts, and elders and community members from First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities in BC and Canada. The ASC works in partnership with HELP faculty, staff and partners to understand the needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children, their families and communities.
The Aboriginal Steering Committee
By sharing their knowledge and experience, ASC members are able to support a deeper understanding of the social and cultural determinants of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children’s health and well-being. The ASC ensures that our research activities involving First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples are reflective of the diverse histories, cultures, languages, values and ways of knowing of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people.
HELP and the ASC engage regularly to:
- Oversee HELP’s understanding of and commitment to Aboriginal, international and national legal agreements that bind us to a commitment to improve the experiences and outcomes of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children;
- Ensure that HELP continues to make a significant contribution toward the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action:
- Ensure that HELP’s data management protocols are in accordance with specific ethics guidelines for health research involving First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples (e.g., OCAP® Principles) ;
- Guide the development of culturally safe and relevant research, survey tools and reports;
- Advise on strategies and protocols to support HELP’s engagement and communications with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, organizations and Education Councils in BC; and
- Contribute to designing and hosting annual events that explore and facilitate dialogue on issues, challenges and successes related to First Nations, Métis and Inuit research.