Iqaluit (Arctic Health Research Centre)

Climate Change and Health Community Photovoice Research Project and Training Workshop

The History of Our People – Nunavut

It is well-known in Canada that northerners face a number of challenging circumstances to obtaining and maintaining good health. That said, there are tremendous strengths in communities to address local health concerns, such as a willingness to work together, traditions and customs that support healthy lifestyles and activity, and strong cultural pride. Drawing upon existing community strengths and resources and building community capacity is the key to addressing a number of health concerns in the North presently and over the coming years.

Project Summary – How We Are Leading the Way

The goal of this project was to undertake a three-day project in Iqaluit, Nunavut May 12-14, 2009 to provide training and experience to community members in Nunavut in photovoice methodology. The purpose of this project was to build the confidence of community members in community-based research methods in order that they may lead their own health research projects and participate meaningfully in projects that come to their communities.

It is our hope that after this project, participants will feel comfortable to put forward their own project proposals to the Climate Change and Health initiative in the future.

Capacity Building – Connecting the Guidance of the Past with the Needs of Today

Amazing how a few photographs can lead to such an organized, coherent set of themes and thoughts.- Group Participant

The objectives of the project were to;

  1. Build local capacity to develop and deliver community-driven health research projects in Nunavut communities.
    •  We delivered a three-day workshop in health research methods; Inuit and community perspectives on ethical conduct in research; and interviewing, and also conducted a photovoice research project with the workshop participants.
  2. Provide opportunities to learn hands on about data collection methods, such as surveys, interviews and a photovoice project in climate change and health.
    • During the training workshop, participants were the researchers in a photovoice research project exploring the impact of climate change on the health of northern communities.
  3. Provide community members with important skills and resources to be proactive about engaging in health research taking place in their communitiesand expand the opportunities available to communities to address health concerns locally;
    • In the evaluation of the workshop and research project, participants identified that these activities provided them with important skills, network connections, and both physical and online resources to be more involved with research in their communities.
    • Two of the participants went on to conduct photovoice research projects with the Nunavut Dept, of Health and Social Services Public Health Strategy Team in the past year;  participant began a graduate program in a health-related field; and one participant has continued to work with Qaujigiartiit on community-based health research projects.
  4. Generate more community-driven health research projectsthat are lead by community-members.
    • Two new projects to explore climate change and the impact on health were developed after the conclusion of this workshop and research project with participants from the workshop.
      • To explore the land-health-environment relationship further by exploring community use of fresh water systems in Iqaluit and the impact climate change can/will/ does have on this important part of life in the North
      • To explore the impact of climate change on food sharing systems and food support programs in Iqaluit through the eyes of the Iqaluit Food Bank and Soup Kitchen.
Photovoice has the potential to be a great teaching tool which could be used in school. It starts discussion and stimulates creativity. Makes me more aware of what I take a picture of – find a deeper meaning in the photographs I do take. Teaches you to see life a little bit differently.- Group Participant

Outcomes

  1. Community Photovoice Research Online Video Tool,
  2. Inuktitut language and terminology,
  3. Museum Exhibit,
  4. Journal Submission,
  5. Research Report

Overwhelmingly, the group felt that photovoice was an empowering research method that allowed for ‘community expression’ and ‘social action’.

Visit Us Online!!

The materials, photos, reports, messages and instructional video have all been posted online on our website at www.qhrc.ca.

nunavut

Community Profile

Region:
, ,
Population:
6699 (2011 Census)
Land Area:
52.50 sq km

Project Information

Years Funded:
Topic Area:
Contact:
Gwen Healey, Qaujigiartiit/Arctic Health Research Network - Nunavut (gwen.healey@qhrc.ca)

Map Location