In recent years, Inuit have become increasingly involved in health research activities taking place in Inuit Nunangat (the Inuit Homeland); however, colonial approaches to research endure, particularly in the realm of health research. Inuit are still not consistently involved in setting the research agenda, establishing and monitoring compliance with ethical guidelines, and determining how data and information are collected, analyzed, stored, used, and shared. Advancing Inuit governance in health research is imperative for ensuring Inuit are engaged in all steps of the research process. It will also greatly enhance the efficacy, impact, and cultural relevance of research relating to Inuit and Inuit Nunangat and ensure that research result in the improvement of health and wellbeing for Inuit.
The National Inuit Strategy on Research (NISR) advocates for research that empowers Inuit and meets the needs of Inuit families and communities. It describes five priority areas for Inuit research, including advancing Inuit governance in research, enhancing the ethical conduct of research, aligning funding with Inuit research priorities, ensuring Inuit access, ownership and control over data and information, and building capacity in Inuit Nunangat research.
The presentation will focus on describing the upcoming National Inuit Health Survey, which is being led by the 4 Inuit Regions and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and is projected to take place in all 4 Inuit regions in Canada in 2021. This health survey is the first national health research program of its kind to be led by Inuit, and the presentation aims to highlight the unique elements of the project itself as well as how every element of the Inuit Health Survey development – from planning to implementation – is working to support and enhance Inuit self-determination in research and advance all five priority areas of the NISR.