Ensuring Indigenous co-leadership in health research: a Can-SOLVE CKD case example

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Background: Indigenous people are insightful and informed about their own health and wellness, yet their visions, strengths and knowledge are rarely incorporated into health research. This can lead to subpar engagement or irrelevant research practices, which exacerbates the existing health inequities Indigenous people experience compared to the non-Indigenous population. Data consistently underscores the importance of Indigenous self-determination in research as a means to address health inequities. However, there are few formal methods to support this goal within the existing research context, which is dominated by Western perspectives. Main text: Canadians Seeking Solutions and Innovations to Overcome Chronic Kidney Disease (Can-SOLVE CKD) is a patient-oriented research network in Canada that recognizes the need to create the space to facilitate Indigenous self-determination in research. Indigenous members of the network therefore created and evolved a unique group, called the Indigenous Peoples' Engagement and Research Council (IPERC). IPERC plays a critical role in informing Can-SOLVE CKD research priorities, as well as creating tools to support Indigenous-specific research and engagement. This approach ensures that Indigenous voices and knowledge are critical threads within the fabric of the network’s operations and research projects. Here, we describe the methods taken to create a council such as IPERC, and provide examples of initiatives by the council that aim to increase Indigenous representation, participation and partnership in research. We share lessons learned on what factors contribute to the success of IPERC, which could be valuable for other organizations interested in creating Indigenous-led research councils. Conclusion: Indigenous self-determination in research is critical for addressing health inequities. Here, we present a unique model, led by a council of diverse Indigenous people, which could help reduce health equities and lead to a better era of research for everyone.




Woods, C., Settee, C., Beaucage, M., Robinson-Settee, H., Desjarlais, A., Adams, E., … Nahanee, D. (2023, December 1). Ensuring Indigenous co-leadership in health research: a Can-SOLVE CKD case example. International Journal for Equity in Health. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-023-02044-9

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