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Developing Responsive Indicators of Indigenous Community Health

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ABSTRACT

How health is defined and assessed is a priority concern for Indigenous peoples due to considerable health risks faced from environmental impacts to homelands, and because what is “at risk” is often determined without their input or approval. Many health assessments by government agencies, industry, and researchers from outside the communities fail to include Indigenous definitions of health and omit basic methodological guidance on how to evaluate Indigenous health, thus compromising the quality and consistency of results. Native Coast Salish communities (Washington State, USA) developed and pilot-tested a set of Indigenous Health Indicators (IHI) that reflect non-physiological aspects of health (community connection, natural resources security, cultural use, education, self-determination, resilience) on a community scale, using constructed measures that allow for concerns and priorities to be clearly articulated without releasing proprietary knowledge. Based on initial results from pilot-tests of the IHI with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (Washington State, USA), we argue that incorporation of IHIs into health assessments will provide a more comprehensive understanding of Indigenous health concerns, and assist Indigenous peoples to control their own health evaluations.

No MeSH data available.


Image of Swinomish “community connection”—beach seiners pulling in a net with salmon. (photo by Jim Gibson).
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ijerph-13-00899-f001: Image of Swinomish “community connection”—beach seiners pulling in a net with salmon. (photo by Jim Gibson).

Mentions: Workshop discussions took place during a three-hour period, including a lunch of traditional foods. Questions were projected in PowerPoint, with TurningPoint® polling software used to collect and display results. The polling software allowed answers to be tallied and recorded immediately via wireless, hand-held polling devices; simple statistics collated and visually depicted answers in the PowerPoint presentation (e.g., bar graph) while allowing individual responses to remain anonymous in a room full of familiar faces. Throughout the workshop, each of the six indicators was paired with a photograph depicting a common sight at Swinomish in order to provide a visual aid in describing the indicator and as a reminder of the indicator’s meaning. As one example, Figure 1 shows the photograph for “community connection;” the image depicts community members working together to haul in a net while beach seining salmon.


Developing Responsive Indicators of Indigenous Community Health
Image of Swinomish “community connection”—beach seiners pulling in a net with salmon. (photo by Jim Gibson).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5036732&req=5

ijerph-13-00899-f001: Image of Swinomish “community connection”—beach seiners pulling in a net with salmon. (photo by Jim Gibson).
Mentions: Workshop discussions took place during a three-hour period, including a lunch of traditional foods. Questions were projected in PowerPoint, with TurningPoint® polling software used to collect and display results. The polling software allowed answers to be tallied and recorded immediately via wireless, hand-held polling devices; simple statistics collated and visually depicted answers in the PowerPoint presentation (e.g., bar graph) while allowing individual responses to remain anonymous in a room full of familiar faces. Throughout the workshop, each of the six indicators was paired with a photograph depicting a common sight at Swinomish in order to provide a visual aid in describing the indicator and as a reminder of the indicator’s meaning. As one example, Figure 1 shows the photograph for “community connection;” the image depicts community members working together to haul in a net while beach seining salmon.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

How health is defined and assessed is a priority concern for Indigenous peoples due to considerable health risks faced from environmental impacts to homelands, and because what is “at risk” is often determined without their input or approval. Many health assessments by government agencies, industry, and researchers from outside the communities fail to include Indigenous definitions of health and omit basic methodological guidance on how to evaluate Indigenous health, thus compromising the quality and consistency of results. Native Coast Salish communities (Washington State, USA) developed and pilot-tested a set of Indigenous Health Indicators (IHI) that reflect non-physiological aspects of health (community connection, natural resources security, cultural use, education, self-determination, resilience) on a community scale, using constructed measures that allow for concerns and priorities to be clearly articulated without releasing proprietary knowledge. Based on initial results from pilot-tests of the IHI with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (Washington State, USA), we argue that incorporation of IHIs into health assessments will provide a more comprehensive understanding of Indigenous health concerns, and assist Indigenous peoples to control their own health evaluations.

No MeSH data available.