Indigenous knowledge translation: baseline findings in a qualitative study of the pathways of health knowledge in three indigenous communities in Canada

Health Promot Pract. 2009 Jul;10(3):436-46. doi: 10.1177/1524839907307993. Epub 2008 Feb 15.


To acquire an understanding of the pathways of health information dissemination and use by Indigenous community members, the researchers applied an Indigenous participatory action research approach in partnership with one urban Inuit, one urban Métis, and one semirural First Nations community in Ontario, Canada. A descriptive community case study was conducted in each community through the use of focus groups, key informant interviews, and document inquiry. Results were corroborated by the communities. Each of the three community consultations generated distinct and striking data about health information sources and dissemination strategies; decision-making processes; locally relevant concepts of health, local health services, and programs; community structures; and mechanisms of interface with noncommunity systems. In addition, several crosscutting themes were identified. The participatory research approach successfully engaged community partners. These findings support the hypothesis that understanding local Indigenous processes of knowledge creation, dissemination, and utilization is a necessary prerequisite to effective knowledge translation in Indigenous contexts.

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Community Participation
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / psychology*
  • Information Dissemination / methods
  • Inuits / psychology*
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Ontario
  • Qualitative Research
  • Rural Population
  • Translating
  • Urban Population