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Researcher to study effect of COVID-19 policies on Indigenous peoples


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“A lot of data is collected about us, but we don’t show up in the data,” said Bonshor. “First Nations people have the right to their own data, and academia has not effectively been able to analyze Indigenous data because there is a lack of understanding of what kind of data they’ve collected — researchers might call it Inuit, Métis, on reserve, off reserve and not even understand the colonial terminology they are using. Brittany and our Aboriginal research teams can bring that Indigenous lens and, as health leaders, we can help them interpret and understand the data.”

The appointment of Bingham is underwritten by a $106,920 grant from the Michael Smith Foundation, B.C.’s major health research funding agency, which is funding a number of COVID-19 studies.

Bingham will be working with 35 local Aboriginal agencies to research and understand the social impacts of public COVID-19 policy on the urban Indigenous population and identify gaps in services.

“There is a huge gap in the data and the knowledge around the unique needs and risks among the urban Indigenous population. Evidence based decision making is what our health systems aim to do and Indigenous data has not been included,” said Bingham. “There needs to be a different approach.”

Her research methods will centre Indigenous research and voices along with scientific method, and that the community perspective and voices will be part of any findings.

“We start with the community perspective and that community perspective informs our response once we get into the data: it’s action focused, it has to be closely linked to an impact,” said Bingham.

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