Digging Deep: Examining the Root Causes of HIV and AIDS Among Aboriginal Women Final Report

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The final report for Digging Deep: Examining the Root Causes of HIV and AIDS Among Aboriginal Women is out today for World AIDS Day. This project began in 2014 and concluded in 2018 and involved a collaboration between Morning Star Lodge and All Nations Hope Network (ANHN). The report features direct quotations from the Indigenous women who participated in the project and aims to describe the role of colonization in current HIV rates and identify culturally appropriate services available and needed for HIV positive Indigenous women. More information about Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week at ANHN can be found here: http://allnationshope.ca/event-calendar/list/all

The final report for Digging Deep is available here:

Call for Participants

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Call for Participants

Morning Star Lodge, through Dr. Carrie Bourassa, is seeking File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (FHQTC) community members to assist us in the examination and identification of the cultural significance of water governance and water resource management to Indigenous women. The aim is to use these perspectives to create culturally appropriate water governance models for Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan. Focus groups begin at the All Nations Healing Hospital, Fort Qu’Appelle on Thursday, December 6th, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Our objective is to examine the lived experience of Indigenous people, with particular focus on Indigenous women, to understand the role of Indigenous culture, knowledge, spirituality and ceremony that are relevant to water resource management. We will help them to develop ways of learning about water economics, water policy, and community-based solutions that are culturally safe. Our specific objectives include:

•To examine and understand the lived experience of Indigenous people and their roles on water resource management; and

•To examine and understand the aspects of Indigenous culture, knowledge, spirituality and ceremony that is related to improving the quality and access to water in their communities. These two domains will be explored in relation to policies and practices that influence access to appropriate water resource management (e.g., policy issues, geography, role of Indigenous women). For this project, participants must:

•Be an Indigenous woman over the age of 18. Women are preferred, but men are welcome, too.

•Currently reside in a File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council community.

•Have an interest in water governance policies and water resource management within their communities.

•Participants will receive an honorarium and mileage coverage for their time.

If you would like to participate in this project, or have questions, you may contact:

Marlin Legare

Research Assistant

Morning Star Lodge

(306)584-4462

marlin.legare@usask.com

Community Research Advisory Committee (CRAC)

The committee members and Morning Star Lodge held a meeting on November 21, 2018 at the All Nations Healing Hospital in Fort Qu’Appelle. There was discussions on future workshops, projects grants for CABHI, CICA and CCNA and updates. Next meeting will be held on December 13, 2018 at the All Nations Healing Hospital from 10am-2pm.

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Dr. Carrie Bourassa Honoured By The First Nations Health and Social Secretariat

On November 6th, 2018, The First Nations Health and Social Secretariat - Manitoba honoured Carrie for her hard work as Scientific Director – Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH) in privileging Indigenous Knowledge, Indigenous Research Methodologies and ensuring Indigenous communities are determining the health research agenda in Canada. 

Carrie stated that she was humbled and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and love from Wendy McNab, Leona Starr, the Knowledge Keepers, and the research team members in attendance. She was gifted a Star Blanket, which Knowledge Keeper Catherine Whitecloud (pictured in first image on far right) explained is the modern-day buffalo robe. There was also a Brushing Off ceremony, followed by a feast. Carrie had also given a talk in the afternoon at the University of Winnipeg. Several academic and community members were in attendance. It was a day that Carrie will always remember and cherish, and it has given her great strength. The staff of Morning Star Lodge are incredibly proud of Carrie and extend our congratulations! 

 Knowledge Keepers Ed Azure (left) and Florence Paynter (right) hold up the Star Blanket. Catherine Whitecloud stands on the far right.

Knowledge Keepers Ed Azure (left) and Florence Paynter (right) hold up the Star Blanket. Catherine Whitecloud stands on the far right.

 Dr. Carrie Bourassa wearing her Star Blanket.

Dr. Carrie Bourassa wearing her Star Blanket.

 Knowledge Keepers Ed Azure (left) and Florence Paynter (right) hold up the Star Blanket. Catherine Whitecloud stands on the far right.

Knowledge Keepers Ed Azure (left) and Florence Paynter (right) hold up the Star Blanket. Catherine Whitecloud stands on the far right.

Morning Star Lodge Halloween Party

Morning Star Lodge got into the spirit of Halloween yesterday by throwing a party and potluck lunch. The festivities were also a celebration of Louise BigEagle, who will be moving to Calgary in the near future. Her hard work is greatly appreciated and Morning Star Lodge wishes her nothing but continued success.

 Pictured l to r: Jaqueline anaquod, erin goodpipe, kayla watson-mcnab, dana hickey (on screen), sebastien lefebvre (On Screen), louise bigeagle, nicole akan, marlin legare.

Pictured l to r: Jaqueline anaquod, erin goodpipe, kayla watson-mcnab, dana hickey (on screen), sebastien lefebvre (On Screen), louise bigeagle, nicole akan, marlin legare.

 Pictured l to r: Jaqueline anaquod, erin goodpipe, kayla watson-mcnab, dana hickey (on screen), sebastien lefebvre (On Screen), louise bigeagle, nicole akan, marlin legare.

Pictured l to r: Jaqueline anaquod, erin goodpipe, kayla watson-mcnab, dana hickey (on screen), sebastien lefebvre (On Screen), louise bigeagle, nicole akan, marlin legare.

 Pictured l to r: Jaqueline anaquod, erin goodpipe, kayla watson-mcnab, dana hickey (on screen), louise bigeagle, nicole akan, marlin legare.

Pictured l to r: Jaqueline anaquod, erin goodpipe, kayla watson-mcnab, dana hickey (on screen), louise bigeagle, nicole akan, marlin legare.

Morning Star Lodge In the Community With Isaac Murdoch and Christi Belcourt

Morning Star Lodge was pleased to be out in the community on October 19th to meet Indigenous artists Isaac Murdoch and Christi Belcourt. Murdoch and Belcourt were at All Nations Hope in Regina, SK during a Canada-wide tour of Indigenous art. For this specific project, the artists were providing All Nations with a new mural meant as a homage to missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. For more information about Isaac, Christi, and their artwork please visit http://onamancollective.com/who-we-are/

 Isaac and Christi working on the mural.

Isaac and Christi working on the mural.

 Isaac providing a signature for the THunderbird Woman painting that is now hanging at Morning Star Lodge.

Isaac providing a signature for the THunderbird Woman painting that is now hanging at Morning Star Lodge.

 Isaac Murdoch and Christi Belcourt with mural.

Isaac Murdoch and Christi Belcourt with mural.

 Morning Star Lodge Staff with Isaac Murdoch, Christi Belcourt, and the All Nations Hope mural.

Morning Star Lodge Staff with Isaac Murdoch, Christi Belcourt, and the All Nations Hope mural.

AGE-WELL's 4th Annual Conference

Morning Star Lodge is proud to have been in attendance at AGE-WELL’s 4th Annual Conference from October 16, 2018 to October 18, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Morning Star Lodge representatives Danette Starblanket and Mackenzie Jardine attended the conference to speak about the lab’s current research regarding how the introduction of technology may assist elderly Indigenous individuals and those living with dementia.

To stay updated on this project, continue to follow the Morning Star Lodge’s blog and stay posted for future newsletters!

  Danette Starblanket (R) and Mackenzie Jardine (L) standing in front of the poster drafted to showcase Morning Star Lodge’s project.

Danette Starblanket (R) and Mackenzie Jardine (L) standing in front of the poster drafted to showcase Morning Star Lodge’s project.

  AGE-WELL Poster WITH STACEY GUY, DANETTE STARBLANKET, and MACKENZIE JARDINE (L to R).

AGE-WELL Poster WITH STACEY GUY, DANETTE STARBLANKET, and MACKENZIE JARDINE (L to R).

JOB POSTING: RESEARCH ASSISTANT

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Are you a motivated individual with an interest in advancing the health of Indigenous communities? Are you pursuing education such as a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree relating to Indigenous health? If so, Morning Star Lodge is seeking you to become a part of our unique and innovative research team!

If you are interested in this exciting career opportunity, please review the qualifications and application process below. You may forward your application and all relevant documentation to the contact information below. You may also view the job posting at the bottom of this page.

Open Date: 9/28/2018 

Closing Date: Until Filled

Description: There is one opening for this posting. Located in Regina, SK.

Primary Purpose: Morning Star Lodge, established by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and supported and maintained by the U of S, is a lab that embodies mentorship. It is a student training lab that fosters a team environment where undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral trainees are supervised by Dr. Bourassa and her academic team. Elders are also actively involved in guiding every research project as they play a critical role in the lab and are always available to student trainees. Innovative Indigenous research methodologies are blended with Western methodologies to exemplify the "Two-Eyed Seeing Model" in the lab. Mentorship in the lab happens not only between academic supervisor/student but also between students as well as between Elders and students, community members and students and, especially, between community members and academics.

Indigenous Community-Based Research is based on four core values (sometimes called the “4 Rs”): respect, responsibility, reciprocity and relevance. Our model embodies these values, as we understand that our diverse projects are relevant not only to our community partners but to all involved.

We are seeking a part-time graduate student to assist with a variety of Indigenous community-based health projects.  This position will be based out of the Morning Star Lodge Research Lab in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Typical Duties/Accountabilities:

Successful candidates will be involved in academic literature search, project management, website development and simple data collection (phone calls, surveys and scrutiny of secondary sources). Other duties may include:

  • Assistance in the designing and administration of questionnaires

  • Data analysis (Nvivo, SPSS) – experience desirable but training can be provided

  • Interviewing participants (if required)

  • Proofreading and development/writing of scholarly documents and policy articles

  • Assistance in transcribing documents

  • Assistance in preparation of presentations, reports and other project related topics

  • Assistance in the development of manuscripts for publication

  • Assistance in the production and editing of digital video media

Direct supervisor will be Dr. Carrie Bourassa; however, research assistants will report directly to lab co-supervisors and to a committee of community members and Elders involved with the CIHR research grants.

Qualifications

Education: Undergraduate/graduate degree or courses in Indigenous Studies or Indigenous Health Studies, social sciences, or kinesiology/health. Master’s degree preferred.

Experience/Skills:

  • Candidates must be organized, maintain excellent oral and written skills and be familiar with Microsoft Excel, library database search and academic citation techniques.

  • Experience with survey and qualitative research methods

  • Understanding of the history of colonization in Canada is an asset

  • Previous research experience, including the preparation of research papers for academic journals

  • Experience with NVivo and SPSS software is an asset

  • Demonstrate superior cultural sensitivity

  • Ability to travel and participate in field work

  • Ability to speak a First Nations language is an asset

  • Living Indigenous experience an asset

  • It is essential that students be able to work with minimum supervision.

Interested candidates must submit a resume and cover letter to:

Nicole Akan, Research Lab Coordinator
University of Saskatchewan, Morning Star Lodge Research Lab
401-2631 28th Avenue

Regina SK S4S 6X3
Email:  
Nicole.akan@usask.ca 


HHT Scientific Advisory Board

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The staff of Morning Star Lodge would like to extend a warm congratulations to Dr. Carrie Bourassa for her role on the HHT Scientific Advisory Board. We are incredibly grateful for and proud of all the work that Dr. Bourassa does, and are confident that she will prove to be an invaluable asset on this board. For more information, please see the button below to read more on the HHT Scientific Advisory Board and on Dr. Bourassa:

Nakota Advisory Group Meeting on Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation for CICA

On September 5th, 2018, the Morning Star Lodge travelled to Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation for the 4th meeting of the Nakota Advisory Group. The Nakota Advisory Group is helping to translate an assessment tool for CICA (Canadian Indigenous Cognitive Assessment). Elders Freda O’Watch, Diane Smith, Felix Ashdohonk and Maxine Thompson are helping guide, advise and consult with Morning Star Lodge on the proper use of the Nakota Language.

 Taken in the Elder’s Lodge on Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation. Photo by Erin Goodpipe-Ironstand

Taken in the Elder’s Lodge on Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation. Photo by Erin Goodpipe-Ironstand

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32nd Annual Treaty 4 Gathering - September 10 - 16, 2018

The 32nd Annual Treaty 4 Gathering was held on September 10th to 16th, 2018 in Fort Qu’Appelle, SK. This year thousands of First Nations along with non-First Nations people participated in many different activities and events. The gathering provides opportunities for education of Treaties, Language, and History; these activities included:

·      A pipe ceremony and flag raising each day

·      A feast in honour of our ancestors and recognition of Treaty 4

·      Three days of Great Plains Culture & Language gathering-September 11th to 13th

·      Three days of Treaty 4 student activities-September 11th to 13th

·      YAP Interactive Career Fair-September 13th

·      Treaty 4 Annual Baseball Tournament for Adult and Youth-September 14th to 16th

·      Annual Golf Championship-September 14th to 15th

·      Co-Ed All Nation Volleyball Tournament-September 15th

·      32nd Annual Treaty 4 Powwow-September 15th to 16th

·      Parade-September 15th

The Treaty 4 territory is a portion of southern Saskatchewan that spans over 195,000 square kilometers in both Saskatchewan and the western segment of Manitoba with a total of 36 First Nations representing 60,000 members, Treaty 4 includes members of Regina, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Weyburn and Yorkton, along with many different others.

 Treaty 4 Powwow grounds. Photo credit: Margaret Kisikaw Piyesis

Treaty 4 Powwow grounds. Photo credit: Margaret Kisikaw Piyesis

U of S to become the new home of Institute of Indigenous People's Health as of October 1st, 2018

The Institute, formerly located in Sudbury, Ontario, will make its new home in Saskatoon as of October 1st, 2018. Morning Star Lodge lab mentor Dr. Carrie Bourassa serves as the institute's scientific director, and she will also be joining the faculty in the department of community health and epidemiology.

The Institute has been engaging with communities and will be revealing its five-year plan in the coming months.

Here are some posts and articles on the announcement:

https://news.usask.ca/articles/research/2018/u-of-s-to-host-cihr-institute-of-indigenous-peoples-health-.php

https://twitter.com/usask/status/1038090055783342081

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/university-of-saskatchewan-institute-indigenous-peoples-health-1.4814167

The Morning Star Lodge would like to Congratulate Carrie on such a great opportunity!

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Rock Awareness Project

Morning Star Lodge staff was proud to be in attendance and involved in File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council's (FHQTC) Rock Awareness Project, which concluded with the planting of the rocks and a symbolic Saskatoon berry tree to honour and remember loved ones within the community either living with or had lived with dementia. More information about the Rock Awareness project can be found in the FHQTC Dementia Project Fall Newsletter— October 2017, found here. In the newsletter background information regarding the project written by FHQ Health Services Community Research Assistant Jessica Dieter can be found that reads: 

Throughout the summer the Dementia Project Research Team had travelled across File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (FHQTC) attending Health Fairs, Open Houses and Treaty Days. They wanted to do more than provide information about the project and raise awareness about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but also engage with the community in a culturally appropriate manner, that is how “The Rock Awareness Project” came to be. So far they have collected over 50 rocks in which participants either wrote words of encouragement, shared special memories, or even created images to represent a loved one who is struggling with the effects of dementia, or in some cases lived with dementia and have now passed on. Once they have visited every community, they plan to honour the rocks in ceremony or in a culturally appropriate community event. They have yet to decide what that will entail but the Community Research Advisory Committee will guide them through that process.

 

 Rocks with Messages, Names, and Drawings Honouring Loved Ones Living with Dementia.

Rocks with Messages, Names, and Drawings Honouring Loved Ones Living with Dementia.

 FHQTC and Morning Star Lodge Initial Meeting and Opening Prayers

FHQTC and Morning Star Lodge Initial Meeting and Opening Prayers

 Planting of the Saskatoon Berry Tree and Rocks.

Planting of the Saskatoon Berry Tree and Rocks.

 Planting of the Saskatoon Berry Tree and Rocks.

Planting of the Saskatoon Berry Tree and Rocks.

 Final Result of the Rock Awareness Project.

Final Result of the Rock Awareness Project.

WEPGN Update: July 13th, 2018

Morning Star Lodge staff have been continuing their work on the Water Economics, Policy, and Governance (WEPGN) network project with upcoming conferences, publications, and community-based research. 

After literature review, article submissions, and presentations such as Morning Star Lodge's Congress 2018 presentation completed this year, the next phase of this project will continue in the community with help from our community partners File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council. Additional information on the progression of this phase will be posted on our blog as it develops. 

Morning Star Lodge staff and members of our community partner File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council will also attend the WEPGN Annual General Meeting held at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia from September 13th to September 15th.  

 

CRAC Update: July 10th, 2018

Morning Star Lodge attended a meeting with community partners File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council and All Nations Healing Hospital in Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan on July 5th, 2018. The meeting was intended to allow partners within the Community Research Advisory Commitee (CRAC) to discuss updates and projected developments moving forward for dementia research projects such as the Canadian Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (CICA) project and the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) project. 

The meeting consisted of introductions and an opening prayer, a review of a CCNA article written by Danette Starblanket, updates on the aforementioned projects and an update to the partners on Morning Star Lodge, and an open table discussion regarding the next steps of the CCNA project headed by Dr. Carrie Bourassa. 

 

 Morning Star Lodge Staff, Elders, and FHQTC Community Members review and revise CCNA article.

Morning Star Lodge Staff, Elders, and FHQTC Community Members review and revise CCNA article.

 CRAC Meeting for The Dementia Project.

CRAC Meeting for The Dementia Project.

 All Nations Healing Hospital, Fort Qu'Appelle, SK. 

All Nations Healing Hospital, Fort Qu'Appelle, SK. 

 All Nations Healing Hospital, Fort Qu'Appelle, SK. 

All Nations Healing Hospital, Fort Qu'Appelle, SK. 

The date of the next CRAC meeting is yet to be determined, but is projected to be held early September of 2018. Morning Star Lodge will provide updates on our event page and our blog as they develop.

CICA Update: July 10th, 2018

The Canadian Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (CICA) team has recently been attending health fairs and treaty days in communities such as Carry the Kettle, Okanese, Piapot and Regina Urban Treat Days, and others to engage with the communities and share information on what CICA is and what it is all about. Community members gave us excellent feedback from sharing stories of family members who had dementia or have it, they had also expressed joy to see a project for Indigenous people with dementia coming together. During the month of June we also started the Nakota Advisory Group (NAG) with the Elders of Carry the Kettle Nakota Nation for the CICA project. We held an information session June 13th, 2018 at the community to gather information and sign up those who speak Nakota fluently or at least can help with translation. We had our first meeting for the NAG on July 5th and it went very well, the Elders that speak Nakota were eager to provide translations after being briefed in the Nakota CICA Screening Tools. The next meeting will be on July 25th at the Carry the Kettle’s Elders Lounge.

 

Pasqua Treaty Days

Morning Star Lodge staff were in attendance of Pasqua Treaty Days held at the Pasqua First Nation, Asham Beach on June 29th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pasqua Treaty Days was a community event that consisted of annual treaty payments, free catered community bbq, horse rides, boat rides, bouncy castles, face painting and petting zoo, plus much more for the community to gather together and enjoy this day. The event also had an announcer and DJ which kept the energy of the place going all day and made special announcements when needed.  The community began with an opening ceremony consisting of opening prayers and dancers to carry in the flags to start the Pasqua Treaty Days.

 Overview of the event.

Overview of the event.

 Booths and community events.

Booths and community events.

 Staff enjoying the family events such as the petting zoo.

Staff enjoying the family events such as the petting zoo.

 Morning Star Lodge staff at Pasqua Lake.

Morning Star Lodge staff at Pasqua Lake.

National Indigenous Day Celebrations

National Indigenous Day took place yesterday, on June 21st, 2018. Morning Star Lodge was pleased to have been in the community to celebrate Indigenous culture, language, arts, and people. We present highlights from the events that were taking place in our communities and are proud to continue serving them with our research now and in the future. 

Highlights from the event the Victoria Park and City Square Plaza event, hosted by the City of Regina and Aboriginal City Employees. The event featured traditional arts, music, dance performances, and boutiques for attendees to purchase Indigenous arts and crafts. The event also featured an opening presentation from Morning Star Lodge's own Erin Goodpipe: 

 

 Teepee on display in Victoria Park, Regina, SK. (1)

Teepee on display in Victoria Park, Regina, SK. (1)

 Teepee on display in Victoria Park, Regina, SK. (2)

Teepee on display in Victoria Park, Regina, SK. (2)

 Performances by the  Creeland Dancers  and  Dallas & Phil Boyer.  (1)

Performances by the Creeland Dancers and Dallas & Phil Boyer. (1)

 Performances by the  Creeland Dancers  and  Dallas & Phil Boyer.  (2)

Performances by the Creeland Dancers and Dallas & Phil Boyer. (2)

 Itinerary of the event and sponsorship considerations.

Itinerary of the event and sponsorship considerations.

 Additional events hosted at  Casino Regina .

Additional events hosted at Casino Regina.

The other event that Morning Star Lodge staff attended was a community event held at Grassick Park, Regina, SK hosted by Circle ProjectReach, and the Indigenous Christian Fellowship. This free event for all included performances of traditional Indigenous dance, performances from Indigenous musicians for both traditional and non-traditional music, a free BBQ for all attendees, an Elder's village, and many other educational and family events to partake in. Below are some highlights of the event: 

 

 Traditional Dance Performance. (1)

Traditional Dance Performance. (1)

 Traditional Dance Performance. (2)

Traditional Dance Performance. (2)

 Traditional Dance Performance. (3)

Traditional Dance Performance. (3)

 Traditional Dance Performance. (4)

Traditional Dance Performance. (4)

 Traditional Dance Performance. (5)

Traditional Dance Performance. (5)

 Traditional drum-circle performance.

Traditional drum-circle performance.

 A display of flag and musical performances from Indigenous musicians.

A display of flag and musical performances from Indigenous musicians.

 Educational displays on Women's Traditional Dancing and the history of Treaty 4.

Educational displays on Women's Traditional Dancing and the history of Treaty 4.

 Educational displays on the Métis people and culture.

Educational displays on the Métis people and culture.

We at Morning Star Lodge sincerely hope that every one had a happy and safe National Indigenous Day, and that Indigenous culture, language, arts, and people are continued to be celebrated now and in the future.