On February 7th, 2019 Morning Star Lodge attended a Community Research Advisory Committee (CRAC) Meeting with community members of the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (FHQTC) to discuss the next steps of several projects within the scope of Morning Star Lodge’s research. Morning Star Lodge is always grateful for the guidance of community members and highly values the input of our research partners.
The meeting began with Morning Star Lodge posing the question to community members, “What is the most apparent threat to the health of your communities?” The answers to this question provided Morning Star with valuable insight into the determinants of health that Elders and community members view as the most pressing concerns. Community members shared that addictions were a common health threat in their communities, and that while alcoholism is apparent and serious, crystal meth and prescription medication use are the more threatening substance abuse issues within the community. The CRAC attributed these substance abuse issues to adults providing access to children to prescription medication by selling it to them, and the youth of the community having limited access to employment or recreational opportunities, therefore living inactive and unstructured lifestyles.
Alternatively, the CRAC members also expressed that the aging populations of their communities are becoming increasingly exposed to chronic conditions. Although diabetes was reported to be the most common of these, the members described that it is commonly paired with other comorbidities such as cancer, hepatitis C, HIV, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Morning Star Lodge continued the meeting with updates on a variety of their projects, including CABHI, AGE-WELL, Kotawe, Macipiciw, and Digging Deep. The CRAC provided invaluable insight into the development of these projects and Morning Star is always grateful for the guidance that they provide. Finally, Morning Star Lodge held a demonstration of the FHQTC Language Apps for use on Apple iPads to be utilized for the CABHI project in regards to aging Indigenous populations displaying symptoms of dementia.