Morning Star Lodge remembers and honours the countless Indigenous children that were taken to residential schools. Today, we wear orange and remind ourselves that #everychildmatters. We are also incredibly proud of our very own Heather O'Watch, who spoke at the City of Regina Orange Shirt Day on Friday, September 27th! #OrangeShirtDay2019
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.
The 2019 Treaty 4 Elders Gathering, held on January 22 at the Treaty 4 Governance Centre, was formed to assemble Elders so that they may communicate in their languages and address the Treaty Protection and Crown Relations. Elders had the opportunity to participate in roundtable discussions to share their feedback and advice. The gathering began by lifting the pipes, praying for good relations and a positive outcome towards the topic. 38 Nations came together and Morning Star Lodge (MSL) had the opportunity to sit amongst elders to listen to the discussion regarding the importance of respecting treaties made more than 145 years ago.
Traditionally, we have always turned to our elders for their guidance, wisdom, and leadership in our nations. MSL recognizes the importance of this practice and respects our Elders’ leadership, and by doing so it was important for the team to fellowship with Treaty 4 Elders and community members at the gathering. The MSL team handed out posters for the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) project call for participants. This was a wonderful time to engage with Elders and listen to their advice for what they would like to see in the future when addressing Indigenous health research.
See below to view the photographs that Morning Star Lodge had taken of the event:
Morning Star Lodge Staff underwent training to perform the Collective Consensual Data Analytic Procedure (CCDAP), a data analysis method developed by Dr Judith Bartlett. The team completed this training to analyze data collected from our projects in a manner that is appropriate for community-based research. We are incredibly excited to serve our communities better with this new and innovative method.
Morning Star Lodge would like to extend a warm welcome to Dawn Martin Hill as the newest member of our team! Dawn holds a PhD Cultural Anthropology and is one of the original founders of the Indigenous Studies Program at McMaster University. Her primary research for over two decades is working with youth and overall her research includes: environmental – water and community health research, focus on governance, gender equity and spiritual traditions, traditional medicine and well-being, Indigenous Knowledge and ways of knowing methodologies and pedagogy. Dawn’s education, experience, and knowledge will be a gift that Morning Star Lodge is truly grateful for and we are excited to learn from her mentorship.
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:
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.
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.