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October 6, 2023
Recently, a team of researchers traveled abroad to present Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) COVID-19 research findings at the 17th Vaccine Congress in Glasgow, Scotland. From September 24-27, the conference gathered a global network of research experts to share knowledge and form relationships.
Participating at the conference were MNO citizen and epidemiologist Abigail Simms; Keith King, a Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) citizen and University of Alberta PhD student who has collaborated with the MNO on this work; Noel Tsui, Epidemiologist seconded to the MNO; and Tasha Shields, a University of Waterloo PhD student. The MNO studies also enlisted Dr. Martin Cooke from the University of Waterloo as the Principal Investigator.
There currently exists a significant gap in research and policies relating to Métis peoples. The team’s focus on the specific realities and attitudes of Ontario Métis peoples and their families helps collect key data to fill this gap. By bringing these perspectives abroad, Métis voices and experiences are being heard by an international audience.
“Sharing Métis-specific research and bringing Métis-specific research to an international forum highlights new ways to approach research and ways of thinking and doing.” shares Abigail. “All our work is rooted in Métis ethics and ways of living, but lessons from these teachings, such as a community-based approach and strong relationships can have benefits for populations who are not Métis for other research projects.”
The research team presented five posters highlighting and detailing the MNO’s COVID-19 vaccine research work with funding in part by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Health Canada.
The five research topics presented included:
Abigail is quick to thank all the participants of the projects so far, as well as ICES and MNO leadership and MNO Senators for their co-creation and guidance throughout.
“Because of participation in this work, we are able to share part of the Métis health and wellness story with a much larger audience!” says Abigail.
Congratulations to our research team for this important contribution to a growing body of scholarly, and Métis-specific, work!
Click here for more information on MNO research findings in the What We Heard Community Report on COVID-19!