miyo-pimâtisiwin – Indigenous Knowledge Development Centres with a focus on Wellness

In Canada, most health research is focused on a disease or deficit end-point, whether designing, testing or implementing interventions, treatments or preventive measures. The focus of this Indigenous knowledge development project is on wellness – promoting, maintaining and re-gaining wellness, by itself, or in the context of a variety of conditions or life circumstances that First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples may find themselves. There is much Indigenous health and wellness knowledge/wisdom that has yet to be re-awakened, and in fact, cannot be well-supported in our current colonized structures and conceptualizations. To do so will take the development and re-development of roles and processes within community. It is within this context that we see Indigenous community as being the primary research leader, with the academy and the health system as being knowledge users.

Miyo-pimatisiwin is a network of Indigenous health knowledge development centres. These centres are grounded in the land and in culture, with land-based Indigenous research methodologies a critical component of the network. Using a health determinants approach and working with communities of Indigenous people including Elders, Knowledge Holders, youth, researchers and health workers, we explore what makes Indigenous people well, what keeps them well, and how Indigenous wellness can be achieved or re-gained and maintained through practices and interventions based on traditional and western knowledge. Through meaningful engagement between academic centres and Indigenous communities, our network of knowledge development centres will increase and build on our understanding of wellness.

Research began in the Norther Village of Île-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan, in December 2019.

In the words of the Elder: “Let’s research ourselves back to life.”

miyo-pimâtisiwin is funded by a CIHR project grant.


For more information, contact:

Claudia Madampage – claudia.madampage@usask.ca

Kehinde Ametepee – k.ametepee@usask.ca

Sarah MacDonald – sarah.macdonald@usask.ca