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Monthly Newsletter

The Participatory Research Newsletter

This monthly newsletter aims to highlight the participatory research initiatives emerging from Participatory Research @ McGill (PRAM), and Community Information, Empowerment and Transparency (CIET), as well as share new opportunities for projects, courses, funding, and more!

Note, the PRAM Newsletter is offered in the following languages:

A Month in Review

An ever busy team, below are a few updates from the PRAM/CIET network.

New Project Launch

Realist review

CIET/PRAM team members kicked off an exciting new project!

Led by Dr Loubna Belaid and funded by CIHR under the patient-oriented program, the project aims to understand how participatory research in health research 

works and will identify the ways in which authentic participation contributes to health outcomes. 

The team will conduct a realist review of the published literature. They will synthesize the findings of the realist review as a fuzzy cognitive map and use the Weight of Evidence approach. The team will invite stakeholders to share their own perspectives on how participatory research work and their views on the published literature map. 

The protocol of the review is currently in Press in BMJ Open and will be available in the next issue! 

Project Update

Data collection of the project on traditional self-care practices for maternal health in Colombia

Over the past few months, our colleagues in Colombia have worked with a group of community members to develop a questionnaire to identify traditional healthcare practices for women during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. The team will measure the association of these self-care practices with health outcomes and patient experiences. The local team has started data collection using electronic devices to interview mothers attending public hospitals in Bogotá.

You can visit their website here!

Nunavimmiut Making Films: Teaching and Learning

Congratulations to our colleagues and friends at Dawson College, for their incredible film-making project and screening with Inuit youth. Read on to learn about this project supported by the Quebec Indigenous Mentorship Network!

Nunavimmiut Making Films: Teaching and Learning is a series of digital storytelling workshops and mentoring which took place from January to June 2023. Six Inuit creatives with ties to Nunavik joined artist and animator Glenn Gear (Inuk, Nunatsiavut) and filmmaker and researcher Michelle Smith (Red River Michif) to make films on themes of teaching and learning. Elder, artist and educator Qumaq Iyaituk joined the process virtually from Ivujivik, Nunavik.

Filmmaking took place at the Cinema Communications Studio space at Dawson College and involved a series of hands-on workshops on stop motion animation, sound recording, camera operation, scriptwriting, narration, editing, use of archives and more. The approach is informal and collaborative, with lots of space for peer exchange and sharing ideas and inspiration. 

Some participants created a short film using stop motion techniques. Pasha Partridge made Takuminartuiit, a film about Inuit art which features archival film of Nunavik as well as her own work. Pasha invites viewers to join in the creation of a “collective art piece”. In Inutsuapik, Neevie Simigak tells the story of how she came to be an artist, and honours her grandparents who encouraged her to bead from a young age. Lisi Etok created a colourful, fantastical world in The Adventures with Auvvi. Auvvi, caterpillar in Inuktitut, is a character in Lisi’s favorite childhood story. The completed films were shared with participants and guests at Dawson College in May 2023. 

Other participants were mentored in aspects of documentary filmmaking including scriptwriting, developing story structure, directing, producing, working with community members, editing, interviewing techniques and fundraising. Participants are applying these skills to in-depth film projects on topics of youth leadership, educational sovereignty, traditional knowledge and storytelling.

What participants had to say about their experiences:

I jumped into this process without knowing what I was getting into! Everyone made me feel really comfortable and I kept coming and ended up making a film. I’m so proud of it. The animation medium combines all my skills and I want to keep using it to make art to inspire kids. 

    I was able to tell a story that I wanted to share for a long time, about how my grandparents supported me to be an artist. They have been important teachers in my life.

    I can see my progress, this is my third film and I know what to do. I can really say I’m a filmmaker now and I want to share what I learned with others.

    It meant a lot to learn and create along other Inuit. It never happens that we’re majority Inuit in the city or in a place like a college.

    The workshops are part of an arts-based research process led by Michelle Smith PhD (c) to inform the creation of an Inuit Arts and Culture College Degree program in Nunavik. The team is grateful for the financial support of the Quebec Indigenous Mentorship Network (QIMN) and collaborators including Participatory Research at McGill (PRAM), Cinema Communications (Dawson College), Kativik Ilisarniliriniq, and the Avataq Cultural Institute.


    Fall 2023 Courses - McGill University 

    FMED 603: Foundations of Participatory Research +

    Online | Professor Neil Andersson. FMED 603 is a one-credit research course offered by the Department of Family Medicine at McGill. Foundations of participatory research covers the science and discipline of partnerships underlying research, research governance, ownership of research products and relationships behind research objectives and methods. Founding principles include respectful partnerships, cultural safety, and intercultural dialogue. The course introduces participatory frameworks and methods for co-design and co-management of research, participatory media and integrated knowledge translation, quality improvement, and adaptive management of services.

    FMED 604: Advanced Participatory Research in Health +

    In-person sessions | Professor Neil Andersson. FMED 604 is a three-credit research course offered by the Department of Family Medicine at McGill. Advanced participatory research reflects on the science and discipline of partnerships underlying research. It is concerned with research governance, ownership of research products and relationships behind research objectives and methods. As a discipline or method set, participatory research is co-creation of knowledge through equitable partnerships with people affected by the issue or who will act on its results – patients, health professionals, policy makers, community members or communities.

    For more information about the courses, please contact Khalid Umer.

    Latest Publications

    Highlighted below are some of the most recent publications from the industrious PRAM team: 

    Why urban communities from low-income and middle-income countries participate in public and global health research: protocol for a scoping review

    Authors: Marie-Catherine Gagnon-Dufresne, Iván Sarmiento, Geneviève Fortin, Neil Andersson & Kate Zinszer

      Shifting paradigm from biomedical to decolonised methods in Inuit public health research in Canada: a scoping review

      Authors: Loubna Belaid, Richard Budgell, Caroline Sauvé, & Neil Andersson

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