Place-based knowledge in Indigenous health and rural health services


Title: Place-based knowledge in Indigenous health and rural health services

Date: Wednesday December 9 2020

Time: 1pm – 2pm (PST)

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Link to Public Seminar Recording

Dr. Nathaniel Pollock

Abstract: In Canada and elsewhere in the global Circumpolar North, health policies and interventions are often designed around the needs of southern, urban, and non-Indigenous populations. Historically, health governance in this context has marginalized and excluded Indigenous communities. As a consequence, innovative and effective ways of promoting health and providing care may be dismissed or become difficult to sustain and scale-up. Through my research, I pursue questions that acknowledge the value of evidence grounded in the social histories and cultures of people and territories. The guiding objectives of my work are to generate place-based knowledge that reflects multidimensional understandings of health, and apply it to programs and services that are built to fit local contexts. In this seminar, I will highlight the principles that anchor my scholarship, share my perspective on the role of place-based knowledge in Indigenous health services research, and introduce ideas about how to translate evidence between contexts that are drastically different.

Bio: Nathaniel is an interdisciplinary researcher and educator whose work in Indigenous health services bridges theories and methods from the social sciences, epidemiology, and public health. Originally from Ontario, Nathaniel began his career as a social worker in mental health and child welfare. In 2011, he moved to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador where he helped develop and deliver an Inuit-specific Bachelor of Social Work program. Nathaniel’s work in Indigenous health is rooted in a commitment to meaningful community engagement, building partnerships based on trust and reciprocity, and the rigorous application of ethical principles for research involving Indigenous communities. His scholarship is focused on suicide prevention and mental health services, rural health and social care, and applying community-based methods in research with administrative data. Nathaniel is currently serving as the Vice President of both the Canadian Society for Circumpolar Health and the International Union of Circumpolar Health. He is a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta and an adjunct professor with the Division of Community Health and Humanities at Memorial University. Nathaniel lives in St. John’s with his partner and three young children.