Tłı̨chǫ Diabetes Research Project:

Graduate Students, Health and Wellness

This graduate student research project created an evidence-based plan for a comprehensive diabetes program tailored to meet the needs of each Tłı̨chǫ community as well as a foundation of knowledge about diabetes self-care, prevention and treatment with Community Health Workers and other community members. This process also included the development of a curriculum to train two people from each community to become certified community diabetes educators (CDEs). The curriculum was designed to meet national standards while fitting into a Tłı̨chǫ community wellness framework.

Diabetes was identified by the Healing Wind Advisory Committee and other Tłı̨chǫ leaders as a priority for community capacity-building. There is a need for Tłı̨chǫ people, CHRs, CART, Healing Wind members, Home Care workers and others to become familiar with all issues related to prevention, self-care and treatment of diabetes within the communities. In August 2014, the Healing Wind Advisory Committee (HWAC) recommended a process of community-wide surveys to collect information about levels of knowledge and most effective ways for teaching/learning about diabetes for community members. This community-based model has worked well with sexual health and the Tłı̨chǫ advisors believe that starting with the community attitudes and information will again lead to a successful community-led program to address diabetes.  Healing Wind has developed a Tłı̨chǫ framework for community wellness and the diabetes program to be governed by the principles illustrated in the framework. Healing Wind and CART also developed specific themes and content to guide development of survey questions.

This program included several phases including: 1) Develop a survey that gathers relevant information in a culturally appropriate manner 2) Train teams of community-based researchers (CBRs) in general knowledge about diabetes and in survey methods 3) Conduct the survey in all 4 Tłı̨chǫ communities 4) Data entry training and input; Validation, Analysis 5) Based on the data analysis, develop an action plan with HWAC, CART, and CBRs.

Project Team:

  • Principal Investigator: Leslie Dawson, University of Alberta
  • TRTI File Contact: Anita Daniels