Wuskiwiy-tan! Let's Move! Aging well in a northern Saskatchewan M├ętis Community

Last Updated: July 19, 2016

Sylvia Abonyi, PhD (Principal Investigator)
Sarah Oosman, PhD (Principal Investigator)
Bonnie Jeffery, PhD (Co-Investigator)
Shanthi Johnson, PhD (Co-Investigator)
Nuelle Novik, PhD (Co-Investigator)
Nazeem Muhajarine, PhD (Co-Investigator)

Aboriginal people in Canada are aging faster than the overall Canadian population and report more chronic conditions earlier in life. Métis seniors report lower health status than First Nations. Very little is known about the aging experiences, aspirations, and support needs of Aboriginal seniors overall, and even less about under researched Métis peoples. In partnership with the Métis community of Île-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan, this population health intervention research project will fill the knowledge gap and provide evidence of the effectiveness of current and emerging program and policy interventions promoting aging well for Métis and other Aboriginal peoples. The research team also includes Liz Durocher, Co-Investigator (Île-à-la-Crosse) and Hassan Vatanparast, Co-Investigator.

Goals / Outcomes: Over a five-year period, this project (“Let’s Move”) will reveal concepts and experiences of healthy aging in discussion groups, interviews, and photo projects with children, adults, and seniors. Seniors will also complete activity, diet and quality of life measures at regular intervals. Finally, formal & informal supports and services available to seniors in the community will be systematically identified, with a selection undergoing evaluation. Along with effectiveness of selected interventions, gaps and overlaps between them will be identified. Our analysis will consider sex and gender to better understand the specific needs of men and women for a healthy aging experience. Graduate student and community trainees will be involved in all stages of data collection, and in the design, piloting, and evaluation of mini interventions.
The findings will be applicable to the enhancement of aging well strategies in the research community, and more broadly in other Aboriginal communities looking to improve the health status of this growing population in Canada.

Funder: Canadian Institutes of Health Research