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The mite achimowin (Heart Talk): First Nations Women Expressions of Heart Health study is now online.

The project brought together six First Nations women from across Manitoba to participate in learning circle discussions to explore and express their experiences related to their own heart health or caring for a relative with a heart health issue. From these discussions, the women produced digital stories (3–5 minute videos) touching upon various themes affecting First Nations heart health including: transitions from traditional to westernized lifestyles and diets; the trauma of residential schools; racism; access to medical care; culturally unsafe health care; subjugation of culturally-rooted medicines, and economic and geographic marginalization.

Their website, the videos, as well as a featured podcast can be viewed here:

The videos have been presented to over 200 undergraduate students in medicine and nursing at the University of Manitoba. The students then participated in facilitated dialogue sessions so they could share their thoughts on the videos and discuss ways to integrate Indigenous concepts of mite (heart) knowledge and patients’ experiences with biomedical knowledge and practice.

The project team included co-investigators Dr. Annette Schultz, Principal Investigator, Psychosocial Oncology and Cancer Nursing Research; Lorena Fontaine (University of Winnipeg); and project coordinator Lisa Forbes. The research team acknowledges research collaborator Ivan Berkowitz, who enthusiastically introduced Lorena and Annette to each other and encouraged the mite achimowin project even in his final days. The study received funding from the CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Aboriginal People’s Health Institute) and SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) through the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network in partnership with Nanaandawewigamig.