About the Wabanaki-Labrador Indigenous Health Research Network

The Wabanaki-Labrador Indigenous Health Research Network is a dynamic, diverse, interdisciplinary and inclusive collaboration of Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik, Inuit, Innu, and Passamaquoddy community members, organizations, health professionals, students, academics, traditional healers and allies from the four provinces of Atlantic Canada – Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
We refer to this region the Wabanaki-Labrador region. Guided by the principles of co-learning, co-mentorship, and relational ethics, the Wabanaki-Labrador Indigenous Health Research Network seeks to transform Indigenous health research, by supporting and promoting community-driven research to produce meaningful, ethical, and respectful research from Indigenous peoples throughout the region see benefit. With the leadership of a broad range of community and regional partners and collaborators, we will support research activities that are led by, with, and for Indigenous communities, to achieve Indigenous health and wellness goals throughout the region, as defined by Indigenous peoples.  

Vision and Mission

Our vision is to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples within the Atlantic region. Our plan is to develop a regional Indigenous health research Network, whose mission is to be led by, and work with and for, Indigenous communities to support research that addresses their health research priorities, builds research capacities, engages in community-led health research, and supports culturally-appropriate and community-specific methods of knowledge exchange and strategic implementation, to achieve Indigenous health and wellness goals throughout the region, as defined by Indigenous peoples.

Network Objectives

  1. Enhance capacity for undertaking meaningful, relevant and respectful Indigenous health research in the region;
  2. Support communities to address their health research priorities through top-tier research and research capacity-building;
  3. Shift the balance of power in the research relationship from academic institutions to Indigenous communities in the region; and
  4. Share the experiences of the network widely and foster its sustainability.

Network Activities

Research and Innovation Co-Learning Lodges: sustainable physical spaces to facilitate research in communities
Systematic Investments in Research Ethics and Governance: to build the capacity of communities and institutions in ensuring all research is done in a ‘good way’
Community-Based Research Awards and Workshops: to facilitate community-directed research
Trainee Program: to nurture the skills of Indigenous students
Strategic Communications and Knowledge Exchange: to share the knowledge generated through the Network
Knowledge Gardening, Sustainability and Evaluative Activities: to ensure the work of this Network far exceeds its lifespan

Guiding Principles of the Network

  • Protecting Indigenous knowledge, cultures and ceremonies;
  • Increasing sovereignty over research (and the data that results from it);
  • Moving forward in a relational way (considering research ethics from the perspective of ‘all our relations’);
  • Centering, enhancing, innovating and strengthening Indigenous knowledge in health research; and
  • Building capacity for research done in a ‘good way’ through mentorship.