Indigenous & Global Health Research Group

The Indigenous and Global Health Research Group (IGHRG), led by Dr. Sangita Sharma at the University of Alberta is leading cutting edge culturally-appropriate, community health research by working with and within Indigenous and new Canadian communities to change the way healthy and wellness information is shared and utilized.

When programs for patient education, service delivery, and support systems all focus on promoting the patients’ efforts and building the capacity of individuals and families to manage disease effectively, disease control increases, health care costs go down, and family well-being improves. Our team believes it is time to ACT NOW!

 “When communities, groups, and neighbourhoods have ownership of programs, success and sustainability follows.”

WHY ACT NOW?

World incidence rates of disease such as cancer, Type II diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease are at an all-time high. Current health policy, screening and education address these conditions and the prevailing risk factors but why is there no reduction in the incidence of disease? What is missing? Who are we missing? What needs to be done? WHY ACT NOW? We need to change this pattern NOW in order to improve the future health of Canadians.

Studies show that Indigenous and new Canadian populations were healthier before adopting a“Westernized” diet and lifestyle. The communities have the answers for good health based on culture and tradition but current health care is designed for the multitude and not for individual populations. Indigenous and new Canadian communities need ownership of future health policies and programs and are interested in building strength by incorporating cultural beliefs and traditions into healthcare.

“By developing culturally appropriate tools and implementing sustainable interventions, we hope to impact the prevalence of chronic disease.”

Plan, Approach & Philosophy

Our plan is to be the go to place for Indigenous and new Canadian health, nutrition, and lifestyle research, and intervention programming to address community health concerns and prevent chronic disease.

Our approach is to work with and within communities, groups and neighbourhoods to empower people to choose, plan, and implement culturally safe and relevant paths to health and wellness.

Our philosophy is a collaborative approach in which communities, groups and, neighborhoods have full ownership of research findings and programs and then success and sustainability follow.