Pandemic H1N1 Targeted Messaging for Manitoba Metis: An Evaluation of a Risk Communication Intervention

  • S. Michelle Driedger University of Manitoba
  • Ryan Maier University of Manitoba
  • Julianne Sanguins Manitoba Metis Federation
  • Sheila Carter Manitoba Metis Federation
  • Judith Bartlett Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
Keywords: Pandemic H1N1, Metis, Risk Communication, Health, Canada


Certain populations are more at-risk than others during a pandemic, and health systems are required to develop targeted risk messaging to ensure that those populations have access to necessary protective materials and information. During the H1N1 pandemic in 2009–2010, the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), with support from Manitoba Health, carried out a door-to-door risk communication campaign that targeted particularly at-risk Metis in Manitoba, Canada. This paper is an evaluation of that campaign. To investigate Metis perceptions of the intervention, researchers conducted five focus groups (n=50 participants) with Metis citizens in two communities where targeted home visitations were carried out. To understand the rationale and intentions of the intervention, researchers also carried out key informant interviews with MMF senior staff who were responsible for developing the intervention and delivering the training to the communication messengers. Despite the positive steps taken to reach an at-risk community, the outcomes of this particular intervention ultimately did not meet its intended goals. Efforts can be made during inter-pandemic periods to build on established relationships, learn from past experiences, and develop new solutions. To ensure optimum community reception, intensive health messaging campaigns need to strategize ways to impart health expertise in ways that are culturally relevant.