Reflections from a Creative Community-Based Participatory Research Project Exploring Health and Body Image with First Nations Girls

Jennifer M. Shea, Jennifer Poudrier, Roanne Thomas, Bonnie Jeffery, Lenore Kiskotagan


In Canada, Aboriginal peoples often experience a multitude of inequalities when compared with the general population, particularly in relation to health (e.g., increased incidence of diabetes). These inequalities are rooted in a negative history of colonization. Decolonizing methodologies recognize these realities and aim to shift the focus from communities being researched to being collaborative partners in the research process. This article describes a qualitative community-based participatory research project focused on health and body image with First Nations girls in a Tribal Council region in Western Canada. We discuss our project design and the incorporation of creative methods (e.g., photovoice) to foster integration and collaboration as related to decolonizing methodology principles. This article is both descriptive and reflective as it summarizes our project and discusses lessons learned from the process, integrating evaluations from the participating girls as well as our reflections as researchers.

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