Aboriginal health; CBPR; community-led research; interventions; sexual health


Immune System Diseases | Public Health | Translational Medical Research | Virus Diseases


To address high STI rates in their aboriginal communities, the Tłı̨chǫ of the Northwest Territories adopted a collaborative participatory research approach to sexual health based on four key stages of development. First was community initiation and engagement, where local leaders identified a priority need and began community discussions around sexual health. Secondly, identifying that existing government statistics did not provide them with adequate information, the Tlicho Community Services Agency partnered with the University of Alberta and CIETcanda to conduct a baseline study in all four Tlicho communities, designed and administered by community-based researchers. Third, a community action research team (CART) developed evidence-based interventions and partnered with local community health researchers and public health personnel. The fourth phase included a follow-up evaluation of the CART activities and ongoing community-led action planning based on the results from the surveys. Key elements contributing to the success of the community based participatory research approach include community readiness, community and researcher collaboration, local evidence-based planning, and ongoing capacity building and monitoring. The process has led to an increase in interdepartmental collaboration, and the development of culturally relevant knowledge translation resources. Key to continued success is the sustainability and transferability of the CART approach to other priority concerns, and the strengthening of integration within the various programs to ensure continuing collaborative interventions.