Wednesday, 12 July 2017

PEKE: An opportunity for “Building Health Knowledge Relationships into Action”

By Gabriela Jimenez, 2nd year MDP student

This summer I am doing my placement in Winnipeg at the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba (FNHSSM), specifically with Partners for Engagement and Knowledge Exchange (PEKE). 

PEKE is a research initiative that started in 2014 with Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funding. It follows reconciliation premises to enhance the exchange of Traditional and scientific knowledge, and to incorporate a holistic perspective in health improvements in First Nations and Indigenous communities located nationally (Canada) and internationally.

The main goals of PEKE are: engage and inform partners, research communities and First Nations; develop health interventions that are informed by and congruent with Indigenous knowledge and values; and create a culture of KTEA (Knowledge Translation and Exchange towards Action) that is sustainable beyond the life of this initiative.

My role in this placement is to structure an Evaluation Plan to be consistent with PEKE’s objectives and Indigenous perspectives. This opportunity is very relevant for my professional experience, because PEKE is a real project in progress that I have to understand in order to develop a plan for immediate implementation. The placement timeline is short, which makes it challenging and but it is also a wonderful hands-on learning experience that is continuously supported and supervised by PEKE’s Coordinator.

Two recent examples of PEKE’s activities for Engagement and Knowledge Exchange, are the Anishinaabe Nibi (Water) Gathering and the Webinar - Turning Drinking Water Rights Research into Action. These events weree open to everyone in communities and/or organizations that are interested in increasing the knowledge and action to improve First Nations health. PEKE holds and promotes many activities to get involved in and take action in policy change. 

Whiteshell Provincial Park, Anishinaabe Nibi (Water) Gathering, May 23rd, 2017

Initiatives such as PEKE, are designed to be sustainable by creating a culture of Traditional Knowledge recognition for successful implementation in communities. PEKE provides a change in the approach of health interventions by engaging different partners to work collaboratively for mutual understanding of healthy ways of life. I am happy to have the opportunity to support and participate in this project and its events.

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