At Elevate NWO, we believe the most effective way to deliver services is through evidence-based practice. This is why we recognize the importance of being involved in research that aims to help understand the needs of the populations we work with.

Indigenous Women’s Stress Study

This study aims to measure whether connecting to Indigenous culture autogenic-relaxation practices will lower stress in the participants. Quantitative, qualitative and biomedical measurement tools are being used to evaluate the success of this intervention. Data will be collected via questionnaires, group participation feedback and sharing circles. Saliva samples that measure cortisol and amylase will be tested for stress.

The study involves forty participants split into groups of ten to fifteen. Participants attend twelve sessions over the course of six months. To ensure barrier-free participation, participants are provided a meal, transportation support, a childcare stipend if needed, and an honorarium.


Visioning Health II

Visioning Health II builds on the work of Tracey Prentice’s PhD thesis Visioning Health I, which, among other findings, found that the process of participating in culturally-grounded, arts-informed interventions for HIV positive Indigenous women, was itself health-enhancing. This second project seeks to use the process, activities, and Indigenous-knowledge orientation used in Visioning Health I as a health promotion intervention aimed at optimizing the well-being of HIV positive Indigenous women living in Canada.

The intervention itself focuses on two main questions:
1. What is the meaning of health and how does it intersect with gender and culture for positive Indigenous women?
2. How does the Visioning Health process influence their self-defined health?

To answer these questions, the team is using culturally-grounded community-based participatory research methods and a ‘nested’ research structure, in which a descriptive research study is embedded within an interventional research study.

At seven sites across Canada, HIV-positive Indigenous women participants will be guided to reflect on and respond to the research questions through a variety of traditional and contemporary art mediums and to share their work and reflections through a series of ‘research sharing circles’, an Indigenous method of qualitative research.