Pathways Annual Gathering summary 2015

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) convened an inaugural gathering of key participants in its Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples initiative (Pathways). The Inaugural Pathways Annual Gathering (PAG 2015) was held in Ottawa, Ontario on March 23-25, 2015. The PAG 2015 achieved a significant milestone toward CIHR's Roadmap II's research priority that focuses on supporting Health and Wellness for Aboriginal Peoples. Key participants included approximately 140 researchers, their community partners, CIHR partners, National Aboriginal Organizations (NAOs), and CIHR staff to dialogue about the initiative, exchange knowledge, develop partnerships, and lay the groundwork for impact within four priority areas of: suicide prevention, oral health, tuberculosis, and diabetes.

Some highlights of the gathering included the opening reception at the Wabano Center for Aboriginal Health and provided participants with a networking opportunity in addition to a community experience: the culture of each Aboriginal group was showcased through entertainment provided by First Nations, Inuit and Métis performers. This gathering also allowed learning more about the Partners for Engagement and Knowledge Exchange (PEKES). The three PEKES act as the liaisons between funded researchers and community partners and support ways to incorporate Indigenous Ways of Knowing and taking diverse cultural protocols and norms into consideration as part of the research process. The next gathering will build on the successes of PAG 2015 and planning for next year's event is expected to begin in September, 2015.

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