Contextualizing Aboriginal Health Information Communication Technologies

Fri., Oct. 14, 2011, 9:00am - Sat., Oct. 15, 2011, 10:00pm

The Situating Science Toronto Node is pleased to co-sponsor this event. This Workshop, hosted by the York Institute for Science and Technology Studies and funded by the Canadian Institue for Health Research, will focus primarily on northern communities and on First Nations, Inuit and Métis understandings of health and wellness.

Strong in their own right, Aboriginal health and wellness issues, concerns and approaches remain marginalized within national, regional, and local health care systems and practices.  Further, these concerns are being addressed in a piecemeal fashion as Communications Technologies emerge at the forefront of the management and control of Aboriginal health and, arguably, identity.  This Workshop is a space to address and engage critically in a discussion of these and other emerging issues, priorities and critical research questions in Information Communication Technologies (ICTs).

The Workshop takes as its starting point that, like the health system in general, ICTs are not neutral in their design, implementation or acceptance and are based on a particular—and contestable—vision of health.  At this Workshop, we will focus on the social dimensions, impacts, challenges and choices, as well as policy and implementation gains and gaps as communications technologies become embedded in Aboriginal communities across Canada.

The goal of the Workshop is to bring together Aboriginal and inter-disciplinary academic perspectives to advance the practical and theoretical domains of health ICTs in Aboriginal Canada towards integrative research designs and towards improving the questions we ask as community members, activists, practitioners and researchers.

The Workshop will ultimately result in a co-authored document that will highlight the priority research questions developed through our discussions as well as a commitment to develop appropriate research initiatives and reporting modalities as determined by the participants of the Workshop.  This document will serve as a key component towards the development of a national research initiative on these issues.  The post-Workshop document will be posted online and distributed widely, with a post-Workshop invitation for feedback and dialogue.