Toronto, Ontario, September 25, 2015 – In 2014, the OFIFC and five Friendship Centre communities embarked on a research project to examine the link between traditional foods and the prevalence of diabetes in urban Indigenous communities. Directed by Indigenous filmmaker, Cass Gardiner, this film captures the value of community-driven research that is guided by the OFIFC’s USAI Framework (Utility, Self-Voicing, Access, and Inter-relationality), which helps shift the balance of authority in how Indigenous knowledge is positioned vis-à-vis other knowledge systems. USAI is grounded in Indigenous worldviews, in Indigenous ways of knowing, in connectedness to land, and in culture, which for the OFIFC is every day good living.
The OFIFC examined the regional and community characteristics of five, geographically dispersed Friendship Centres in order to further understand the challenges and opportunities facing community members in addressing diabetes. Through this project, the OFIFC documented and examined these regional differences through organizing data collection using a mixed-methods approach during five community engagement sessions at select Friendship Centres with unique regional characteristics (including successful community-based programs, thriving traditional community gardens, and distinct cultural traditions and practices).
This film would not be possible without the support of the following Friendship Centre communities, whose determination to improve the quality of life for Indigenous people infuses every aspect of this work: Niagara Regional Indian Centre, North Bay Indian Friendship Centre, Red Lake Indian Friendship Centre, Timmins Native Friendship Centre, and Timmins Native Friendship Centre Satellite Office.
The opinions expressed by individuals in this film are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres.
Funding for this project was provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
To watch the video click below.