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For First Nations people, human health and well-being are interconnected with a healthy environment. First Nations organizations commonly raise concerns regarding carcinogens in the environment; however, few case studies are available as guidance for working in a participatory and respectful way to help assess and address these concerns. Through four community-led pilot projects executed over two years, we collaborated with 15 participants from four First Nations organizations across four provinces to identify concerns related to environmental carcinogens and to address those concerns through an integrated knowledge translation (KT) approach. We co-developed and implemented strategic KT plans for each pilot project, and conducted evaluation surveys and interviews with participants at multiple time points to assess process, progress, barriers and facilitators, and impact. The activities and outputs of the pilot projects are available at www.carexcanada.ca . Participants identified 18 concerns, and we co-developed 24 knowledge products. Tailored fact sheets for communities and briefing notes for leadership were deemed most useful; interactive maps were deemed less useful. Evaluation indicated that the collaborative projects were effective in addressing the concerns raised regarding exposures to carcinogens. The participant-led approach and multi-year funding to support capacity enhancement and face-to-face engagement were facilitators to project success. However, participants did face important barriers to collaborate which should be considered in future projects of this kind: the most important being a lack of resources (people and time), given competing and often more urgent priorities. © 2021. The Author(s).

Citation

Alison L Palmer, Katy Wong-Francq, Eleanor Setton. Cancer and the Environment projects with four First Nations organizations: working together to address concerns about carcinogens in the environment. Canadian journal of public health = Revue canadienne de sante publique. 2022 Apr;113(2):227-238

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PMID: 34669182

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