Engaging First Nations, Métis and Inuit Women in Saskatchewan through Photovoice
Dr. Jennifer Poudrier is changing the lives of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit women in Saskatchewan with her research. Partnering with Battleford Tribal Council Indian Health Services and receiving funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Dr. Poudrier was part of a team examining body image and healthy body weight among First Nations women using innovative methods.
Dr. Poudrier has used photovoice, a method which combines the use of photography, interviews and a sharing circle, in her recent research activities. It has had considerable impact on First Nations women who are able to present to their peers what is important to them and has transformed body image perceptions among the participants.
Guided by the women’s pictures and experiences, researchers were able to see what the participants saw with the use of photography, capturing the women’s point of view through a camera lens. The sharing circle was a valuable tool for both participants and researchers allowing an exchange of knowledge in a supporting community environment.
The exchange of knowledge between individuals and researchers is a central part of Dr. Poudrier’s research. Using artwork, she has examined youth resiliency by allowing youth to create artwork representing meaningful parts of their life and community. “It amazes me how creative people are,” commented Dr. Poudrier.
Collaborating with community members has been a powerful experience for Poudrier, a Métis sociologist who complete her BA and MA at the U of S before completing her PhD at Queen’s University. She views collaborating with community members an integral part of her research and research happening within the College of Arts & Science.