"I'm trying to heal the side of me that's recognizing that Métis People are built on colonialism and colonization": Contemporary social issues impacting Métis Peoples' health


Métis Peoples' physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health continue to be adversely impacted by colonization and inequalities in the social determinants of health. The health impacts of contemporary social issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic are well-documented, however little is known about how Métis Peoples have been affected. Applying a community-based participatory approach, this narrative inquiry explored how contemporary social issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, global racial tensions, and residential schools' graves discoveries/acknowledgements, have impacted Métis adults in Saskatchewan health. In partnership with Saskatoon Métis Local 126, culturally significant methods of conversational interviews and photovoice reflections were used to understand Métis adults' (N=18; Mage = 27.83? 9.20 years; 67% females) health experiences since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and reflexive thematic analysis was conducted to explore experiences. Four themes, supported by direct quotes and photographs, were created to represent Métis Peoples' health experiences during ongoing social issues: (1) Safety is a daily concern: "Every time I leave my residence here in the city, I feel like I'm risking my health"; (2) A balanced perspective: "Being Métis allows for a great deal of compassion and understanding"; (3) Security in being self-sufficient: "When COVID broke out, Indigenous communities were like 'We'll just go on the land' "; (4) Technology is health restricting: "With expansion of technologies, you lose sight of that physical connection to the land, even something as simple as going for a walk". These findings suggest that Métis Peoples continue to face unique health experiences, even during global crises. Addressing health concerns requires targeted initiatives.

Acknowledgments: This research is funded by Heart and Stroke, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)