Maliseet and Mi’kmaq Culture, Language and Access to Wellness: Creating a Holistic Aboriginal Wellness Application for Mobile Devices

Research Start-up Summary and Abstract:
Under One Sky Friendship Centre has been integrating wellness initiatives within their programming over the last two years. Every aspect of the Friendship Centre has been centered around the theme of wellness.

To further expand on the wellness work of Under One Sky Friendship Centre and create further outreach this project aims to create a lasting tool for wellness. The proposed research project will center around the question of how can Under One Sky Friendship Centre consolidate all of the wellness work being done under the centre into a single platform that is mobile and accessible to any Aboriginal person who wishes to benefit from it? What currently exists in a web application format that might use some of these some principles and be created by and for Aboriginal people?  What would work best for users? Can we build something that can be expanded on overtime and adapted?

The experience of the application creation and the application itself, can be shared with other Friendship Centres across Canada.  The primary outcome will be a holistic wellness application that can be used by urban Aboriginal people, at the Under One Sky Friendship Centre and eventually on a National level.  We endeavor to make this a community-wellness tool that can bring together the urban Aboriginal population in a way that support culture, language, and a thriving population.

Rationale:
The UAKN theme of social cohesion and community well-being and education is the theme being drawn upon for the research project.  We will be creating a tool for community well-being and the focus of our work will be on crafting something that can evolve as the needs of the community change.

Methods:
The first phase of this project will include a focus group with staff and community members to discuss content and usability. Research will be conducted into existing technologies that can be utilized to reduce timeframes and costs.

Development will be led by Mobile First Technology at NBCC.  Mobile First Technology’s (MFT) leadership, and Research Technicians are responsible for NBCC’s Mobile Wellness App, bring thousands of hours of experience working with mobile development projects, a production level project management software solution to organize team members, and infrastructure for building, testing, and backing up a large project.  MFT also provides access to any applicable, and open-sourced intellectual property from NBCC’s Mobile Wellness App, as well as MFT’s extensive code repositories that can be leveraged in-kind.

Collaborating Friendship Centre and/or other urban Aboriginal organization:
Under One Sky Friendship Centre
New Brunswick Community College

Main contact:

William McIver Jr Ph.D., NSERC Industrial Research Chair, New Brunswick Community College (Academic Lead)

Patsy McKinney, Executive Director, Under One Sky Friendship Centre (Community Lead)

Anthea Plummer, Project and Funding Director, Under One Sky Friendship Centre (Researcher)

Calvin Smith-L’Écuyer, Research Technician, New Brunswick Community College (Research Technician)

Chelsea Paul-Griffith, Community Member (Research Assistant)

TBA, Under One Sky Friendship Centre Elder

 

Research Centre