Action research is a type of socially-motivated research with a methodological approach oriented towards social justice, reduction of social inequalities, empowerment and action. CBPR (community-based participatory research) has been used with success in First Nation and Inuit communities as a way of decolonising research. Questions surrounding governance and empowerment are particularly important in Aboriginal health research where these issues have been directly associated with indicators of well-being in Aboriginal communities. Adopting various theories, including systemic theories and theories of intergenerational trauma, we will explore the complex dynamics of empowerment and disempowerment, dependence and independence that can take place in action research. We will reflect upon the role of research and the research methods that can improve Aboriginal governance and empowerment in Aboriginal health research.
Sarah Fraser is a professor in the Department of Psychoeducation at the University of Montreal. She completed her PhD in clinical psychology at Laval University and her post-doctoral fellowship in Transcultural Psychiatry at McGill University. Her general field of interest is intercultural psychology. She has specialised in the field of Inuit health and well-being with a particular focus on child welfare, community well-being and community-based participatory research methods.