An elder just made me cry. In a good way.
Today our research team made its first presentation of the findings from our alcohol and stigma study. Because we’re committed to OCAP principles (ownership, control, access and possession of all aspects of the study, including data), the first stakeholder to receive findings is the Aboriginal community. As I expected I found out a couple of hours earlier that I would be presenting a good whack of the findings. Though the slides were already prepared–pas grand chose.
Most community-based HIV research is qualitative: we’re doing a mixed methods study. And we’re collecting two types of data: from Aboriginal Persons with HIV/AIDS (APHAs) and those who provide care/services/support to APHAs. This is an ambitious study.
I expected we’d get fairly pummeled presenting the findings…and we did to a certain extent. But we also got lots of great questions, tons of great feedback, and a round of applause for doing what we’re doing. All good.
Then an Innu elder spoke. Among the various things she said, this is what made me cry:
My elders told me “learn their language so you can use it better than them. And then get them to understand our story.” And you are doing that with this project.
I have no words…so honoured, so happy.