Honouring Voices


With the broader goal of this project being to understand the experiences of incarcerated Indigenous women, we are utilizing several methods to achieve this. These include:


Interdisciplinary and Multisectoral Research Planning
By virtually bringing together a core research team, we will establish reciprocal, respectful, relevant and responsible research relationships (Barnhard & Kirkness, 1991). Our research advisory consists of Knowledge Keepers, community members with lived experiences and research collaborators. This advisory will ensure Elder and lived experience perspectives are prioritized in the research plan, processes, outcomes, and knowledge translation activities. Our overall research plan, project map and work plans will outline detailed objectives, outcomes, deliverables and timelines. Communication will be maintained both within and outside of our research team through various means including research meetings, knowledge translation activities, and Community Research Agreements. REB applications will be submitted to the University of Calgary and Correctional Services Canada.


Scoping Reviews
We will conduct two separate scoping reviews to identify laws, policies, initiatives, and best practices that meet sexual, reproductive, and maternal child healthcare rights and needs of incarcerated women in Canada, USA, New Zealand, and Australia over the past decade. These countries were selected due to similarities in their colonial histories, laws, policies and the health and socio-economic outcomes of their respective Indigenous peoples. The findings from these reviews will be written up and disseminated to partners and collaborators, as well as submitted to various journals and conferences for publication and presentation.


Quantitative Research
We will be requesting data from CSC on available information for incarcerated Indigenous women’s sexual, reproductive, and maternal child health. Depending on availability of data or data gaps and limitations, additional requests will be made to CSC via data sharing agreements. The collected data will be analyzed and compiled into a final report, to be disseminated to Correctional Services Canada, partners, collaborators, and the public.


Qualitative: Decolonized and Arts Based Research

In collaboration with CAEFS, Knowledge Keepers, and project collaborators, our team will develop arts-based workshops that are guided by Indigenous and decolonizing methodologies. Research questions aimed at identifying the reproductive, sexual, and maternal-child health experiences and needs of incarcerated Indigenous women will be created and integrated into these workshops, as well as one-on-one interviews and sharing circles. Once pilot-tested and validated, we aim to hold these workshops with participants both within federal institutions and in communities. Our team is hoping to engage both currently and formerly incarcerated Indigenous women to gain a broader understanding of their perspectives on sexual, reproductive and maternal-child health needs in prisons.

Themes from these workshops, interviews, and sharing circles will be identified using thematic content analysis (TCA). TCA will identify underlying phenomena, relationships among the themes that emerge, and the context(s) in which they occur (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) to help inform policy. Upon completion of the TCA, a presentation on findings will be provided to participants, CSC Knowledge Keepers, Elders and CSC staff at each participating institution to share participant art, key research findings, priorities, and recommendations. A validation of research findings will be conducted in partnership with CSC, CAEFS and the advisory committee.