The goal of CIEDAR (CoVaRR-Net’s Indigenous Engagement, Development, and Research Pillar 7) is to ensure that Indigenous voices are heard during the current pandemic, as well as all future pandemics.

To do this, we are building relationships with Indigenous communities across Turtle Island, collecting stories of lived experiences to understand commonalities and supporting communities to effect change.

Our Team

Kimberly Huyser

Kimberly R. Huyser

CoVaRR-Net’s Indigenous Engagement, Development, and Research (CIEDAR) Pillar Lead

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

Michelle Johnson-Jennings

Michelle Johnson-Jennings

International Indigenous Engagement

Adjunct faculty, University of Saskatchewan
Professor, University of Washington

Katherine Collins

Katherine Anne Collins

Culture, Language, and Identity

Assistant Professor, University of Saskatchewan

CIEDAR’s Advisory Council

CIEDAR’s advisory council is key to the research activities and efforts of CIEDAR. They direct and guide our research and outreach efforts by providing expert advice, participating in all stages of the research process, and connecting us to community. Specifically, they:

  • are research collaborators
  • are representatives of their communities as they contribute valuable insight into the needs of Indigenous communities
  • receive and disseminate updates from CIEDAR to their respective communities and networks

Sheila Blackstock

Maureen Dobbins

Elder Felix J. Lockhart

Renée Masching

Calvin Racette

Current Projects

1. Social Determinants of Health and COVID-19 Case Incidence Study Across Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every person, community, organization, and country around the world. Unfortunately, the various impacts of the pandemic have not been equally distributed. Indigenous Peoples living in North America have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Indigenous Peoples are at higher risk of COVID-19 due to the historical and ongoing legacy of settler colonialism and systemic racism.

In Canada, there is a dearth of disaggregated COVID-19 data. As such, it is not clear exactly how Indigenous persons have been differentially impacted. The social determinants of health study aims to answer these questions so that appropriate resources can be allocated.

2. Hearing Indigenous Voices Survey

In order to hear Indigenous voices, to identify their needs, and to understand their experiences during the pandemic, CIEDAR has implemented an international survey in Canada and the United States. We plan to use what we learn from Indigenous community members to guide our future research and initiatives, to amplify exemplary responses, and to advocate for the changes that they wish to see.

3. #BeadAndThrive Social Media Campaign

The Indigenous #BeadAndThrive Campaign is an initiative that invites all Indigenous persons currently residing on Turtle Island to share their lived experiences of thrivance. For example, one of our community members shared this statement about where they find thrivance:

“During this pandemic we were able to thrive by simply stepping outside for 5 minutes and listening to the calls of nature.”

CIEDAR hopes to hear these stories of Indigenous thrivance, to learn from them, and to amplify them in order to empower others. In addition, we hope to facilitate connection or reconnection to culture and community through beading as a practice that helps Indigenous Peoples not only cope with the pandemic but to thrive through it.

More about #BeadAndThrive

Beading, to us, represents Indigenous thrivance. This traditional craft has existed throughout our long history, but it is not unchanging. Instead, history shows that Indigenous makers have continually adapted and modernized the craft, incorporated new materials and designs, and consistently kept it relevant to who we are. It demonstrates our ingenuity, adaptability, and creativity. It connects us to our ways and our community, which helps us cope.

We have connected with beading influencers and will be sharing how-to bead videos like the following:

We will also be sharing why-to bead like the following:

Win Indigenous Art!

Community members who share their thrivance stories will be eligible to win Indigenous art. Here are some examples of what you could win by participating.

“Michif (Métis) people are known as the flower beadwork people. Utilizing trade kinship relationships and traditional Indigenous ways of knowing, they created a style unique to them as a people. For this piece, I decided to create a vintage but modern style flower, modelling it after a cherry blossom. Just like the spring season that feels as if it will never come after a cold winter, cherry blossoms meet the season with their gorgeous blooms. The beads used in this project are from the late 1800s Europe – the same that could have been used by my ancestors through the dark days after the resistance. I incorporated a pearl to show how beautiful things can be made from single grains coming together. I also used tanned hide from a Squamish nation powwow. All of these elements work together to symbolize a continuum of rising after difficult times to find a new way, to create gems from sand, to bloom after a cold winter – thrivance.” 

– By Emma Love-Cabana at Three Sisters by Emma

Turtle and Fireweed
– Autumn Smith