Opinion: Indigenous group in Calgary will research cannabis as traditional medicinePosted by On

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There is a vast knowledge gap that separates people who experience oppression — in the form of racism, discrimination and Indigeneity, for example — and the kind of meaningful research that can bring about positive social change. To bridge that chasm, we’re funding 14 community-based research projects across the country which see underserved groups author their own inquires — entirely free from someone else’s agenda.

Of the 14 projects, six are Indigenous-led, including Lifting the Pipes, the Calgary project. It will examine how cannabis may have been understood, by community and within ceremony, as a mental-health support prior to first contact. Researchers will gather pre-colonial stories and guidance from local elders to better understand cannabis as traditional medicine. Led by Mahegun Tails Inc., in partnership with the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary and others, the work will put an emphasis on the wellness of Indigenous elders and the elderly, capturing their stories in a narrative that will help inform policy and practices.

The elders themselves are excited to get going. “This is an important conversation to have, and I’m happy to be included in the circles,” enthused Elder Jackie Bromley.

As the project team points out, Indigenous elders and the elderly are often overlooked, and clinical and supportive programs for this…

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