A new participative research study aims to establish the needs, desire and ability to return to a traditional diet (including medicinal plants and foods) and physical activity adapted to the customs of four Aboriginal communities in northern Québec and British Columbia. The goal of the study, which is being conducted by researchers from Université Laval, Montreal and Ottawa, is to improve diabetes management among the populations.
Individuals from each region will be monitored to measure changes in metabolic parameters after implementing new lifestyle changes. Traditional medicinal plants and foods will also be controlled for quality and safety, and the researchers will be studying how they function.
The project is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the First Nations for three years. In time, it will help researchers to better advise health authorities on diabetes prevention and management in Canada’s Aboriginal populations.