Our Medicine Path

Listening and learning about vaccines and immunization and causes of vaccine hesitancy in Indigenous communities.

This platform contains subject matter that some may find disturbing, especially to Survivors of the Residential School System. The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line for former Residential School students is available at 1-866-925-4419. Immediate emotional support is available 24/7 to all Indigenous people across Canada. Call the Hope for Wellness Help Line 1-855-242-3310 or chat online at: http://hopeforwellness.ca.

The product

Our Medicine Path is an online platform for learning, sharing, and understanding Indigenous perspectives and experiences with vaccines in Canada. 

For users

People access the tool by visiting a web address on their phone, tablet, or computer. They will explore stories told through Indigenous voices, receiving helpful information about vaccines from trusted Indigenous sources, while encouraged to share their own views and experiences. With the character they select, users journey along a path and collect items into their baskets to represent the gathering of knowledge along the way.

For community

Organizations, community groups, and other health champions who distribute the tool through their networks will have access to non-identifiable insights about their audience based on responses collected. Our hope is that these insights can be used by community organizations in a way that informs their own health promotion activities, service design, or other activities, as well as support prospective grant applications.

Our Rationale

When the first version of Our Medicine Path was created, it recognized the negative impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous communities in Canada. There is not always access to data that can inform effective solutions, and wide-spread messages about health that have traditionally not prioritized Indigenous community members. In partnership with Creative Fire and Vincent Design, in-depth interviews were conducted with Indigenous health care providers and community leaders to better-understand the drivers of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Using these insights, we co-created a digital tool that addressed the health information needs of Indigenous audiences, with visual representation of the culture through the depiction of people and the land.

In this second version, we continue to learn about the impact of COVID-19, while also expanding the topic areas addressed to include other vaccines. While one tool cannot address the diversity and complexity between and within Indigenous communities, we hope this tool is a first step in the right direction towards listening, learning, and co-creating.

How it came together

Our Medicine Path was co-created by Vincent Design, an Indigenous-led creative marketing company specializing in culturally relevant and respectful Indigenous design, and Digital Public Square, a not-for-profit that uses good technology to support healthy communities, with content guidance and input from Creative Fire, an Indigenous-owned communications and consulting firm. This project was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada as part of their effort to address harmful vaccine misinformation narratives online.

Data Insights

We respect and value your personal information (PII). You can use Our Medicine Path without sharing any information about yourself. We record non-identifying data (such as clicks, non-clicks, survey responses, time spent on the website, and other data available from the website) in order to understand how people use this content and to evaluate the usefulness of the tool.  We give users the option to provide us with demographic information about themselves to help us understand whether we're reaching our intended audience.

Our Medicine Path seeks to engage with Indigenous folks to reflect on attitudes towards vaccines and the conversation around their use. Some of the key insights we aim to draw are:

  • Total number of users engaging with the tool
  • Likelihood of sharing information with their networks
  • Vaccination status/ intent to vaccinate
  • Attitudes about drivers of vaccine hesitancy
  • Feedback about COVID vaccines and immunizations
  • Opt-in demographics (age, gender, equity deserving groups)

Get in touch! If you think this tool could benefit your community, wish to learn more about data insights for your audiences or have any questions, you can reach us at effie@digitalpublicsquare.org!