The Indigenous Maternal Infant Health and Well-Being (IMIHW) Lab, led by Dr. Zoua Vang, supports innovative research on the social determinants of perinatal health within Indigenous communities and trains students in the use of participatory research approaches. Current research supported by the Lab include projects on (i) the effects of childbirth evacuation on perinatal depression and infant growth/development among the Inuit in Nunavik, (ii) the cross-cultural adaptation and validation of culturally appropriate perinatal mental health questionnaires, and (iii) discrimination and settler colonialism as barriers to Indigenous women’s access to culturally safe healthcare. Researchers in the Lab investigate these issues using quantitative and qualitative methodologies and participatory research approaches.
The overall goal of the IMIHW Lab is to apply principles of participatory research to improve maternity healthcare services for Indigenous women and their families, enhance community capacity, and reduce perinatal health disparities between Indigenous and settler populations. The Lab also supports knowledge transfer activities such as cultural safety and anti-racism workshops for health professionals, hospital administrators, and knowledge exchanges in decolonizing models of maternity care across Canada and other settler societies.