Getting Started

LTOA is designed on an open source model of publishing, meaning that all our program materials are free to access and free to adapt to your community setting. That being said, this program rests on our ability to produce evidence that the program meets the intended goals and objectives. We therefore ask communities interested in delivering our program to contact the LTOA team who will be able to guide you in the best way to move forward with the program. 

This connection serves two purposes: 1) our team can provide technical support and connect new partners to experienced communities and mentors, and 2) our team can help you document the process of adapting and implementing the program, and use these refinements, with community permission, to improve the efficacy and effectiveness of the program. Please the five steps below for implementing the program:

Steps Why It's Important: How to Carry Out These Steps:
1. Determine if LTOA meets the needs of your community. Identify available evidence-based programs and determine which program best suits your community. Culturally relevant programs that increase program buy-in are more likely to motivate and sustain local community participation and facilitate program effectiveness for that community. After learning about the LTOA program from our website or through other communities, and have determined that LTOA will meet the needs of your community, proceed to step 2 to contact the Program Coordinator for more information. 
2. Contact the Program coordinator and community engagement To engage communities throughout the research project, the research team and communities work collaboratively to develop, adapt, and evaluate the program through a community-based participatory action framework. This type of research recognizes the importance of involving all parties as active members of the research project to work to reduce health disparities. 

Interested Indigenous health/social organizations contact the LTOA National Coordinator to:

1) Organize an initial phone call to become better acquainted with the program and define goals and outcomes for their communities.

2) Discuss and sign a partnership agreement which outlines certain programmatic expectations and deliverables if funding is provided to communities by the McGill team.

3) Discuss interest in participating in research about the evaluation of the program in their community. 

3. Host a Training Session Program staff need to be properly trained and supported to deliver Evidence-based programs. Training helps to ensure program effectiveness. Consistent trainings are part of ensuring program effectiveness. Whereas a single-exposure training or simply reading through the manuals are ineffective forms of training, training with consistent support from those with experience in the program can increase provider knowledge. 

The LTOA team can help you organize and develop training sessions that can be tailored to meet your organization's or community's needs. 

The LTOA team can continue to support your team as you learn more about the LTOA program. 

4. Cultural Adaptation of the LTOA Program Interventions designed for one population or from one cultural perspective may not apply in different populations with other cultural perspectives. In order for people to actively engage with and benefit from an intervention, they need to find it personally relevant and consistent with their worldview. Cultural adaptation allows the generic version of the intervention to transform into a program that reflects the strengths, values, and specific needs of the Indigenous community

Communities work together with knowledge keepers and Elders to culturally adapt the generic manual:

1) Facilitators and Elders decide what levels of adaptation are needed to make the program culturally relevant. 

2) Each session is adapted, but core objectives are retained. 

3) This process includes language translation, insertion of stories, culturally meaningful terminology, redesigning interventions to include traditional methods of health promotion


5. Host an information session for family and youth, and develop promotional materials for recruitment. An information session can help explain the program to families interested in attending and help to form relationships between facilitator and the participants. These types of information sessions create an opportunity for program participants to integrate their perspectives, concerns, and goals into the program. 

Invite community members to attend the information session. A feast is usually involved. Families, youth, community supports, and Elders come together to learn and hopefully sign up to be involved in the program. 

Bring promotional materials and manuals to give potential participants a better understanding of the program. 

Visit our program materials page to find some recruitment strategies and materials you can adapt and use promote the program in your community. 

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