In partnership with LTOA community partners, there are many ongoing research projects and papers!
Cultural adaptation is a central theme to the LTOA project, and is a continuous process that takes on many forms. With the diversity of community and organizational partners implementing LTOA, there is great opportunity to follow and document the process of cultural adaptation in different settings. There is a lack of detailed documentation surrounding cultural adaptation, and the transparent and collaborative nature of the LTOA program may offer invaluable insight into the prerequisites, nuances and key ingredients for adaptation in Indigenous contexts.
Dr. Laurence Kirmayer is currently finishing a “Cultural Adaptation Toolkit”, which features an extensive review of what has worked and what hasn’t in terms of cultural adaptation in Indigenous contexts. Specific case studies are also offered, in order to gain more detailed information regarding cultural adaptation processes of specific programs and in specific contexts. CAAspects
Still in the data collection phase, LTOA training sessions are being examined as they have evolved greatly over the years! The goal is to summarize how training was conducted at the individual, organizational and institutional level and discuss how the training has changed based on the evolution of the program. Currently, the training process is in a unique stage wherein capacity building is being encouraged, as LTOA facilitators from one community are now involved in training other facilitators.
The LTOA program has recently been adapted to meet the needs of school-based settings, and has been delivered both in-class and as an after school program. Exploring a model of program expansion proposed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, we intend to engage schools and school boards as a path to scaling up. The school program will be designed flexibly, allowing it to be implemented in schools on and off reserves, with Indigenous as well as mixed Indigenous and non-Indigenous student bodies. Additionally, the school program takes on a slightly different form from the classic version, with one of the main differences being fewer sessions.
Optimizing LTOA Materials
Part of the research process is incorporating partner feedback into practical and usable materials. The research team is dedicated to improving program materials. The program coordinator and other research team members are currently working on new editions of the LTOA manual, which feature a modularized version, as well as condensed instructions and organization of activities. The LTOA website it also under revision, and will serve as a resource hub for all materials and information needed to run the program. The goal of this leg of research is to make all LTOA resources widely available and accessible. A “LTOA Start Package” is also in the works. This pack would be a bundle of necessary and important materials, sent to communities planning on adapting and delivering the program.