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Be Like the Running Water: Exploring the Intersections of Health and Water Security with Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation
Section 1: Publication
Be Like the Running Water: Exploring the Intersections of Health and Water Security with Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation. jjj2022
McMaster University, PhD dissertation (supervised by Dr. Tina Moffat and Dr. Dawn Martin-Hill
Duignan Sarah, McMaster University, PhD dissertation (supervised by Dr. Tina Moffat and Dr. Dawn Martin-Hill) Be Like the Running Water: Exploring the Intersections of Health and Water Security with Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation. 2022.
This doctoral dissertation examines the holistic health and wellbeing of a First Nation community to understand several factors relating to environmental racism and water contamination that support and hinder community health and wellbeing to inform future policy. This dissertation incorporates a mix of methodological approaches across three interrelated research studies to better understand the direct and indirect factors influencing water security and community health and wellbeing. Study 1 consists of a theoretical approach to co-creating knowledge between Indigenous collaborators and medical anthropologists. It highlights the importance of community-based participatory research in medical anthropology and frames the co-creation of a health survey through three phases as a boundary object that can create dialogical space for Indigenous and settler-scholar pedagogies and priorities. It demonstrates how CBPR and co-creation work allows for the reciprocal development of long-term partnerships that work in solidarity with the Two-Row Wampum (Kaswentha) treaty established by the Haudenosaunee Nation and European settler nations. Study 2 presents an analysis of household water access, quality, and use, specifically how E. coli and mercury contaminations of household tap water are related to reported household health conditions for a sample of 66 households (representing 226 individuals) living in Six Nations First Nation. Logistic regression models were built to identify possible associations with water use and treatment variables for mental health, eczema, and gastroenteritis, with a second model adding contaminants as predictor variables. In the second model, E. coli was found to be a significant predictor for the presence of mental health conditions within the household, and households primarily purchasing bulk bottled water were more likely to report mental health conditions. Those using bleach/chlorine to treat their tap water were more likely to report gastroenteritis. Reported tap water uses indicated that 57% of contaminated tap water was still being used for activities that may heighten exposure risks (such as washing produce). Investigating household tap water uses beyond drinking water demonstrates alternative pathways for contaminant exposures for Six Nations Peoples, who have deep cultural relationships with water. Study 3 contains a mixed methods approach to investigate the effects of water access, satisfaction, and experiences of water insecurity for the sample of 66 households in Six Nations of the Grand River First Nations, to inform culturally effective ways of assessing water insecurity for Indigenous Nations experiencing long term water shortages, contamination, and other water- related concerns. Water security was measured using the Household Water InSecurity Experiences (HWISE) scale and Likert-scale questions on water access at household, community, service, and environmental levels, and contextualized using interviews. Results demonstrate a high level of water insecurity in the sample of Six Nations households (57.5%, n=38); women were more dissatisfied with their drinking water (p=0.005), and younger participants were more likely to report contamination issues (p=0.02) and higher monthly water costs (p=0.03). Qualitative interviews informed these results, revealing that experiences of water insecurity and poor health were shaped by the degradation of traditional lands. This posed specific barriers for Six Nations women, who face physical and geographical barriers to household and community water access while caretaking for their communities and fulfilling their roles as water protectors.
Plain Language Summary
Section 2: Additional Information
GWF: Global Water Futures
GWF-CCIWQT: Co-Creation of Indigenous Water Quality Tools
PhD, McMaster University, Co-Creation-Water-Quality-Tools
Section 3: Download
T-2023-01-04-b1b1MJ234sEEG8BpWHCL9sSA Publication 1.0