Year: 2022 Source: CMAJ Open. (2021). 9(2), E451-E458; DOI: SIEC No: 20220124

Background: There is a lack of Métis-guided participatory research on factors that contribute to individual, family and community well-being, such as developing social support and engaging in cultural, social and historical processes for healing and health. The purpose of this study was to explore links among health, spirituality and well-being within the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) – Region 3.
Methods: In the largest of 12 MNA – Region 3 communities, together with a working group of 9 community members, informal and elected leaders, and an Elder, we codeveloped a qualitative structured survey exploring health, spirituality and well-being. Following face-to-face distribution of the paper survey to community members (February to March 2019), we engaged with 7 working group members in coding and theme development. Results were shared with the community.
Results: Thirty-one community members requested surveys, with 29 participants aged 28–80 years (mean 54.77 yr, standard deviation 15.31 yr) completing the surveys (94% completion rate). Six participants were in the working group that codeveloped the survey. An overarching theme of connection and 4 corresponding subthemes were identified; central to well-being was maintaining connection and balance in mental, emotional, spiritual and physical aspects of health. Connection to Métis ancestry required understanding identity; connection to community involved feeling at home; connection to land included belonging; and connection to tradition encompassed blending of cultures.