Project Scope

The ACHH Initiative’s ultimate goal is to gather and combine traditional and Western knowledge to better understand how Indigenous children’s pain is experienced, expressed, interpreted, assessed and treated. Our early research findings suggest that a complex mix of factors have led to a cultural divide for Indigenous children in pain and non-Indigenous health care providers. We want to help bridge that gap.

Western-based healthcare professionals use pain measurements like facial expressions and numeric scales which may not be accurate tools for diagnosis and treatment of Indigenous children’s pain. Issues of discrimination and intergenerational trauma (including residential school experiences), as well as a lack of understanding of cultural traditions by health professionals, have added to the problem.

Why it’s important

Research shows that chronic illness in First Nations communities is almost three times what it is in the general population, and Indigenous children have higher rates of painful conditions, more injuries, and more painful ear, dental and musculoskeletal issues.

These high rates of painful conditions impact Indigenous children’s ability to grow, learn and achieve the same outcomes as non-Indigenous children. The measurement and treatment of Indigenous children’s hurt needs to be urgently addressed.

Current Research

Current Research

Completed Research

Completed Research

Find out more

Check out our Presentations, Publications and Media page for more ways to access our results.