Award-winning work by Winnipeg-based indigenous knowledge application developer

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Winnipeg researcher who played a key role in creating a new app that will allow Indigenous communities to maintain more control over their own records and data was honored in the nation’s capital on Tuesday for the work she has done to bring the application to life. .

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Dr. Moneca Sinclaire, a member of the Cree Nation of Opaskwayak (OCN), is a postdoctoral health researcher working in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of Manitoba.

She is also part of a team that claims to be committed to working with Indigenous communities seeking autonomy from their own knowledge and data.

“Due to past historical events, many chiefs and board members are wondering who owns their data and what will be done with it,” Sinclaire said in a press release. “A big part of our role is to assure them that we are trying to do research differently, not from the same western perspective, but research for indigenous peoples, by indigenous peoples. “

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Sinclaire and a team are now working to roll out what they say is a ‘first of its kind’ mobile application created to enable indigenous communities to collect and own their own data and enable communities to survey their populations on key issues. health and social problems.

The work has now earned Sinclaire accolades, as she was announced as the recipient of the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation – Indigenous, awarded by Mitacs, a national innovation organization that has said it seeks to solve challenges. salespeople with search solutions.

The award was presented Tuesday at a ceremony held online and in person at the National Arts Center in Ottawa.

“It makes me feel good to know that the work I have done has opened the door for more Indigenous people to be able to do research that will benefit our communities, helping to find innovative ways for us to working with industry and changing the way our communities are run, ”said Sinclaire.

“We still have a lot of communities facing flood damage, lack of running water or high teen suicide rates. Now we have a tool that allows them to ask, “What can we do about this?” “

“It gives me hope that things will start to change.”

– Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter working for the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.


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Donald E. Patel