Promoting a Culturally Safe Evaluation of an On-the-Land Wellness Program in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region


  • Mary Ollier
  • Audrey R. Giles
  • Meghan Etter
  • Jimmy Ruttan
  • Nellie Elanik
  • Ruth Goose
  • Esther Ipana



on-the-land; land-based; evaluation; Inuvialuit; Inuvialuit Settlement Region; community-based; cultural safety


In 2017, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation partnered with a diverse research advisory team to understand how Project Jewel, a land-based program in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, could be evaluated in a way that promotes cultural safety (i.e., in a way that addresses the social, historical, and economic contexts that shape participants’ experiences). We used community-based research methodology to approach the study, through which semi-structured interviews, sharing circles, and photovoice were identified by the community advisory board and research advisory team as appropriate research methods for this project. After piloting and evaluating these methods, we then used thematic analysis to analyze the data, which included images and transcripts, to identify the components of a culturally safe evaluation: centring the land, building relationships, working with words and pictures, and promoting benefit over harms through program aftercare. Our community-based research and findings provide a template of a meaningful evaluation framework that other on-the-land programs can use if contextualized within local cultural practices and values.