Bringing life to liver wellness through wisdom seeking conversations : conceptualizations of liver health with Indigenous communities
Hepatitis C disproportionately impacts Indigenous communities. Due to the predominantly Western biomedical approach and current health inequities stemming from historical and continued trauma, many community members do not complete screening or treatment for this curable disease. This transdisciplinary Wisdom Seeking project aimed to include traditional Indigenous perspectives on liver wellness in public health messaging to increase awareness about hepatitis C among Indigenous community members. Working within an Indigenous framework, this research enacted principles of respect, relationality, reciprocity, responsibility, and relevance during semi-structured interview conversations with Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, who shared their knowledge through stories and perspectives on liver wellness. As a result of the research, oral tradition and storytelling shaped the cocreation of a culturally relevant infographic and a DocuStory script for increasing hepatitis C awareness that reinforced the need for balance in spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the journey toward wellness. As a Wisdom Seeker, learnings resulted in enhanced self-understanding, awareness of the origins and meaning of wholistic wellness, the role we can each play in decolonizing approaches to health promotion, and how to facilitate access to supportive and relevant health information and healthcare services.