Our research team members evaluate and expand our community development programs and ensure that the care we are providing through our innovative network model is realizing improved outcomes of Indigenous people.  Through research and evaluation, we can better support expanding on programming needs, sharing knowledge translation to build community capacity, and support other practitioners and communities that are interested in implementing a similar model.  In addition, we are supporting the communities we work with to manage their data in compliance with OCAP® principles.


The research arm of Wellness Wheel engages in community-based action research. There is a variety of projects that work with a wide range of community partners and are at different stages in the research process. Through research, Wellness Wheel strives toward: 

  • Structural Change (Legislation, policy, agreements)
  • Systemic Change (Organizations, programs, systems)
  • Service Delivery Change (Individual relationships, healthcare transformation)

The major research projects within the organization include: 

Enhancing and expanding the “Know Your Status”(KYS) initiative in First Nations communities In Saskatchewan

  • Funder: Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)

Know Your Status (http://knowyourstatus.ca) is a comprehensive community-based HIV prevention, screening and treatment program launched in 2011 in two First Nations communities.  The program was established in response to concerns from First Nations’ leadership, members of Indigenous communities and Health Canada’s nursing team that access to on-reserve HIV testing and care was severely limited. KYS is a community-designed and community-managed program.

Together with nine First Nations communities (6 partners), this research aims to refine, adapt, and expand the KYS intervention to meet the needs of individual communities. The team will use practical, though rigorous, methods to evaluate the sustainability and effectiveness of the expanded KYS program.

The Muskowekwan Family Healing and Wellness Centre

  • Funder: Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF)

We provide research support for the development of a new Healing and Wellness Centre. The Muskowekwan Family Healing and Wellness Centre will accommodate families in-residence for an extended time for improved patient-and-family-centered outcomes. Treatment will be focused around the clients’ quality of life, including trauma-informed care, wraparound supports and a combination of programming comprised of multidisciplinary practitioners and integrated programs and services to deliver high-quality patient-and-family centered health services and programs.

This centre is intended to support First Nation families and communities in the region in addressing the systemic and long-term effects of historical trauma as a direct result of the residential schooling system in Canada. Accordingly, patients, families and community members are engaged as research co-participants in determining the direction of development for the Healing and Wellness Centre. Patients, families, and the community members will co-design the building and program features of the Centre.

Nato’ we ho win: The Art of Self-Healing

  • Funder: Public Health Agency of Canada

nato’ we ho win is an innovative intervention program that addresses the mental and physical health needs of Indigenous women who have experienced intimate partner violence. Participants engaged in trauma-informed, artistic, and cultural programming designed to increase stress management skills, social support networks, and knowledge of traditional Indigenous culture focused on addressing health and social issues related to colonization. The goal of this study is to collaborate with women to co-create knowledge concerning their experiences of culture-as-intervention in healing from intimate partner violence.

A Distance Access to Prevention, Treatment and Response (ADAPT-R): An agile approach to COVID-19 in rural and remote communities

  • Funder: Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF)


Data Management

As a part of ongoing research with communities, Wellness Wheel concerns itself with proper data management during the research process of collection, coding, storing, and presenting. Wellness Wheel works to uphold the standards of OCAP®, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action (2015), The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Tri-Council Policy Statement Chapter 9 and; Saskatchewan Métis Research and Data Governance Principles. The organization helps to promote these standards, educate communities about them, and help protect against violations. When communities need infrastructure, policy, personnel, or management support, Wellness Wheel acts as a Steward of Data. This allows data to be secure while capacity is built within communities.