The Mission of the Feast Centre is to establish, implement and sustain Indigenous STBBI research programs and initiatives through a national network of community and academic partnerships.

Our vision is that the Feast Centre become a vibrant, well-connected network of Indigenous STBBI community members and researchers who privilege Indigenous being and knowing and are committed to work that demonstrates significant community impact through an Indigenous lens.

Our Objectives

Engage, facilitate and support the use of Indigenous knowledge systems in STBBI research.

Further stimulate and coordinate multi-stakeholder collaboration in Indigenous STBBI research across the key pillars of health research (clinical, basic science, epidemiology, social science);

Contribute to the development of a highly skilled, multidisciplinary community of investigators, research trainees, and Indigenous community stakeholders; and

Foster the development of Indigenous knowledge translation products and processes that accelerate the uptake and implementation of evidence to policies, programs and practices.

Why Feast?

Everyone comes together over the Feast!

All nations and all people celebrate by feasting. We gather together, in small or large groups, over simple or elaborate meals, to mark significant events, to celebrate, to socialize, to nourish our bodies, minds, spirits, and communities. Feasting together is a sign of friendship, respect, mutual responsibility and accountability, and relationship-building.

Traditional feasts in Indigenous contexts are typically inclusive events—underpinned as an expression of gratitude and of learning to live a good life where everyone’s skills, gifts, and contributions are welcomed so that others might learn. Equally important, feasts often have a spiritual component and they often invoke, honour and include our ancestors.

FEAST Centre Background

The Feast Centre for Indigenous STBBI Research is a five-year, cross-Canada initiative that aims to support the development of community and academic scholars and scholarship grounded in Indigenous knowledges, decolonizing approaches, and community-based research to holistically support STBBI research with Indigenous communities. This project joins key stakeholders (community, research and policy) to advance Indigenous research, programs and services in several key strategic areas related to STBBI research, prevention and care.

In order to do so, the Feast Centre is offering training opportunities for Indigenous and allied STTBI scholars across a range of disciplines and levels of expertise. We have created scholarships and grants to support early, mid, late, and community scholars who are committed to centring Indigenous knowledge and methods in order to create Indigenous solutions to Indigenous community-identified needs. In addition to grants and scholarships, we offer research training opportunities, guidance in knowledge translation and exchange, and opportunities to attend Feast-led writing retreats and academic/community conferences.

The Feast Centre for Indigenous STBBI Research is a partnership between the McMaster Indigenous Research Institute (MIRI) and the Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research Centre (the AHA Centre). Feast is the culmination of over twenty years of community-based Indigenous STBBI research from the two co-leads of the project, Dr. Randy Jackson from McMaster University and Ms. Renée Masching, from the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN), whose collective work demonstrates a deep commitment to the scientific and community-based rigour that lies at the heart of Feast. The collaboration is national in scope and includes representation from Indigenous and allied scholars, community organizations, and diverse community members and traditional knowledge holders from across Canada. Grounding our work in Indigenous methods and knowledge, Feast is guided by an Elders Council that includes Inuit, Métis and First Nations Elders, and by a Governing Council that represents four key pillars of health science: epidemiology, clinical science, basic science and social science.

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