The Qanuippitaa? National Inuit Health Survey (QNIHS) is an Inuit-owned and Inuit-led national program.
Working in concert are the four Inuit Land Claims Organizations (or their Qanuippitaa? National Inuit Health Survey designate) in collaboration with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK). Together, we have co-designed and will now implement a permanent population health survey of Inuit in Canada that is informed by Inuit knowledge, values and worldview, as well as stakeholder engagement and the latest health sciences research.
Inuit organizations are overseeing the entire Qanuippitaa? National Inuit Health Survey. Furthermore, Inuit organizations govern and facilitate access to the questionnaire data, including producing results that are engaging and accessible by Inuit and organizations that serve Inuit populations. All of the data and information from the questionnaire will be owned and controlled by Inuit.
The Qanuippitaa? National Inuit Health Survey Working Group (NIHSWG) fits into a broader structure of Inuit governance. The NIHSWG is a sub-committee of the National Inuit Committee on Health (NICoH). NICoH provides technical guidance and recommendations related to national Inuit health care review, reform and policy development to the ITK Board of Directors.
According to the National Inuit Strategy on Research, “utilizing Inuit governance structure for partnership and shared decision-making facilitates democratic Inuit representation and decision-making at the sub-regional, regional, national, and international levels.” This ensures that the Qanuippitaa? National Inuit Health Survey is situated within a structure that prioritizes Inuit representation and decision-making.
Rigorous in methods
Focused on Inuit health, well-being, and social equity
The Qanuippitaa? National Inuit Health Survey builds on previous Inuit health surveys that operated in Nunavik in 2004 and 2017 and across communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunavut and Nunatsiavut in 2007-2008.
The 2004 and 2017 Nunavik Inuit Health Surveys took place in every community in Nunavik and were carried out through partnerships between academic researchers and Inuit organizations. The 2007-2008 Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunavut and Nunatsiavut Inuit Health Survey was funded through the International Polar Year initiative and was led by academic researchers in partnership with Inuit organizations. For these past surveys, the research team travelled by ship to every community. Participants were invited on board the ship to complete the survey.
In recent years, there have been increasing calls by Inuit to have a health survey that is completely owned, controlled and led by Inuit organizations. In 2018, funding was announced for a permanent Inuit health survey to:
- Build capacity within Inuit communities to develop and collect survey information; and
- Support Inuit self-determination in setting the research agenda in regions and communities.
Since 2018, Inuit organizations have been working hard to prepare for the first round of data collection for the Qanuippitaa? National Inuit Health Survey. A main goal of the survey is to provide training and resources to develop skills required by Inuit to conduct surveys on a regular, ongoing basis. This takes time to develop, yet helps ensure that Inuit have greater control over research and that survey and research-related expertise and jobs stay in Inuit communities.