Using oral traditions to support oral health: Sharing what we have learned about Kungatsiajuk (the healthy smiles) of Southern Labrador Inuit youth

Nominated Principal Investigator: Debbie Martin

After four years of collaboration, in 2011 the Kungatsiajuk Research Team (comprising representatives from the south Labrador Inuit communities of NunatuKavut, academic researchers and dental professionals) was successful in securing a three-year CIHR Open Operating Grant. This project has identified the oral health status of NunatuKavut youth and listened to youth and their care-givers discuss oral health priorities for their communities using a community-based approach. The objectives outlined for this dissemination plan have been formulated based on the three top themes that have emerged from our story-telling sessions with youth and their care-givers. These objectives include: 1) Getting at the root causes of oral health disparities for Inuit youth through an exploration of power differentials between dentist and patient; 2) Making oral health knowledge more palatable for Inuit youth and their caregivers, and; 3) Providing recommendations to brush up existing oral health promotion and oral health resource and service delivery policies so that they are more aligned with the needs and realities of Inuit youth.