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The Cedar Project: Culturally-safe, trauma-informed COVID-19 response among young Indigenous people who use drugs

COVID-19 Research Area(s): Epidemiology & Public Health, Healthcare Delivery & Policy

A team of Indigenous and allied researchers governed by the Cedar Project Partnership and led by Patricia Spittal, professor in the UBC School of Population and Public Health, is receiving $549,258 from CIHR for a year-long study into the impacts of COVID-19 among Indigenous people who use drugs. Researchers will also roll out and test a bundle of virtual supports using an existing technology platform to mitigate and manage the impacts of COVID-19 on this population. The study will run as part of the Cedar Project, which, since 2003, has examined connections between impacts of colonization and intergenerational trauma on HIV and hepatitis C virus among young Indigenous people who use drugs in Vancouver and Prince George. The Cedar Project is one of the only research studies that continued operating during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, and will draw on its existing trust-based relationships with over 800 Indigenous people in both cities.