This article explores the application of two-eyed seeing in the first year of a three-year study about the effectiveness of cultural interventions in First Nations alcohol and drug treatment in Canada. Two-eyed seeing is recognized by Canada’s major health research funder as a starting point for bringing together the strengths of Indigenous and Western ways of knowing. With the aim of developing a culture-based measurement tool, our team carried out an Indigenous-centred research process with our interpretation of two-eyed seeing as a guiding principle. This enabled us to engage in a decolonizing project that prioritized Indigenous methodologies and ways of knowing and knowledge alongside those of Western science. By concentrating on Indigenous governance in the research process, our project supported efforts at Indigenous cultural renewal. Two illustrations are offered, our team’s reconceptualization of Western derived understandings of data collection through Indigenous storytelling and our research grant timeframe with Indigenous knowledge gardening. This article contributes to the Indigenous research and policy literature which is lacking documentation about how Indigenous communities and research teams are benefitting from two-eyed seeing.


This work was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research [funding reference number AHI – 120535]. Our work was inspired by the devotion of Elder Jim Dumont and our Treatment Centre project partners to walk with First Nations’ people on the path to wellness guided by cultural interventions. Members of the Honouring Our Strengths: Indigenous Culture as Intervention Research Team include: Nominated Principal Investigator: Colleen Dell (University of Saskatchewan); Co-PI: Peter Menzies (Independent. Formerly; Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), Carol Hopkins (National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation), Jennifer Robinson (Assembly of First Nations. Former designate; Jonathan Thompson); Co-Applicants: Sharon Acoose (First Nations University of Canada), Peter Butt (University of Saskatchewan), Elder Jim Dumont (Nimkee NupiGawagan Healing Centre), Marwa Farag (University of Saskatchewan), Joseph P. Gone (University of Michigan at Ann Arbor), Christopher Mushquash (Lakehead University), Rod McCormick (Thompson Rivers University. Formerly; University of British Columbia), David Mykota (University of Saskatchewan), Nancy Poole (BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health), Bev Shea (University of Ottawa), Virgil Tobias (Nimkee NupiGawagan Healing Centre); Knowledge Users: Kasi McMicking (Health Canada), Mike Martin (National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation), Mary Deleary (Independent. Formerly; Nimkee NupiGawagan Healing Centre), Brian Rush (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), Renee Linklater (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), Sarah Steves (Health Canada. Former designate; Darcy Stoneadge); Collaborators (Treatment Centres): Willie Alphonse (Nengayni Wellness Centre), Ed Azure (Nelson House Medicine Lodge), Christina Brazzoni (Carrier Sekani Family Services), Virgil Tobias (Nimkee NupiGawagan Healing Centre. Former Designate; Mary Deleary), Patrick Dumont (Wanaki Centre), Cindy Ginnish (Rising Sun), Hilary Harper (Ekweskeet Healing Lodge. Acting Director; Yvonne Howse), Yvonne Rigsby-Jones (Tsow-Tun Le Lum), Ernest Sauve (White Buffalo Youth Inhalant Treatment Centre), Zelda Quewezance (Saulteaux Healing and Wellness Centre), Iris Allen (Charles J. Andrew Youth Treatment Centre), Rolanda Manitowabi (Ngwaagan Gamig Recovery Centre Inc./Rainbow Lodge); Collaborators (Leadership): Chief Austin Bear (National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation), Debra Dell (Youth Solvent Addiction Committee), Val Desjarlais (National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation. Former Designate; Janice Nicotine), Rob Eves (Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. Former Designate; Rita Notarandrea), Elder Campbell Papequash (Saskatchewan Team for Research and Evaluation of Addictions Treatment and Mental Health Services Advisor); Contractors (methodology): Elder Jim Dumont (Nimkee NupiGawagan Healing Centre), Randy Duncan (University of Saskatchewan), Carina Fiedeldey-Van Dijk (ePsy Consultancy), Laura Hall (University of Saskatchewan); Margo Rowan (University of Saskatchewan); Management: Barbara Fornssler (University of Saskatchewan. Former designate; Michelle Kushniruk).

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