Investigating The Health Seeking Information Behaviors of Native Americans Through a Culturally Reflective Lens
Keywords:Sociology of information, User behavior, Information use
There is little understanding of the health information seeking behaviors and attitudes of Native American (NA) populations which is essential for their equitable health care. The development of effective prevention programs requires a full understanding of NA’s health information seeking behaviors. The limited research that has investigated this topic often fails to reflect Indigenous epistemologies and has also highlighted the barriers, deficits and limitations of NA populations. My research aims to examine behavior change and the health seeking-behaviors of NA communities through a new lens. Research has continually examined what is wrong with NA individuals (impoverished or uneducated) and their communities (non-existent library services, no internet or lack of medical services) in place of examining the dysfunctions of the healthcare systems and their policies and programs, thus sustaining power dynamics of the colonial healthcare practices. NA populations represent a unique and distinct identity that has been shaped by colonization and imperialism. The political, legal, and social histories of NA are a complicated domain which are interwoven into their health inequities. It is through the colonial and imperial power dynamics of the healthcare system that NA people are required to be adaptive and thus configure their entire lives around this system. Pursuance of investigating the health information seeking behaviors requires research methods and methodologies that are Indigenous led and guided by NA values and epistemologies. It is through my poster presentation I invite dialogue to better understand Native American health information seeking behaviors through a strength-based lens.
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