Learn about our history from


the beginning to present day

2009 Journey Begins

Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory and Laurentian University began active collaboration to create a new measure for Indigenous children.

Note that while development began in [one community](https://wiikwemkoong.ca), the intent was always to ensure relevance to all Indigenous in Canada. The rationale: There was a lack of evidence to guide health care delivery in Indigenous communities due in part to absence of culturally relevant and appropriate outcome measures. The solution: We created a new child self-report measure of health and well-being by identifying relevant concepts, from the perspective of Indigenous children and youth. How do Indigenous children and youth conceptualize health and well-being? What are the best items to enable Indigenous children and youth express health and well being?

2011 - 2012 ACHWM Development

The project actively engaged Indigenous children and youth (ages 8-18) from the community to design a culturally appropriate survey that captures the spectrum of illness to wellness and to identify meaningful concepts of health and well-being.
Between June and November of 2011, we conducted a series of 6 full-day focus groups with 38 Indigenous children and youth living on-reserve. Each focus group utilized bicycling and innovative photovoice techniques.
Using photovoice techniques the children and youth took pictures within their community of items that represented their perspective of health and well-being, thus identifying a total of 206 relevant concepts (e.g. language, balance etc.). An expert panel combined related concepts, with the guidance of the children, health services staff, and community Elders. The combined ideas captured on camera were then translated into questions. Children then selected the best questions and assigned them to quadrants. Thus the ACHWM survey allows the representation of the continuous interaction of all four quadrants of the Medicine Wheel; spiritual, emotional, physical and mental.

[More information on the Development of the ACHWM](https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236337363_A_Process_for_Creating_the_Aboriginal_Children's_Health_and_Well-Being_Measure_ACHWM)

2013 Mobile App

The ACHWM team enlisted the support of the Laurentian Information Technology team who developed a tablet app. The goal was to increase feasibility, sustainability and eliminate literacy barriers when implementing the ACHWM with Indigenous children. The tablet application addresses: Feasibility: makes doing the survey appealing to children and efficient. Sustainability: No need for data entry and tablet uploads to a secure REDCap server. Literacy: text to speech option enables children with low literacy levels to actively participate. While offering a new platform for engaging children, the application acts as a catalyst for honest dialogue that leads to immediate support.

2014 Celebration

The children of Wiikwemkoong celebrated the ACHWM project with Stan Wesley! As part of the even they gave the ACHWM its Ojibway name: Aaniish Naa Gegii, meaning "How are you?"

2014-2015 Assessed Fit

Assessment of fit of the ACHWM in other Indigenous communities. One-on-one interviews were completed with children and their parents or caregivers in: Weechi-it-te-win Family Services - June 2014. Métis community in Sudbury - July 2014. M'Chigeeng First Nation - August 2014. Whitefish First Nation - October 2014. Ottawa Intuit Children’s Centre - January 2015. The ACHWM is culturally-relevant and shares a common set of items across diverse communities.

2014-2015 Assessing Scientific Rigour

The ACHWM team assessed the core measurement properties of the measure. Validity (r=0.52 vs PedsQL) Reliability (ICC=0.94) Sensitivity (0.75) Specificity (0.97) The ACHWM is scientifically sound (valid, reliable, and sensitive), and feasible to implement within Indigenous communities.

2014- Present Sharing the Measure

We are sharing with other First Nations, Inuit and Métis agencies who want to implement this measure: for population health assessment; for program evaluation; or for mental health screening. There are no license fees, but permission from the ACHWM team (users agreement or research agreement) is required to ensure it is being applied by your community to benefit children within your community. ACHWM has been shared with multiple communities and is now known by several names Ojibway (North Eastern Ontario) "Aaniish Naa Gegii". Métis "Komon Ca Vo". Inuit "Qanuippit?". Ojibway (North Western Ontario) "Aaniin Ezhi-Yaayin". The long-term goal is to empower First Nations health centres to implement evidence-informed healthcare, by measuring the health outcomes of their children and youth. If you intend to promote better child health and well-being outcomes and have resources in place to support the child health needs that may be identified: determine the goal for implementation and make a request to the ACHWM team.

2016-2017 Outreach and Sharing

The ACHWM team has received new funding from the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services to support sharing with new communities.

2016-2018 Assessing to Screening and Triage Component

The ACHWM team has received a new research grant from the Ontario SPOR initiative to conduct a detailed evaluation of the impact of the screening and triage component that is embedded within the ACHWM.