The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) is starting a study on vaccine confidence in Indigenous youth.

Researchers will examine why young Indigenous People in Northern Ontario see lower vaccination rates than older people in the same communities, and what can be done to address that.

“We are interested in learning how Indigenous youth receive their health information, and what structural and intergenerational factors they may face,” said Dr. Marion Maar, one of the study’s heads. “Most importantly, we invite all youth perspectives to highlight the specific needs of urban, rural, First Nations, Métis, gender diverse and 2SLGBTQ+ community members.”

Officials say the research will look into both public health approaches and Indigenous art and theatre to find out how to best reach the younger demographic. To do that, they’re partnering with several public health bodies and Indigenous arts groups within Northern communities.

An end date for the $200,000 project has not yet been given, but the school says its findings will be shared with Indigenous communities and Canada’s public health sector.