Meeting the Health Care Needs of Elderly Métis Women in Buffalo Narrows, Saskatchewan

  • Brigette Krieg Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence, University of Regina
  • Diane Martz Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence and Saskatchewan Population Health & Evaluation Research Unit, University of Saskatchewan
Keywords: Métis women’s health, elderly women’s health, remote communities, access to health services, Saskatchewan, Participatory Action Research (PAR)


There is limited data, including health data, specific to the Métis population in Canada. As a result, the health issues and concerns of Métis communities—in particular Métis women—have largely been ignored in health research and in program and policy development. To address this dearth of information, a community-based research committee made up of Métis women initiated the Buffalo Narrows Métis Women’s Health Research Project. The goals of the project were to investigate the health care needs of elderly women and their caregivers in a northern and remote Saskatchewan Métis community. The project looked at barriers to health care service access in terms of accessibility, affordability, availability, acceptability and accommodation. Results showed that elderly Métis women experienced multiple, interconnected barriers to accessing health care services, making it difficult to isolate one variable as being more important than another. However, the Métis women interviewed did identify a number of recommendations to help in meeting the complex service needs of elderly women in the community. If implemented, these recommendations would help to ease the pressure put on extended family members who act as informal caregivers to elderly residents as well as giving elderly patients more independence and improving elderly women’s access to primary health care services.