The success of the current research project rests on the cohesive coordination of interrelated and multi-disciplinary components. Indeed, the project involves
1) Ethnobotany to identify potential anti-diabetic plants arising from the traditional knowledge of Cree Elders and Healers;
2) Phytochemistry to prepare high-quality extracts of the plants, to chemically characterize them, and to identify phytochemicals responsible for the biological activity that can then serve to standardize plant preparations;
3) Pharmacology/Toxicology to rigorously assess the anti-diabetic activity and safety of the plants using in vitro bioassays and in vivo animal models of diabetes/insulin resistance, and to identify active principles and modes of action;
4) Nutrition to evaluate the level of integration of the medicinal plants in the Cree community diets and to establish the most appropriate presentation of standardized plant preparation;
5) Clinical endocrinology to determine the safety and efficacy of potential anti-diabetic plants in humans; and
6) Health services to successfully integrate traditional Cree medicine into current diabetes care and education programs of the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay (CBHSSJB).