Building on Our Strengths: Aboriginal Youth Wellness in Canada’s North

The Conference Board of Canada, 145 pages, January 14, 2014
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This report delivers new insights into successful Aboriginal youth wellness strategies in Canada’s North. It highlights three initiatives that reflect the diversity of potential strength-based Aboriginal youth wellness strategies.

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Document Highlights

Building on Our Strengths: Aboriginal Youth Wellness in Canada’s North delivers new insights into the design and implementation of successful Aboriginal youth wellness strategies in Canada’s North. It reviews systemic challenges to contemporary Aboriginal youth wellness, identifying persistent gaps and measures to close them. Yet, rather than emphasize negative outcomes, the report focuses on the inherent strengths of Canada’s Northern Aboriginal communities, to understand how and why strength-based approaches work to promote Northern Aboriginal youth wellness.

Three contemporary Aboriginal youth wellness initiatives from across Canada’s North are highlighted to reflect the diversity of potential strength-based Aboriginal youth wellness strategies, including examples of wellness through sport, cultural awareness, and living on the land. Lessons are drawn from the case study analysis to support recommendations for the development and implementation of Northern Aboriginal youth wellness programs.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

  • Framing Health Challenges in Terms of Aboriginal Wellness
  • Methodology

Chapter 2—Assessing Wellness Challenges Among Aboriginal Youth in Canada’s North

  • Historical and Intergenerational Trauma
  • Climate Change
  • Aboriginal Youth Suicide
  • Closing the Wellness Gaps

Chapter 3—Building on Strengths: Holistic Approaches to Aboriginal Youth Wellness

  • The Social Determinants of Health
  • Examples of Successful Aboriginal Early Childhood Development Initiatives
  • Aboriginal Youth Wellness: A Holistic Approach
  • The Role of Work and the Private Sector

Chapter 4—Innovative Approaches to Aboriginal Youth Wellness in Canada’s North—Three Case Studies

  • Winnipeg Aboriginal Sports Achievement Centre North
  • The Makimautiksat Youth Wellness and Empowerment Camp—Inuit Youth Wellness in Nunavut
  • Take a Kid Trapping Program—Government of the Northwest Territories
  • Lessons Learned

Chapter 5—Final Observations and Recommendations

  • Recommendations

Appendix A—Interview Guide: Aboriginal Youth Wellness in the North (Sample)

  • Objective of Interview
  • Confidentiality
  • Questions

Appendix B—A Historical Overview of Aboriginal Health Policies in Canada’s North

  • Examples of Historic Northern Aboriginal Health Services and Policies
  • Transition to Contemporary Northern Aboriginal Health Services and Policies
  • Toward a Community-Based Aboriginal Wellness Framework
  • Policy Observations

Appendix C—Bibliography

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