Dietary Choices in Aklavik: Youth and Elders Promoting Change

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: health, social sciences, chronic disease, community development, health promotion, public awareness, nutrition

Principal Investigator: Archie, Billy (2)
Licence Number: 14171
Organization: Arctic Health Research Network
Licenced Year(s): 2006
Issued: Jun 01, 2007
Project Team: Susan Chatwood (Co-Investigator, Arctic Health Research Network), Jeremy Grimshaw (Co-investigator, University of Ottawa)

Objective(s): To create a health promotion program and measure knowledge change in youth and elders around risk factors and chronic diseases as a result of the health promotion activities.

Project Description: Statistics indicate a burden of chronic diseases in the community of Aklavik, with 17.6% of individuals receiving care for one or more chronic conditions. Driven by elders and youth of the community, measurement of risk factors and associated diseases is planned so that programs to promote wellness can be implemented and evaluated.
A mechanism for youth to collect and manage data around risk factors will be created (e.g., pop consumption, using recycling data). Then, a health promotion program will be designed and implemented using animated shorts. Knowledge change around risk factor and chronic diseases as a result of the activities will be measured. Long term objectives are actual behavior changes related to risk factors. A long term project to follow up is planned.

Up to 30 youth between the ages of 14 and 18 years, attending high school in Aklavik, will be invited to participate. Youth will collect data on food consumption with a 24 hour dietary record for themselves, elders and family members. The youth will compare this with data collected in the 1990s as part of the Northern Contaminants Program. Data from the Aklavik recycling program will be collected over 6 months to explore consumption of milk, fruit juice, energy drinks and pop in the community. A questionnaire will be designed for elders on traditional diets in the community. Students will interview elders using video. Based on the data, the youth will create a message on dietary choices and create an animated video using the production company Animaction. Animaction will hold a workshop concurrently, which will train community individuals in animation methods for future health promotion.

Results will be communicated via the Aklavik Health Committee and local radio, and will be shared with the GNWT Department of Health.
The study will be conducted within the municipal bounds of Aklavik from June 1 to December 31, 2007.