Developing YKDFN Youth-Led Health Messaging Programs with Communities

Regions: North Slave Region

Tags: health, social sciences, youth perspective

Principal Investigator: Lines, Laurie-Ann (3)
Licence Number: 16147
Organization: University of Alberta
Licensed Year(s): 2018 2017
Issued: Jul 21, 2017
Project Team: Laurie-Ann Lines (Principal Investigator, University of Alberta), Dr. Cindy Jardine (Supervisor / Principal Investigator, University of the Fraser Valley)

Objective(s): To understand Yellowknife Dene First Nation youth’s and community views on health, community strengths, and appropriate communication and message development activities to develop a suitable youth-led health messaging intervention.

Project Description: The main goal of this research is to understand Yellowknife Dene First Nation (YKDFN) youth’s and community views on health, community strengths, and appropriate communication and message development activities to develop a suitable youth-led health messaging intervention. Capturing views on community strengths will allow the research project to be created from an asset-based point of reference and build upon a relevant and appropriate understanding of health. The two main objectives of the research are to: 1) understand Elders’ perspective on health issues for themselves and youth in the communities; 2) understand community assets from youth’s, Elders’ and community members’ points of views; and, 3) explore and select ideas for health messaging activities.

The research project will start in Ndilo and Dettah, Northwest Territories. The planning of the research, organization of the research activities, and recruitment will be done in partnership with the YKDFN Lands and Environment Department.

An interview and survey will be done with Elders (about 5-10) with youth (1-2 per interview) to understand their perspectives on community and youth health issues and youth’s role in addressing these. The interviews will be done using an Indigenous methodology and the ‘storytelling interview’ method, where participants are in control of how much they share about a specific topic. This method will allow for respect to be a priority when interviewing the Elders. Elders will also be shown a video clip that the youth created in last year’s project that shows their views on health as a starting point in the conversation.

The research team will organize a series of workshops for youth (about 5-10) and interested community members (about 3-7) to create a storyline based on the strengths of the YKDFN on-the-land that will be captured using a virtual reality 360-degree camera. The virtual reality will be captured during an on-the-Land camp where youth will collect data for the video and practice cultural skills. This video will be edited by the youth and shared with the rest of the communities.

The research team will hold an initial meeting with youth representatives (about 2-4), Elders (about 2-3), stakeholders (about 2-3), community partners (about 2-3), and researchers to decide how to plan community workshops to explore community strengths and potential communication and messaging activities. The team will conduct this meeting as a ‘sharing circle’ to allow each person appropriate time to voice their opinions.

Community workshops will be held in Ndilo and Dettah to capture and explore Elders’ (about 3-10), community members’ (about 10-40) and youth’s (about 5-30) views on community strengths and health messaging activities. We will use sharing circles and storytelling interviews to encourage conversations. We will offer an asset mapping activity that will encourage kinesthetic and tactile participation. To assist in coming to a consensus of the top health messaging activities, we will use a modified nominal group technique and polling with ‘clickers’. The storytelling interviews and sharing circles will be captured using audio, digital, and video recordings and be presented back to the community as tangible products, such as a book, led by the youth co-researchers. These products will be used at later workshops that will finalize the details of the youth-led health messaging program.

Each participant will be selected by age (ages 13-18 for youth, 19 and up for adult community members, and by community recognition for Elders), availability, Dene traditional lifestyle (for community members & Elders) and community preference (such as including a variety of family linage and at-risk youth) with assistance from the YKDFN partnering department. Youth, Elders, and community members will be recruited through the YKDFN department’s communication networks including recommendations by staff and advertisements in the afterschool program, youth society, community schools, door-to-door flyer hand-outs, e-mail distribution list, and regular community events. Elders for the interviews will be recruited by purposeful and convenience sampling as limited by Elder mobility, availability, language translation accessibility, and Dene cultural etiquette (for example, if they are grieving from a recent loss then they will not be contacted). In addition, the aim is to have members who are living a traditional lifestyle, from different families in the community, and represent an equal mix of genders. All steps in the recruitment will be guided by and carried out alongside the YKDFN partnering department.

In order to capture stories accurately, the Principal Investigator (PI) will use audio recordings and/or videotaping of discussions according to participant preference. Findings will be shared with the YKDFN Lands and Environment Department to confirm accuracy in representation. In addition, any publications stemming from the research will allow for the YKDFN Lands and Environment Department to have co-authorship.

The project will be training the local YKDFN youth in research skills as part of the project and having YKDFN members as resource workers, research assistants, and translators. As part of the project, the research team will incorporate a cultural camp for the youth to support their annual cultural knowledge training. In addition, the YKDFN partnerships will also promote learning of global positioning system (GPS) equipment, navigation skills, and other cultural skills throughout the research project. In addition, through community discussions, YKDFN members, stakeholders, and leaders will gain insight, awareness and critical evaluation of how youth perceive health messages and their role in creating and distributing them in the community. The process will build capacity with youth as they acquire knowledge in various areas and aim to increase future involvement in community health.

Findings will be shared with the participants, YKDFN Lands and Environment, Wellness, YKDFN Chief and Council, and YKDFN community at large. A community presentation will be made in each community once the virtual reality is complete and tangible products of the discussions will be distributed when ready. In addition, any publications stemming from the research will allow for the YKDFN departments to have co-authorship.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 26, 2017 to December 31, 2017.