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: 16407
Organization: University of Alberta
Licensed Year(s): 2018 2017
Issued: Oct 02, 2018
Project Team: Youth Research Assistant (Research Assistant), Youth Research Assistant (Research Assistant), Community Research Assistant (Research Assistant)

Objective(s): To understand Elders’ perspective on health issues for themselves and youth in the communities; to understand community assets from youth’s, Elders’ and community members’ points of views; and to explore and select ideas for health messaging activities.

Project Description: The main goal of this research is to understand Yellowknives 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 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 planning of the research, organization of the research activities, and recruitment will be done in partnership with the YKDFN Lands and Environment Department. The project will have four parts based on holistic, participatory, and Indigenous approaches:
1. Interview and survey Elders with youth 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. 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. 2. Organize a series of workshops for youth and interested community members 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. 3. Hold an initial meeting with youth representatives, Elders, stakeholders, community partners, and researchers to decide how to plan community workshops to explore community strengths and potential communication and messaging activities. The research team will conduct this meeting as a ‘sharing circle’. 4. Hold community workshops in Ndilo and Dettah to capture and explore Elders’, community members’ and youth’s views on community strengths and health messaging activities. The team will offer an asset mapping activity that will encourage kinesthetic and tactile participation. 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.

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.

Findings will be shared with the participants, YKDFN Lands and Environment, Wellness, and Dechita Naowo departments, YKDFN Chief and Council, and the community at large. A 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 October 2, 2018 to December 31, 2018.