Building on our strengths

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Building on Our Strengths: Aboriginal Youth Wellness in Canada’s North  is the result of over a year of field-work and research completed by Dr. Siomonn Pulla, Office of Interdiscipinary Studies, for the Conference Board of Canada's Centre for the North. This research project was designed collaboratively in the summer of 2012 with the 50 stakeholders who fund the Centre's research activities - including Health Canada, The Assembly of First Nations and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. And field work was conducted over the fall of 2012 and winter of 2013. Research data were compiled by Dr. Pulla into a final publication over the spring and summer of 2013, just before he joined Royal Roads University in August 2013.

The research for this project systematically reviews and identifies the many challenges to contemporary Aboriginal youth wellness outcomes in Canada's North. Instead of emphasizing negative outcomes, however, this publication 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 were chosen in an effort to highlight the diversity of 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 policy recommendations for the development and implementation of Northern Aboriginal youth wellness programs. 

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You can download and read Building on Our Strengths: Aboriginal Youth Wellness in Canada’s North for free here.