Tag Archives: Aboriginal Children

Raven’s Children II: Aboriginal Youth Health in BC

Raven’s Children and Raven’s Children II were both published by the McCreary Centre Society (MCS).  MCS is a nongovernment, non-profit organization involved in improving the health of B.C. youth through research, education and community-based projects

In 1992, MCS conducted the first Adolescent Health Survey (AHS) with close to 16,000 youth in schools throughout B.C.  In 1998, MCS conducted the second AHS with approx 26,000 students.  In 2003, MCS conducted the 3rd AHS with over 30,500 youth.  Raven’s Children II, combines the data from responses of more than 4,800 Aboriginal students who took part in province-wide youth health surveys in 1992, 1998 and 2003.

The report was written under the direction of Kim van der Woerd of the Namgis First Nation.  Kim is a Ph.D. Candidate at Simon Fraser University.  Here are some interesting findings from the 2003 AHS that was published in 2005:

  • Most Aboriginal students rate their health as good or excellent.
  • Most Aboriginal students feel strongly connected to their families and school.
  • Nearly two-thirds want to continue their education beyond high school.
  • Almost three-quarters regularly participate in organized extracurricular activities.

The authors of Raven’s Children II noted that while Aboriginal youth have made some progress in rates alcohol consumption, smoking, pregnancy, there are issues that continue to pose a significant challenge for youths, parents, educators, Aboriginal leaders, and government: Problem Areas –

  • One in five Aboriginal students experienced racial discrimination.
  • Too many Aboriginal youth think about or attempt suicide and rates have not improved in the past decade.
  • Too many Aboriginal students, especially girls, continue to experience sexual and physical abuse.
  • Fewer youth reported feeling safe at school in 2003 than in 1998.

Raven’s II is a very comprehensive report, but it’s also very easy to read.  I recommend it for anyone who is searching for up-to-date and extensive information about the health of BC’s Aboriginal children

Australia – Indigenous Affairs Master Class

Since we’ve had lengthy discussions lately about the World bank and it’s destructive efforts (behind the scenes), I thought I would include some positive examples that I found! The National Australian Bank is making efforts to acknowledge Aboriginal rights! Check out the two videos – two very different focuses – but both seem to be very uniquely positive!

NAB’s Indigenous Affairs Master Class – Terri Janke
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmRoEi7Mqos[/youtube]

Terri Janke deals with artwork Copyright. Where are you taking my art – beyond its cultural settings? Lots depends on whether or not they will allow their Indigenous Knowledge to become public knowledge, make it available and then it exists that breach of copyright happens and Indigenous art and Knowledge needs to be protected from the commercialization of culture – so this poses challenges. She speaks of copyright to protect Indigenous artists and talks about communal artwork and cultural expression – what is the artwork representing and who does it belong to?! However, Copyright tends to be more focused on individual rights vs communal, tribal, historical cultural expression and rights –Indigenous artists connect their works to their cultural stories and these connections are essential for Indigenous artists / peoples.

NAB’s Indigenous Affairs Master Class – Dr Chris Sarra
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxEQSxwQnXE&NR=1[/youtube]
Dr. Chris Sarra talks about the role of the NAB institute in Australia, their work and how they are making strides in the education system to improve education for Aboriginal children. He talks about perceptions of the public and teachers of Aboriginal children and talks about the struggles Aboriginal students face regarding the typical stereotypes they are related to and they sometimes end up becoming unless teachers prevent this so that schooling can be a positive experience for Aboriginal and Indigenous children.

Another awesome video (Ted Talks) about Chris Sarra’s efforts: TEDxBrisbane Chris Sarra – All you need is…. TO DREAM
This is a very inspiring and uplifting video! From the two videos, I’ve come to believe that Chris Sarra is an excellent mentor and example of what can be accomplished by an Aboriginal if they believe in themselves and go for their dreams – sending a huge message of hope for Aboriginal children! He talks about the crucial role of the teacher furnishing or stifling dreams!
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPOFPgIpGdY&feature=related[/youtube]

These videos and others like them that I’ve uncovered will make excellent additions to the research I’ve collected about my topic on Elders & Technology & the many dimensions that encompasses including how Elders relate to the youth today.