The goal of the thesis was to gain insight into the experiences of Aboriginal youth who were participating in Aboriginal organizations in Vancouver.
Amy also published a community report that is available on the Vancouver based Urban Native Youth Association website. This 8 page report summarizes the 196 page dissertation that she submitted and contains key findings and lessons learned from the youth.
In writing her thesis, Parent hoped that it would encourage development of a wholistic educational framework for Aboriginal youth which pursues the goal of transformative praxis by honouring Indigenous culture within a positive, empowering and generative contemporary urban context. I’ve read both the report and the thesis and can tell you that her research was exhaustive, thought-provoking, and ground-breaking.
Of note, Parent add a fifth R (relationships) to the well-received Four R research framework put forward by Kirkness & Barnhardt (1991). These authors argued that research in Aboriginal communities should be reciprocal, relevant, responsible, and respectful. For Parent, the fifth R allows her to maintain relational accountability to her family, clan (Nisga’a), and community.
I recommend the study for anyone who is looking for an extensive literature review of leading Indigenous research. Additionally, Amy’s findings on urban Aboriginal youth are thoughtfully framed by an explanation of wholistic education that is second to none. Finally, the commentary, stories, and interjections about her guide, the Raven, is worth the price of admission on its own.
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
This article, written by Jasmine Bruce, discusses the submissions made to the International Youth Parliament’s Youth Commission into Globalisation (IYP Commission) from Indigenous young people and organizations working with Indigenous youth around the world. It focuses on the impact that globalisation has on upon the rights of people rather than a specific issue. On page 87, the role technology in globalisation for Indigenous youth is discussed. It states that “globalisation has both driven and been driven by developments in communication technologies, yet access to these technologies is far from equitable”. Many Indigenous people do not necessarily reap the benefits of developments in technology. When Indigenous young people gain access to technology, the challenge is to give culturally-valid meaning to the use of new technologies. Unless Indigenous people are involved with implementing the integration of technology into their communities, the technology may work against other aspects of their indigenous cultures. The article states that like other aspects of globalisation, technological advancements represent a double-edged sword for Indigenous youth. The technology also opens opportunities for Indigenous youth in the technology and knowledge-based industries and fosters youth Indigenous employment. They can also use technology to raise awareness about Indigenous rights and to create global youth networks. This article is very useful for anyone who is doing research on the impact of technology on Indigenous youth. It presents technology as a positive and negative influence on Indigenous youth globally.