A narrative inquiry into the experiences of urban Aboriginal youth and their families outside of school places

Research Start-up Summary and Abstract:

This projects aims to explore Aboriginal youths’ and their families’ experiences of education, including their schooling experiences within provincially-funded urban schools and as they move between home, community and school.

Engagement Objectives:

This project examines the research question: How may the experiences of urban Aboriginal youth and their families outside of school places inform the practices and pedagogy within school places?

More than half of the Canadian Aboriginal population is under the age of 25, which places an urgent need to collaboratively inquire into the lives of Aboriginal youth in current school contexts. Through engagement with youth, attending provincially-funded urban schools, and their families we intend to understand the complexity of their experiences. It is our belief that the complexity can be further understood and more deeply understood through the experiences that take place outside the hours of school. The places outside of school may include home, community, and the people within those places.

The program currently employs three urban Aboriginal high school youth in paid mentorship opportunities. The program funds one graduate student and three undergraduate students. Also, as a part of the research process we have met with various community organizations (North Central Family Centre, Kitchener Community school, Regina Urban Aboriginal Council, Fort Qu’Appelle Tribal Council, AANDC) to help us moving forward in ethical ways that honors urban Aboriginal peoples.

Youth are engaged in a variety of wellness activities as we continue the process of building relationships with community. A website has been developed and a program blog to engage with youth, families, and community members. Please see the attached link: http://growingyoungmovers.com/programs/gym-after-school-club

Main contact:

Sean Lessard
[email protected]