Aboriginal Next Steps: Cranbrook

Youth participant quotes:

Rounded Rectangular Callout: What did you learn at today's event? 'I learned about making good decisions.' 'How to make Claymations and it is awesome.  And about how the aboriginal health is.'Oval Callout: What I will do with what I learned today: 'Set a good example to others about the use of alcohol and drugs'

Adult participant quote:

What did you like most about today's event?

'Everyone was involved (hands on) in some way. The kids getting the unique experience of making a film to get a message across. The chance to showcase some of their talents—especially in being leaders when getting the task done.'

Cranbrook's 18 youth did an amazing job kick-starting this project on March 5, 2008. Originally they chose between 4 working groups: 1) Substance Use & Abuse 2) Physical & Emotional Health 3) Marginalized (street-involved) youth and 4) Sexual Health. After coming up with their own action plans, they organized themselves into the first 3 topics to make the films.

Special thanks to Bambi Tait from our partnering organization Healing Our Spirit (www.healingourspirit.org) for joining us and providing additional information such as illustrating the connection of substance use/abuse and HIV/HCV.

The Film Premiere & Community Dialogue night were hosted by the St. Mary Indian Band. The youth were fantastic at presenting their films and fielding questions about the research information.

It was encouraging to see youth using a creative tool (eg: media/claymation film) to combine research with their ingenuity to continue forward with the larger goal of awareness, education, and addressing community issues they care about. Cranbrook adults and youth alike are excited and eager to keep up the momentum, as they are planning to present their films to younger youth, parents, and other community members.  10 youth signed up to move forward by applying for the grant and doing a community project!

Group 1: Substance Use and Abuse

Overall, a common theme among the groups was about creating/offering activities and a safe place that included a supportive adult that they could talk to, so the youth can make healthy decisions and feel connected.  There was also a common theme of wanting more education and awareness in the community.

Originally this group was moved by how Aboriginal youth are making "good decisions", such as how fewer Aboriginal youth are drinking alcohol/using most illegal drugs and the percentage of Aboriginal youth ever trying alcohol has declined. Can dreams impact youth's decisions? Watch their film and find out.

Research to Action Plan:

  • Our community goal is...

    To create more awareness & provide alternatives.

  • If we had up to $5000, our activity/project would be

    To provide an alternative activity to take the place of using drugs.

  • Describe what you would do...

    Have a video game/rock climbing (sport)/ dancing (or other activity) triathlon that goes all night.

  • In what ways would your project improve community health? (think about protective factors)

    Prevent people from using substances and going out partying.

  • Who/What would you need to get involved?

    We would need volunteers for supervising, bouncers, ropes, rock wall, equipment, money, a building to use, video games.

     

"Good Decisions"

  • Stephanie Williams
  • Nicole Williams
  • Dallas Favel
  • Kimberly Earl
  • Brian Kiraly
  • Curtis Pocha

Group 2: Marginalized/Street-involved Youth

 

Research to Action Plan:

  • Our community goal is...

    Our goal is to help our youth feel more accepted and connected in our schools and community.

  • If we had up to $5000, our activity/project would be

    We would start a youth centre where the kids can be accepted and discuss openly and feel safe in time of need.

  • Describe what you would do...

    Have an easy environment to talk in groups and group projects to make a connection to the youth.

  • In what ways would your project improve community health? (think about protective factors)

    Ways it would improve the community is by giving youth the tools to expand in their community and give them more self-confidence/personal growth.

  • Who/What would you need to get involved?

    Funding and someone who would believe in our project.

This group discussed the statistical increase for most categories (drug use etc) when comparing marginalized youth to youth in school. The number one reason noted by marginalized youth for why they reported hanging out on the streets was because their friendswere there. Their film highlights the importance of having supportive friends with positive social values, and how feeling connected to and accepted by community, can influence youth to make healthy decisions.

"Connecting"

  • Sean H.
  • Eldon S.
  • Josh Norgard
  • Wes Pouliot
  • Daylen LePage
  • Brad Morfit

 

Group 3: Physical & Emotional Health

Group3 took into consideration that even though the rates of suicide have remained stable the past decade, there are protective factors (such as connection with friends) that can drastically reduce the risk of attempted suicide. Their film shows how to ensure that no one is an "outsider".

Research to Action Plan:

  • Our community goal is...

    To make youth feel wanted.

  • If we had up to $5000, our activity/project would be

    Have a centre/sports/gym.

  • Describe what you would do...

    Someone to talk to who went through the same thing. Board games, video games, pool etc. Kitchen/rooms to stay in.

  • In what ways would your project improve community health? (think about protective factors)

    No homeless people, making kids feel safe in the community. Less suicides.

  • Who/What would you need to get involved?

    Builders, architects, speedy autoglass, a space to put it, volunteers, money, furniture, sponsorships, psychiatrist.

"The Outsider"

  • Autumn
  • Zach
  • Kirby
  • Marcus
  • Krystal

 

Group 4: Sexual Health

This is the group that dispersed & joined the other 3 to make the films

Fewer Aboriginal students are having sex, students are waiting longer to have sex, and among the sexually active, condom use and practicing safe sex has increased. Group 4 also considered how among street-involved youth, Aboriginal youth are over-represented (increased from 36% in 2000 to 57%!) and that 60% of those youth surveyed identified as exclusively heterosexual (Against the Odds: A profile of marginalized and street-involved youth in BC 2007). They believe that if youth feel safe and connected, they will make healthy decisions. They are planning for a health fair, so we talked about the success of other health fairs in communities.

Research to Action Plan:

  • Our community goal is...

    To keep promoting safe sex, sexual education for youth. Also to make youth comfortable and connected to feel safe/accepted to help them make the right decisions.

  • If we had up to $5000, our activity/project would be

    We would hold a youth banquet party to discuss youth sexual health & safety. We would also throw condoms at them.

  • Describe what you would do...

    We would educate and listen to the youth of our community plus have games & pizza

  • In what ways would your project improve community health? (think about protective factors)

    We would improve the community by providing condoms and information about risks plus sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Who/What would you need to get involved?

    We would have to be involved! plus youth workers would be nice, a cool one that people like.