Aboriginal Next Steps: Lytton

Youth participant quotes:

What did you learn at today's event?

"How cool us [Natives] are!"."

"About Aboriginal health, history, how to make Claymation films."

What I will do with what I learned today:

"Help teach others"

"Brag about how we Native youth are getting better, as in healthy lifestyles."

I was honoured to be welcomed back by this remarkable group of community leaders on April 15, 2008. These youth ambassadors strive to develop communication, interpersonal, leadership and life skills. They work with cultural practitioners, such as Elders and community leaders, and they stay drug & alcohol free for at least the duration of the 10 month program. This is all part of their personal commitment to foster pride, self-esteem, and goal-setting for the betterment of themselves and their community. I was inspired by their dedication to their community and to each other. Thanks for letting the Aboriginal Next Steps project on board! I can't wait to see what you do next. 

Their Community Action Plan identified 3 key areas: 1) Substance Use & Abuse; 2) Physical & Emotional Health; and 3)Sexual Health.

The Ambassadors presented their Action Plan at the Film Premiere hosted by the Kumsheen Secondry School to a gymnasium full of youth and adults from four neighbouring communities.

Group 1: Physical & Emotional Health

Even though rates have declined since 1992, 20 percent of Aboriginal youth still reported being physically abused. Research shows that youth who feel connected and safe at home, at school and in the community have better health, taker fewer risks, and have higher educational aspirations. This group created a direct message about the complex issue of perpetuating violence.

Research to Action Plan:

  • Our community goal is...

    To improve the livelihood of the people.
    Problem: emotion--people don't know how to express themselves/understand people.

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


  • Describe what you would do...
    • Somewhere to sit and talk
    • Dancing, drug free/sex workshops
    • Music(recording) & drama
    • Public speaking
    • Self Defence
    • Healthy reslationship/dating workshops
    • Native dancing, traditional foods & history
    • Skate park, dirt bike
    • More jobs & training
    • Our community goal is...

      Decrease substance use - set out choices, seek alternatives.

    • Describe what you would do...

      Street fair, conference, street dance, & other activities, such as:

    • dunk tank
    • sports
    • cook off
    • water fights
    • climbing wall
    • water activities
    • venders
    • local crafters
    • In what ways would your project improve community health? (think about protective factors) Showing the effects and awareness; giving alternatives
    • Who/What would you need to get involved?

      We would ask for assistance from the bands

    • Our community goal is...To abstain/make good decisions.
    • If we had up to $5000, our activity/project would be Sexual awareness week/workshops
    • Describe what you would do...Condom dispensers, skits, rapping performance, poster presentation boards / pictures, video production, birth control awareness, sexual abuse workshops, website, sex educators
    • In what ways would your project improve community health? (think about protective factors)

      Decrease diseases & teenage pregnancies

  • "Report Card"

    • Chris F.
    • Harely D.
    • Clint C.
    • Cleann L.
    • Aaron J.
    • Aaron C.

    Group 2: Substance Use and Abuse

    Group 2 was surpised to find that not only has overall drug use declined, but also that Aborignal youth are significantly less likely to have ever used drugs (other than alcohol or marijuana). Aboriginal youth across BC are less likely to use crystal meth, mushrooms, and ecstasy. The use of other drugs, such as hallucinogens, cocaine, inhalants and heroin have declined significanlty. This group celebrated these findings by making our first Claymation comedy

    Research to Action Plan:

    "Bend It"

    • Sasha M Thomas
    • Shelanne McKay
    • Bob
    • Dot Justice

    Group 3: Sexual Health

    Sexual activity among Aborignal students has declined significantly over the past decade. In 2003, 36% of Aboriginal youth attending school reported having sexual intercourse compared to 52% in 1992. The percentage of sexually active Aborginal students who practice safe sex has also increased significantly. In 2003, about 67% reported having used a condom the last thime they had sex, compared to 54% in 1992. Group 3 wanted to encourage youth to think about the consequences of their choices and the importance of being informed.

    Research to Action Plan:

    "You Decide"

    • Theo Michele
    • Chantel Erickson
    • Kayla Molett
    • J??? A.
    • Nanette