Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Supervisor

Dr. Debbie Rudman, Dr. Chantelle Richmond

Abstract

Few studies addressing Indigenous children’s health have incorporated the voices of children or integrated an occupational science perspective. In partnership with the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre, this community-based study used artwork and sharing circles to understand First Nations children’s perceptions of health during a week-long culture camp. The objectives were: (1) to understand how First Nations children view their health, and (2) to explore how children connect health and culture. Findings demonstrated that children’s perceptions (n=20, aged 10 to 12) focused on physical aspects of health, such as diet and fitness. Children attended much less to spiritual, mental, and emotional aspects, or to links between cultural occupations and health. Given that children’s perspectives emphasized relationships, space, and learning through doing, the findings point to the importance of involving community members, enacting experiential learning, and incorporating cultural traditions in programs aimed at promoting the health of First Nations children.


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