Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Claire Crooks


This mixed methods case study investigated the benefits of serving as a youth mentor to younger peers as part of the Fourth R: Uniting Our Nations Peer Mentoring Program. Data were collected from 11 youth mentors via interviews and returned to them for interpretation and meaning-making through a statement sorting activity as part of a larger concept mapping procedure. The concept mapping was created through Concept Systems, and traditional thematic analysis of the data were conducted with Dedoose. The concept mapping revealed three themes: 1) Cultural Connections, 2) Benefits to Self, and 3) Relationships with Family and Friends. As part of the thematic analysis, open-coding was used to analyze each transcript, from which four root codes were derived: 1) Contributions, 2) Relationships, 3) Culture, and 4) Aspirations. The findings indicated that mentors identified the program’s cultural relevancy, such as participation in cultural practices, connecting with their Indigenous peers in a group setting, and exploring their cultural identities, as the biggest benefit in their roles mentoring their younger peers. Other benefits reported by mentors included perceived intrapersonal (i.e. self-perception, self-confidence, relationship with self) and interpersonal (i.e. relationships with others, self-advocacy skills) gains as a result of their participation in the program, as well as improved connection to school. This study contributes to strengths-based research that supports Indigenous youth development, cultural engagement and leadership potential.