The title page was intentionally left out for anonymization purposes.

Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




physical literacy, cultural responsiveness, Indigenous, physical activity, physical education, DPA policy


Physical activity levels in Canadian youth are decreasing. This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) focuses on improving physical literacy in middle school Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in a Northern Ontario urban school. The Daily Physical Activity (DPA) policy in Ontario public elementary schools has achieved about 50% fidelity in classrooms since its inception in 2005 (Allison, et al., 2016; Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, 2015, p. 60). Leading a physically active lifestyle is essential for education outcomes, public health, and general health and wellbeing. Improving physical literacy in youth increases their motivation to be physically active, and through a Quality Daily Physical Education (QDPE) program, can also increase student achievement significantly (Dudley, 2019, October 8; PHE, 2020). Students engaged in physical education programming where learning is prioritized are more motivated to learn across all subjects (Dudley, 2018). From a public health perspective, the urgency for Canadians to become more active has never been more critical. The rate of non-communicated diseases (NCDs) can be reduced significantly by meeting the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) physical activity guidelines. At the current rate, 50% of non-Indigenous and 80% of Indigenous youth will develop diabetes in their lifetime (Diabetes Canada, 2018). Currently, only 35% of five to seventeen-year-olds, and under 16% of 18-79 year-olds, are meeting CSEP’s physical activity guidelines (ParticipACTION, 2018). This OIP explores how a culturally responsive framework along with community connections are essential in improving physical literacy in middle school Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Developing physically literate youth is essential for the future of our youth, education system, and public healthcare.