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Category: Community Engagement

Socioeconomic inequalities in psychological distress and suicidal behaviours among Indigenous Peoples living off-reserve in Canada

Source: CMAJ 2019 March 25;191:E325-36. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.181374


BACKGROUND: Indigenous Peoples in Canada have high rates of psychological distress and suicide. We sought to assess the socioeconomic inequalities in psychological distress and suicidal behaviours, and the factors that explain them within Indigenous peoples living off-reserve.

INTERPRETATION: Substantial income related inequalities in psychological distress and suicidal behaviours exist among Indigenous peoples living off reserve in Canada. Policies designed to address major contributing factors such as food insecurity and income may help reduce these inequalities.

Working Effectively with Indigenous People

Source: Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.

Summary: This is an interesting junction in Canadian history as non-Aboriginal Canadians wake up to the harsh reality of the residential schools, as shown by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report. This new awareness could well be the catalyst for real, fundamental change, and where more effective than in the classroom?

Teachers (and school districts) with Indigenous students have the opportunity to provide transformative change, not just in the Indigenous students, but in the entire student body and the families of the student body. The ripple effect will eventually reach out into the community and beyond.

A Way Home: Youth Homelessness Community Planning Toolkit

Source: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

Summary: Considerations for Engagement with Indigenous People

It is important to acknowledge the experience of Indigenous People in Canada if we are to truly end youth homelessness, particularly in light of their consistent overrepresentation in vulnerable populations. Indigenous homelessness is notably different; the structural and systemic determinants associated with colonialism, the Indian Act, treaty making, residential schools, and the Sixties Scoop have resulted in considerable discriminatory impacts that are in fact intergenerational.

A sense of being homeless can be experienced from diverse perspectives: cultural, spiritual or emotional. It is more than a loss of housing. The impact of colonization, residential schooling, intergenerational trauma, ongoing discrimination and racism in Canadian society has contributed to the ongoing systematic marginalization of Indigenous People, including Indigenous youth.

Ontario Native Literacy Coalition Indigenized Assessment Tool

Source: Ontario Native Coalition

Summary: This resource has been developed as a Native specific assessment tool for Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) and other employment related programs to utilize with Indigenous clients.

Consensus was that assessment for Aboriginal adults worked better and gave a clearer picture of a person’s strengths, ability and potential if they incorporated the following:

  • do assessment in a holistic manner using tools that include culturally relevant materials and topics;
  • use Aboriginal assessment practices and tools to measure success in other areas of the individual learner’s life, as well as in the learner’s classroom and learning environment;
  • use assessment as a way for learners to demonstrate what they can do, but also a way to show their learning strategies, and to inspire further learning.

Study: Upgrading and high school equivalency among the Indigenous population living off reserve

Source: The Daily: StatCan

Summary: The study examines the characteristics of Indigenous people who have completed upgrading or high school equivalency programs. It also examines whether completing such a program helps people achieve better outcomes later in life, in terms of both educational achievement and labour market participation.

The study is based on data from the Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS), a national survey of First Nations people living off reserve, and Métis and Inuit aged 15 and older. In 2017, the APS focused on the topics of employment and skills and training. It also collected information on education, health, languages, income, housing and mobility.

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