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Through the Lens of the Youth: Exploring Culturally Relevant Physical Activity with a Northern Aboriginal Community Through Participatory Action Research Open Access


Other title
physical activity
health promotion
participatory action research
Aboriginal health
capacity building
participatory video
Aboriginal youth
community based participatory research
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Tang, Keren
Supervisor and department
Jardine, Cindy (School of Public Health)
Examining committee member and department
Teufel-Shone, Nicolette (Health Promotion Sciences, University of Arizona)
McHugh, Tara-Leigh (Physical Education and Recreation)
Raine, Kim (School of Public Health)
Centre for Health Promotion Studies

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Guided by an overarching participatory action research framework, this research explored physical activity within the sociocultural context of northern Aboriginal communities. I worked in partnership with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation Community Wellness Program in the Northwest Territories, Canada, to develop, implement and evaluate the research. Together, we aimed to: 1) document the community’s perspective of and experience with physical activity through the eyes of the youth; 2) investigate how physical activity is embedded in local and traditional culture; 3) raise consciousness about physical activity in the community; and 4) develop a strategic plan for sustaining new and existing physical activity initiatives. Ultimately, this research highlighted the critical role of culture and traditions in the Dene people’s physical activity experience and more broadly, their health and wellbeing. Moreover, it demonstrated that a participatory action research project is entirely feasible within the capacity of a Master’s thesis, given the appropriate circumstances, partnership, and researcher attitude. This study contributes to the current understanding of physical activity from an Indigenous perspective and provides recommendations for future research, policy, and practice to develop meaningful and effective interventions for chronic disease preventions.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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