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A Community-Based Participatory Approach to Supporting Indigenous Youth Activity-Promoting Programming in Alberta Open Access


Other title
Physical Activity
Community-Based Participatory Research
Indigenous Youth
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Coppola, Angela M
Supervisor and department
McHugh, Tara-Leigh F (Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Teufel-Shone, Nicolette (U Arizona, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health)
Spencer-Cavaliere, Nancy (Physical Education and Recreation)
Holt, Nicholas (Physical Education and Recreation)
Hokowhitu, Brendan (Native Studies)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The ultimate goal of this dissertation was to explore how to support Indigenous youth activity-promoting programming in Alberta, Canada. Three interrelated phases were conducted and, together, form a larger community-based participatory research (CBPR) project. The purpose of the first phase was to discuss and reflect upon a process of building relationships and conducting community consultations to co-create a relevant CBPR agenda exploring Indigenous youth activity-promoting programming. Four consultations were conducted with approximately 30 community members in Edmonton, Alberta to relevantly and respectfully engage Indigenous Peoples and community members in discussions about Indigenous youth activity-promoting programming. A research question was created from the community consultations to inform relevant knowledge generation. A research agenda was also created with community members to inform future community engagement in the research. We reflected upon our process and discussed the strengths, challenges, and recommendations of incorporating culturally-relevant practices and sharing knowledge within and outside of the community group. In response to community consultations that were conducted in the first phase of this CBPR, the purpose of the second phase was to explore programmers’ experiences of co-creating and engaging others in Indigenous youth activity-promoting programming in Alberta, Canada. Fifteen programmers from four urban areas in Alberta participated in a one-on-one interview and follow-up discussion. A thematic analysis highlighted seven themes that represent participants’ experiences of co-creating or engaging others in Indigenous youth activity-promoting programming: (a) advocating for youth and programming, (b) creating holistic programming with youth, (c) supporting traditional cultural practices and community connections, (d) focusing on relationships and building partnerships, (e) providing and receiving professional support, (f) promoting and navigating interagency support, and (g) identifying program outcomes and evaluation methods. This research extends upon programming research by providing practical knowledge and considerations for developing activity-promoting programming that fosters holistic health of Indigenous youth. The important consideration of working with and exploring the relationships between multiple agencies or partners is discussed. In response to feedback from the second phase of this CBPR, a gathering was organized to bring together programmers to discuss creating and engaging in activity-promoting programming in Alberta, and the next step in receiving and providing programming support. The purpose of the third project was to share an integrated knowledge translation (iKT) project that emerged as a gathering of Indigenous youth activity-promoting programmers in Alberta. Approximately 35 people attended the gathering and participated in open space technology discussions and professional development speaker sessions. The gathering outcomes highlighted several factors that facilitated knowledge-to-action within the context: a) supporting participants’ needs, b) facilitating a decolonizing space, c) creating opportunities for networking and engagement, and d) supporting on-going networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities. This project extends upon the knowledge translation and participatory research literature by highlighting those aforementioned considerations for developing an iKT project and, ultimately, quality community scholarship. Overall, the results indicated the important role of partnerships in supporting Indigenous youth activity-promoting programming that facilitates the holistic health of Indigenous youth. The dissertation also highlights several strategies and considerations for developing partnerships and supporting decolonizing spaces that promote a positive context for creating and exploring Indigenous youth activity-promoting programming in Alberta, Canada from a collaborative approach.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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