An Exploration of the Physical Activity Experiences of Northern Aboriginal Youth: A Community-Based Participatory Research Project

  • Author / Creator
    Warner Hudson, Beth E
  • The purpose of this community-based participatory research was to explore the physical activity experiences of Northern Aboriginal youth. Drawing upon interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA; Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009) as a method of inquiry, 14 Aboriginal youth between the ages of 13-19 years participated in interviews and photovoice to generate data. The integrated indigenous-ecological model (Lavallée & Lévesque, 2013) was used as a theoretical framework, whereby the model supported the development of the interview guide and the interpretation of research findings. All interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim, and data were analyzed using the steps for IPA as described by Smith and Osborn (2003). Five themes that represent the physical activity experiences of Northern Aboriginal youth were identified: (a) encompassing meanings, (b) “makes me feel awesome”, (c) connected to the land, (d) better with friends and family, and (e) needs spaces. Findings suggest that Northern Aboriginal youth have a broad and encompassing definition of physical activity, and that participation in physical activity can have various holistic benefits. As well, youth described through their voices and photographs how on the land programming can support youth in feeling connected to their culture and identities. The voices of Northern Aboriginal youth have generally been overlooked in the physical activity literature, and this research makes a significant contribution by sharing their unique physical activity experiences.

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  • Degree
    Master of Arts
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    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. 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.