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Title: Reconciliation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth through leadership programs
Authors: Pellett, Carinna
Keywords: Youth;reconciliation;Indigenous;leadership;instrumental case study
Issue Date: 19-Apr-2023
Abstract: Reconciliation in Canada has been moved to the forefront with the recent publication of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Youth can play a significant role in achieving reconciliation in Canada. In the following research, I propose that building balanced relationships during adolescence can counteract the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth and lead to reconciliation. These relationships can be encouraged through creating shared experiences in leadership programs that include forums for discussions and cooperative development. Over a five-year period, youth from a remote Northern Ontario First Nation reserve have participated in two-week leadership training programs at a resident summer camp in central Ontario. I was motivated by the benefits of the ensuing relationships between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth, which led to this instrumental case study of the reconciliation potential of camps. I explored the outcomes of the interactions between the youth and staff at the camp. The methodology for this research includes a literature review and collecting data in interviews with the participants. Documents from the camp were analyzed to understand the values, vision and approach of the camp. The data was analyzed and five main areas became evident and were studied: values, goals, relationships, development and community. The safe environment carefully created at the camp led to relationship building between Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants and the non-Indigenous participants grew somewhat in their understanding and acknowledgement of Indigenous issues. As this instrumental case study was based on a small sample and the program was not set up to intentionally address reconciliation, the impact was limited. With a more direct attempt, there is potential for reconciliation in youth camp programs. By creating experiences where youth can interact and build relationships, they can build a better understanding of each other and thus create social solidarity.
Appears in Collections:Indigenous Relations - Master's Theses

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