Social Determinants

Isbister-Bear, O., Hatala, A. R., & Sjoblom, E. (2017). Strengthening Âhkamêyimo among Indigenous youth: The social determinants of health, justice, and resilience in Canada’s northJournal of Indigenous Wellbeing Te Mauri – Pimatisiwin, 2(3), 76-89.

The wellbeing of Indigenous youth living in Canada’s northern communities continues to lag behind the rest of the Canadian population. To a large extent, these health inequities are perpetuated by processes of colonisation that significantly impact the social determinants of health in Canada’s Indigenous north. The purpose of this article is to review the history of colonisation and its impacts on the wellbeing of Indigenous youth in Canada’s north, as well as processes of resilience that have helped Indigenous youth live healthy lives despite social challenges. Academic articles published between 2000 and 2016 outlining resilience from Indigenous perspectives are reviewed in the contexts of Canada’s Indigenous north. Analysis focuses on what insights about resilience emerge from Indigenous communities, particularly as they related to the health inequities of circumpolar regions. The concept of Âhkamêyimo is discussed and how systems of Indigenous knowledge offer important insights into resilience in general, and can be utilised in health promotion, education, and prevention programs targeting Indigenous youth in northern Canada. We conclude that attention should be turned toward issues of social justice and health equity that are desperately needed in order to create healthy environments whereby Indigenous youth within northern Canadian communities can be assisted to flourish.

Trout, L., Mceachern, D., Mullany, A., White, L., Wexler, L., & Trout, L. (2018). Decoloniality as a Framework for Indigenous Youth Suicide Prevention Pedagogy: Promoting Community Conversations About Research to End Suicide. American Journal of Community Psychology62(3-4), 396–405.

Indigenous youth suicide remains a substantial health disparity in circumpolar communities, despite prevention efforts through primary health care, public health campaigns, school systems, and social services. Innovations in prevention practice move away from expert‐driven approaches to emphasize local control through processes that utilize research evidence, but privilege self‐ determined action based on local and personal contexts, meanings, and frameworks for action. “Promoting Community Conversations About Research to End Suicide” is a community health intervention that draws on networks of Indigenous health educators in rural Alaska, who host learning circles in which research evidence is used to spark conversations and empower community members to consider individual and collective action to support vulnerable people and create health‐promoting conditions that reduce suicide risk. The first of nine learning circles focuses on narratives of local people who link the contemporary youth suicide epidemic to 20th century American colonialism, and situates prevention within this context. We describe the theoretical framework and feasibility and acceptability outcomes for this learning circle, and elucidate how the educational model engages community members in decolonial approaches to suicide prevention education and practice, thus serving as a bridge between Western and Indigenous traditions to generate collective knowledge and catalyze community healing.