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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 107, Issue 2, pp e183–e187 | Cite as

Digital stories as a tool for health promotion and youth engagement

  • Sarah Fletcher
  • Jennifer Mullett
Public Health Intervention

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To provide opportunities for intergenerational knowledge sharing for healthy lifestyles; to facilitate youth and Elder mentorship; and to increase the self-esteem of youth by celebrating identity, cultural practices and community connection through the creation and sharing of digital stories.

PARTICIPANTS: A youth research team (8 youth) aged 13–25, youth participants (60 core participants and 1 70 workshop participants) and Elders (14) from First Nations communities.

SETTING: The project was conducted with participants from several communities on Vancouver Island through on-site workshops and presentations.

INTERVENTION: Youth and Elders were invited to a 3-day digital story workshop consisting of knowledge-sharing sessions by Elders and digital story training by the youth research team. Workshop attendees returned to their communities to develop stories. The group re-convened at the university to create digital stories focused on community connections, family histories and healthy lifestyles. During the following year the research team delivered instructional sessions in communities on the digital story process.

OUTCOMES: The youth involved reported increased pride in community as well as new or enhanced relationships with Elders.

CONCLUSIONS: The digital stories method facilitated intergenerational interactions and engaged community members in creating a digital representation of healthy lifestyles. The process itself is an intervention, as it affords critical reflection on historical, cultural and spiritual ideas of health and what it means to be healthy in an Aboriginal community. It is a particularly relevant health promotion tool in First Nations communities with strong oral history traditions.

Key words

Health promotion community based participatory research indigenous population group adolescent digital story 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS: Offrir des occasions de partage intergénérationnel des connaissances pour favoriser les modes de vie sains; faciliter le mentorat entre les jeunes et les Aînés; et accroître l’estime de soi des jeunes en célébrant l’identité, les pratiques culturelles et les liens communautaires par la création et le partage de récits numériques.

PARTICIPANTS: Une équipe de 8 jeunes chercheurs âgés de 13 à 25 ans, des jeunes participants (60 participants de base et 170 participants aux ateliers) ainsi que 14 Aînés des communautés des Premières nations.

LIEU: Le projet a été mené avec des participants de plusieurs communautés de l’île de Vancouver au moyen d’ateliers et de présentations donnés sur place.

INTERVENTION: Des jeunes et des Aînés ont été invités à un atelier de narration numérique de trois jours comprenant des séances de partage des connaissances par les Aînés et une formation sur la narration numérique par l’équipe de jeunes chercheurs. Les participants de l’atelier sont ensuite retournés dans leurs communautés pour préparer des récits. Le groupe s’est retrouvé à l’université pour créer des récits numériques portant sur les liens communautaires, les chroniques familiales et les modes de vie sains. Au cours de l’année suivante, l’équipe de chercheurs a donné des séances de formation dans les communautés sur le processus de narration numérique.

RÉSULTATS: Les jeunes participants ont fait état d’une fierté accrue pour leur communauté ainsi que de liens nouveaux ou renforcés avec les Aînés.

CONCLUSIONS: La méthode de narration numérique a facilité les échanges intergénérationnels et encouragé les membres de la communauté à créer une représentation numérique des modes de vie sains. Le processus en tant que tel est une intervention, car il permet une réflexion critique sur les notions historiques, culturelles et spirituelles de la santé et sur ce que signifie être en bonne santé dans une communauté autochtone. C’est un outil de promotion de la santé particulièrement pertinent dans les communautés des Premières nations ayant de vigoureuses traditions orales.

Mots clés

promotion de la santé recherche participative communautaire groupe de population autochtone adolescent récit numérique 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Healthy Communities ResearchVancouver Island UniversityNanaimoCanada
  2. 2.The Resilience by Design Innovation Lab, School of Humanitarian StudiesRoyal Roads UniversityVictoriaCanada
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  4. 4.Department of Health and Human ServicesVancouver Island UniversityVictoriaCanada
  5. 5.Department Human and Social DevelopmentUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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