youth initiative

A Cultural Intervention for Indigenous Youth

Research Team:  Margaret Robinson (co-principal investigator), Jessica Demeria (co-principal investigator), Tony Nobis (Oahas), Ed Bennett (Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network), Meagan Fumerton (community advisory expert).

What is this research about?

Indigenous people are significantly over-represented in Canadian prisons, making up 23% of those federally incarcerated, yet constituting only 4.3% of the Canadian population. There is an urgent need for programs to reduce incarceration and the higher risk of HIV and other blood-borne infections associated with incarceration.

A team of Indigenous community workers and health researchers will work together to explore the development of a culturally safe and or land-based intervention for Indigenous youth who have been in custody or are in conflict with the law. This process will draw upon the best of existing interventions, while adapting to shift the age at which the intervention occurs. This collaborative approach to program science will also draw on the experience and cultural expertise of the frontline members of the research team. An exploratory partnership building meeting with 19 participants and representation from the HIV sector, Indigenous youth, allied health professions, Legal AID Ontario, the HIV AIDS Legal Clinics of Ontario (HALCO), 2 Spirited People of the 1st Nations, and the Prisoners with HIV/AIDS Support Action Network (PASAN) was held in August 2016.

OHTN Support: This grant is supported by a CIHR Catalyst Grant, however OHTN provides staff support, and infrastructure to make the project possible. Margaret Robinson was supported as an OHTN researcher-in-residence at the time that this grant was awarded. This project is currently being led by project Coordinator Farihah Ali and Jessica Demeria (coordinator of Indigenous Research Initiatives).

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