Indigenous youth experience with helpers: How they help and how they harm

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Ens, Stephanie
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This thesis presents qualitative interviews with eight Indigenous youth regarding their experiences of how helpers in their lives have helped them and how they have caused them harm. The central research questions focused on identity: how do you (youth participant) identify yourself, your family, your community, and your culture; and helpers: what are your experiences with helpers both non-Indigenous and Indigenous, and what are your ideas on what helpers should do differently to be more effective when helping Indigenous youth. The research was informed by anti-oppressive theory and Indigenous theories, the methodologies employed were Youth Participation Action Research and Indigenous research methodologies, and the data analysis was thematic. This thesis sheds light on how helpers can help Indigenous youth reconcile the colonial challenges that arise during adolescence when Indigenous youth start to form their identities. In order to be an effective helper with Indigenous youth helpers must consider how they can incorporate elements of Indigenous cultural values and activities within a trusting relationship.
Indigenous, Indigenous culture, Aboriginal, Aboriginal culture, youth, Identity, Helpers