Taking Action!


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The goal of this study is to engage Aboriginal youth in HIV prevention leadership using art-based approaches. Specific objectives include:

(1) To explore how Aboriginal youth link structural inequalities with individual risk, HIV and Aboriginal culture(s) using art-based methodologies;
(2) To investigate the efficacy of art-based methods models of engagement (e.g., hip-hop, video/photographic documentary, popular theatre, music and/or dance, etc.);
(3) To build youth capacity to address HIV issues in their local communities;
(4) To develop and disseminate community-specific “by youth for youth” HIV prevention and support materials; and
(5) To create a national digital repository of “by youth for youth” HIV prevention materials.

Embedded and underlying each of these goals and objectives, is respect for the principles of ownership, control, access and possession (OCAP).

The research team will partner with six local communities in different regions of the country to co-sponsor 2.5 day “Taking Action” workshops. Each workshop will host 15-60 youth (ages 13-18 years). During the workshops, youth will participate in an HIV 101 educational session presented by local Aboriginal youth facilitators. Break out sessions (with content determined by individual communities) of different media groups (e.g., music, video, photography, hip hop, etc.) will be provided. Break out sessions will be provided by trained Aboriginal artists (where possible) and where youth participants will be provided opportunities to develop projects that unpack the links between structural inequalities, individual HIV risk, and Aboriginal culture(s). At the end of the final day, youth will have an opportunity to present their work to their peers and the larger local community. Post-workshop, participating youth will be interviewed individually and asked to reflect on key knowledge gained and how their artistic productions are embedded in structural realities. Adopting an Indigenous approach to research and with assistance from youth participants and research assistants, interviews and media will be qualitatively analyzed for thematic content.

More information:
Sarah Flicker and Randy Jackson (Nominated Co-Principle Investigators)
Operating Grant: HIV/AIDS (Aboriginal Stream – Community-Based Research)
$100,000/year for three years

View the poster here.