Te Mauri - Pimatisiwin

Life Skills Journey: Measuring the impact of a resilience-based intervention for Métis children in Alberta

Alicia Hibbert, Fay Fletcher, Brent Hammer

Abstract

Métis peoples are descendants of unions between French or Scottish fur traders and First Nations women in Canada. Alberta is the only province in Canada with land-based Métis who live in self-governing communities known as Métis Settlements. University of Alberta’s Faculty of Extension and four Métis Settlements partnered in a community based participatory research project aimed at increasing children’s resilience through inner strength and support from peers and mentors. While working with community members, the learning needs of children were identified, prioritised, and included in a summer day-camp program for children (7 – 14 years). Pre- and post-program surveys with children used an adaption of the Youth Resiliency: Assessing Developmental Strengths Questionnaire. Results are presented using descriptive statistics and were tested for significance using the non-parametric Wilcoxon rank sum test. Positive change occurred in several areas of internal strength, including self-esteem, drug resistance, and planning and decision making. Risk factors also saw positive change, as did the area of external family support. Significant areas of positive change are encouraging given that they demonstrate success in major goals of the summer camp program. Significant areas of negative change require further analysis in order to understand the complexity of Métis youth resiliency.

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