In this study we explore and compare concepts of mentoring from both mainstream and Aboriginal perspectives. Our objective was to identify factors that could influence the development of an Aboriginal specific mentoring program in a mainstream national program. Key factors for Aboriginal mentoring programs were determined through interview and focus group discussions about program successes and challenges in local communities. It was determined that successful mentoring programs should be developed in collaboration with community members from the outset and built on existing strengths and programs within the community. Successful Aboriginal mentoring programs must also include the mentee’s family, traditional values and culture, and adequate resources for sustainability. Formation of a community advisory group for guidance and support is essential for success and sustainability, especially for programs involving outside organizations.
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