“We Cause a Ruckus”: Exploring How Indigenous Youth Navigate the Challenges of Community Engagement and Leadership
by Robert P. Shepherd1,* and Treena R. Orchard2
1School of Public Policy & Administration, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
2School of Health Studies, Western University, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Using qualitative data from an interdisciplinary research project about mental health and community engagement with Indigenous youth in Kasabonika Lake First Nation (Ontario, Canada), this paper explores the factors that constrain and facilitate their ability to contribute to the well-being of their community. Case studies are employed to demonstrate how the youth navigate complex social and structural conditions within the context of on-going colonization through federal and provincial governance arrangements, to make a difference in the place they call home and forge unique in-roads that reflect their generational realities and aspirations. The paper contributes to ongoing discussions related to mental health, self-determination, and resilience research.