November 23rd and 24th, 2017
Lakehead University, Thunder Bay

The First Nations Youth Transition to High School Forum brought together First Nations youth from three high schools in Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay  together with researchers, members of community organizations, health, education and youth services to share expertise and explore an action and research agenda to promote student success and wellness. The meeting themes addressed priorities that students had previously expressed as key to their success including

(1) the continuity of supports from communities

(2) lateral violence (bullying, gossip, sexual assault)

(3) racism and creating a safe environment

(4) variability in students’ skills – staying in high school

(5) promoting mental health and choosing life.

First Nations high school students worked with us over the fall in teams with graduate student coaches to refine and prepare a presentation on each of these five themes, which were presented at the forum in Thunder Bay. The following illustrations were generated from the content of the presentations (left side) and from conversations with participants (right side- ‘path forward’). You can also click the theme titles above to download PDF versions of these illustrations.

After each day, reflections were shared by the various participants and captured through illustrations, shown below. PDF files of these documents can also be downloaded by clicking the following links: Reflections from Day 1, Reflections from Day 2

This project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Mitacs Indigenous Communities Engagement Initiative.

We would also like to acknowledge the support of Nishnawbe Aski Nation, The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research, School Mental Health Assist, Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority, and the Multicultural Association of Northwestern Ontario.

Illustrations by Pam Hubbard