Researching Arts-Based Wellness Promotion for Suicide Prevention Among Aboriginal Youth

Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health Operating Grant (2013)

Youth suicide is one of the most conspicuous examples of the inequalities that exist between the health of Aboriginal peoples and of other Canadians. Not only are suicide rates among Aboriginal youth much higher than those of their non-Aboriginal peers, Aboriginal youth in Canada have the highest suicide rate among all Indigenous groups in the world. Since youth comprise more than half of the Aboriginal population in Canada, youth suicide is a serious health issue that must be addressed. This grant, funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research – Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health, will build on an existing arts-based research project in partnership with the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (FHQTC) Health Services.

The team is composed of FHQTC health professionals and a diverse group of researchers with expertise in Aboriginal youth health, arts-based methods, pubic policy, and quantitative research. The project will build the capacity of Aboriginal youth, community members, knowledge users, and researchers to investigate, identify, and address conditions leading to Aboriginal youth suicide and other self-harming behaviors through the development of culturally appropriate arts-based methods of research. The team will also study the short and long-term effectiveness of arts-based approaches in supporting Aboriginal youth wellness. Lastly, this study will formulate policy recommendations on Aboriginal youth suicide that are culturally appropriate and have the potential to increase the health and well-being of Aboriginal peoples over the coming generations.

Research Team:

Principal Investigators:
Dr. Jo-Ann Episkenew (U of R)
Dr. Linda Goulet (FNUniv)
Dr. Warren Linds (Concordia University)
Dr. Greg Marchildon (JSGS School of Public Policy/U of R)

Community Knowledge Users:
Karen Schmidt, Health Educator
(FHQTC Health Services)
Gail Boehme, Executive Director
(FHQTC Health Services)

Dr. Kim Anderson (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Dr. Suzanne Christopher (Montana State University)
Dr. Colleen Dell (U of S)
Jonathan Dewar (Algoma University)
Dr. Bonnie Janzen (U of S)
Dr. Rosemary Jolly (Queen’s University)
Dr. Charity Marsh (U of R)
Dr. Sam McKegney (Queen’s University)
Dr. Patti Ranahan (Concordia University)
Dr. Charlotte Reading (UVic)
Dr. Nuno Ribeiro (U of R)
Dr. Felice Yuen (Concordia University)​

To learn more about the project, the team, and their most recent events, check out the Acting Out! webpage.  

Funded by: