Resistance and Resurgence Through Being: How Urban Indigenous Youth are Practicing Cultural Safety and Connectedness in Southern Ontario

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University of Guelph

Abstract

Within what is currently known a Canada, Indigenous individuals have come to be the youngest and fastest growing segment of the population and largely reside in cities. However, the resources and literature that surround urban Indigenous youth do not mirror these changes well. This thesis centres on the stories and experiences of cultural safety and connectedness for urban Indigenous youth living in the Waterloo and Wellington Regions of Southern Ontario, Canada. Photovoice and community visioning exercises were utilized to collect stories and creative expressions of experiences and desires with participants. The youth participants shared avenues that they are taking to feel culturally safe and connected; internal and external factors that help and hinder these processes; and what an ideal Indigenous place looks and feels like. Through these accounts, it became evident that Indigenous youth are actively asserting their presence through being and contributing to realized Indigenous futurities.

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Keywords

Indigenous, Youth, Urban, Cultural Safety, Cultural Connectedness

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