We know that there is a vast gap between the health of Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians; in fact Indigenous children fall well below national health averages for Canadian children.

Indigenous advocates and researchers have extensively documented causes contributing to this inequality. They include many social determinants of health and cultural factors — foremost, the colonial legacy of dispossession from lands, intergenerational trauma and infrastructure underfunding.

Research also shows that strong community ties and connections to culture and spirituality have measurable impacts on well-being, particularly for youth.

But what are the strongest kinds of community supports, the ones that allow families and children to thrive? That’s a question our team at the Health Design Lab at Emily Carr University has been trying to answer, through our work with United Way of the Lower Mainland and the Social Planning and Research Council of B.C. (SPARC B.C.) on the Squamish Avenues of Change project.

Read more at The Conversation

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