Building Capacity for Equality: Investigating School-Based Interventions to Enhance the Mental Health of Aboriginal Youth in British Columbia

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Aboriginal communities and policy leaders are increasingly identifying the mental health of Aboriginal children and youth as a national priority. In recent years the government of BC has commenced cross-ministerial collaborations to establish policy frameworks to support young Aboriginal peoples. This research focuses on provincial schools as an integral component within the province’s current policy framework to achieve a broad-based ecological approach that fosters the long-term mental health of Aboriginal peoples in BC. Through semi-structured interviews with government and non-government agencies, this research locates a set of policy alternatives designed to address determinants currently necessary to improve the supportive capacity of provincial schools. The policy analysis results in two policy recommendations for the Ministry of Education: (1) provide school districts with ear-marked funds to employ Aboriginal community coordinators, and (2) prescribe social justice training on Aboriginal issues as a mandatory component of teacher induction and professional recertification.
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