Dr. Michael Dubnewick, University of Regina
Can you describe your area of research and how it is helping address a health-related issue in Saskatchewan?
Our research works with the Indigenous youth who co-facilitate the Growing Young Movers (GYM) after-school wellness program at the mâmawêyatitân centre in Regina. We are interested in listening to the youth we work alongside to better understand how they compose and live their lives as wellness leaders. Our research will help us to understand the strengths of the youth we are working with so their voices and experiences can enrich and inform wellness programming so that it better attends to their life making.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your work?
Having the opportunity to play with the youth and little ones who are part of the GYM after-school program brings me many smiles. Those moments of playing together often open beautiful pathways where we can understand each other in more whole ways.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
One of the more challenging aspects of my work is highlighting how Canada’s history of colonial oppression lives and is experienced in the present day while at the same time honouring and respecting the strength of the youth we live alongside.
How did you first become interested in this area of research? What inspires you to do the work that you do?
During my graduate education I had many people around me that taught me to care for the stories people live and tell. This thread nestled deep into me. In many ways it carried with me as I travelled to different recreation and wellness programs which I became a part of throughout my research and work. Those teachings inspired me to think of recreation and wellness programs differently; as meeting places for storied lives to come together.
Where is your research headed in the next five years?
As I imagine my research five years from now, I expect I will be continuing my relationships with GYM and the youth as their lives transition. As conversation occur in the area of Indigenous youth wellness I hope that the youth’s voices and knowledge becomes the starting point for what we each consider in our work.
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