ICHR Facilitator: Candice Lys
Project Team: Candice Lys (ICHR), Gwen Healey (Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre), Nancy MacNeill (ICHR and V-Day North), Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory (QHRC), and Sylvie Cloutier (QHRC)
Funder: Public Health Agency of Canada
Healthy sexuality involves not only the avoidance of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies, but also the acquisition of skills, knowledge, and behaviours necessary to maintain good sexual and reproductive health throughout the lifespan. Sexual health, however, is a serious public health and community concern for youth in Northern Canada. STI rates are higher in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories (NWT) than the rest of Canada. In addition, rates of adolescent pregnancy are very high in Nunavut and the NWT compared to nationally. Little is known about why these rates are so high.
Understanding how young adolescents make decisions to engage in early sexual activities is vital for interventions that aim to foster positive youth development, reduce negative outcomes of adolescent sexual behavior, and assist Northern youth to make safer sexual decisions throughout their lifespans.
The Institute for Circumpolar Health Research and the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre, in partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada, are developing an arts-based intervention with youth in the NWT and Nunavut. In the Northwest Territories, this intervention is called FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among youth [www.arcticfoxy.com] and uses drama techniques and body mapping to facilitate the development of self-efficacy among young women across the NWT. In Nunavut, the intervention used Inuit dance and drama as a way to explore the perspectives of Iqaluit youth on sexual health and relationships. Qualitative methodologies (focus groups) were used with youth participating in the intervention to identify key thematic topics and evaluate the results of the interventions.
For more information about this completed project, please contact Candice Lys at 867.873.9337 or firstname.lastname@example.org.