What is this research about?
This research project was designed to share the experiences of Indigenous youth – those ex-periencing or at-risk of homelessness in the Kenora district in Northwestern Ontario – whose voices have remained unheard throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a significant gap in available Indigenous youth homelessness research.
It is important to provide information surrounding the gaps, barriers, and needs of Indigenous youth, including their views on improving health and social services. Hence, there is a need to give a voice to Indigenous youth and improve the programs/services they access to better meet their needs.
What did the researchers do?
The researchers conducted this study through inter-views, supported by a youth peer research assistant, in spaces that youth frequently occupy. Through in-terviews, accompanied by cultural items such as tra-ditional medicines, participants were given space to share their experiences of homelessness throughout the pandemic.
After interviews were completed, youth participants were invited to join focus groups and an Anishinaabe Symbol-based Reflection exercise. Art pieces were developed as another tool for youth participants to communicate their stories of homelessness.
What did the researchers find?