Culturally Relevant Physical Activity through Elders in Motion: Physical Activity Programming for Older Aboriginal Adults in the Northwest Territories, Canada
- 491 Downloads
The 2011 National Household Survey found that the number of Aboriginal peoples in Canada aged 65 and over has increased by over 46 % since the 2006 Canadian Census (Statistics Canada 2011). Despite this dramatic increase in older Aboriginal peoples, there is a dearth of research concerning this cohort, especially regarding their engagement with physical activity. Using a case study methodology, this research sought to examine if the Northwest Territories (NWT) Recreation and Parks Association’s (NWTRPA) Elders in Motion (EIM) program is culturally relevant for the participants. For this research we used a postcolonial theoretical framework since many of the participants in EIM are Aboriginal older adults and have experienced, and continue to experience, the effects of colonialism. To address this aim we conducted nine semi-structured interviews with EIM program leaders and NWTRPA staff, and supplemented these with archival research of EIM program documents. The findings show that the NWTRPA has adapted many EIM program documents for the participants and thus attempts to be culturally relevant for the participants. There are, however, aspects of the program that are not culturally relevant and actually reinforce colonialism, specifically with the program content (i.e. activities that are a part of EIM). In light of these findings, recommendations are offered for the NWTRPA on how the EIM program can become more culturally relevant for its Aboriginal participants.
KeywordsAboriginal peoples Cultural relevance Older adults Physical activity
We would like to thank the Elders in Motion program leaders and NWTRPA staff who participated in this research and shared their experiences with us. This work was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research GSM-130105, Northern Scientific Training Program, and the Aurora Research Institute.
- Battiste, M. (1998). Enabling the autumn seed: toward a decolonized approach toward aboriginal knowledge, language, and education. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 22(1), 16–27.Google Scholar
- Beatty, B. B., & Berdahl, L. (2011). Health care and Aboriginal seniors in urban Canada: Helping a neglected class. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 2(1), 1 .Retrieved from http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1024&context=iipj CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Boeije, H. (2010). Doing qualitative analysis. In Analysis in qualitative research (pp. 93–121). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.Google Scholar
- Health Canada. (2002). Canada’s aging population. Retrieved from http://publications.gc.ca/collections/Collection/H39-608-2002E.pdf.
- Health Canada. (2011). Benefits of physical activity. Retrieved from http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/hl-mvs/pa-ap/02paap-eng.php.
- Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging [CCAA]. (n.d). Elders in Motion: Active living exercise program in the NWT. London: Author.Google Scholar
- Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. (2015). Canadian physical activity guidelines and Canadian sedentary behaviour guidelines. Retrieved from http://www.csep.ca/english/view.asp?x=949.
- Doherty, S. (2010). 2009/2010 Final report. Yellowknife: Northwest Territories Recreation and Parks Association.Google Scholar
- Earle, L. (2011). Understanding chronic disease and the role for traditional approaches in Aboriginal communities. Prince George: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health.Google Scholar
- Gagnon, Y. (2010). The case study as research method: A practical handbook. Québec City: Presses de l’Université du Québec.Google Scholar
- Ghosh, H., & Gomes, J. (2011). Type 2 diabetes among Aboriginal peoples in Canada: A focus on direct and associated risk factors. Pimatisiwin, 9(2), 245–275.Google Scholar
- Glacken, J. B. (2010). Elders in Motion fitness program: Northwest Territories Recreation and Parks Association evaluation report. Yellowknife: JB Glacken Consulting Inc..Google Scholar
- GNWT. (2013). NWT official Aboriginal languages. Retrieved from http://www.ece.gov.nt.ca/official-languages/aboriginal-languages/nwt-official-aboriginal-languages.
- GNWT. (n.d.). NWT communities. Retrieved from http://www.maca.gov.nt.ca/?cmtylist=aklavik.
- Halas, J., McRae, H., & Carpenter, A. (2013). The quality and cultural relevance of physical education for Aboriginal youth: Challenges and opportunities. In J. Forsyth & A. R. Giles (Eds.), Aboriginal peoples and sport in Canada: Historical foundations and contemporary issues. Vancouver: UBC Press.Google Scholar
- Health Canada. (2012). First Nations & Inuit health: Diseases and health conditions. Retrieved from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fniah-spnia/diseases-maladies/index-eng.php.
- Henriksen, J. B. (2001). Implementation of the right of self-determination of Indigenous peoples. Indigenous Affairs, 3(1), 6–21.Google Scholar
- Kirby, A. L., Lévesque, L., & Wabano, V. (2007). A qualitative investigation of physical activity challenges and opportunities in a northern-rural, Aboriginal community: Voices from within. Pimatisiwin, 5(1), 5–24 Retrieved from http://www.pimatisiwin.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/51a_physical_challenges_and_opportunities.pdf.Google Scholar
- Kvale, S., & Brinkmann, S. (2009). Interviews learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.Google Scholar
- Lang, C., Macdonald, M. E., Carnevale, F., Lévesque, M. J., & Decoursay, A. (2010). Kadiminekak Kiwabigonem: Barriers and facilitators to fostering community involvement in a prenatal program in an Algonquin community. Pimatisiwin, 8(1), 55–81 Retrieved from http://www.pimatisiwin.com/uploads/aug_2010/04LangMacDonald.pdf.Google Scholar
- McEwan, C. (2009). Postcolonialism and development. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- NWT Bureau of Statistics. (2012). 2011 census population and dwelling counts. Retrieved from http://www.statsnwt.ca/census/2011/Pop%20and%20Dwelling.pdf.
- NWT Literacy Council. (n.d.). Plain language. Retrieved from http://www.nwt.literacy.ca/resources/plainlang/whatis.htm.
- NWT Sport and Recreation Council. (2014). Annual report on investment 2013–2014. Retrieved from http://nwtsrc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/SRC-Annual-Report-on-Investment-2013-14-July-15-2014.pdf.
- NWTRPA. (n.d.). Elders in Motion. Retrieved from http://nwtrpa.org/rpa/?page_id=55
- Paraschak, V. (1998). Reasonable amusements: Connecting the strands of physical culture in Native lives. Sport. History Review, 29(1), 121–131.Google Scholar
- Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.Google Scholar
- Pigford, A. A. E., Fehderau, D. D., Ball, G. D. C., Holt, N. L., Plotnikoff, R. C., Veugelers, P. J., Arcand, E., & Willows, N. D. (2013). Community-based participatory research to address childhood obesity: Experiences from Alexander First Nation in Canada. Pimatisiwin, 11(2), 171–185 Retrieved from http://www.pimatisiwin.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/02PigfordFehderau.pdf.Google Scholar
- Rose, A., & Giles, A. R. (2007). Alberta’s Future Leaders Program: A case study of Aboriginal youth and community development. Canadian Journal of Native Studies, XXVII(2), 421–446.Google Scholar
- Smith, L. T. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and Indigenous peoples. New York: Palgrave.Google Scholar
- Statistics Canada (1993). Age and sex: 1991 Aboriginal data (pp. 94–327). Ottawa: Statistics Canada. Cat. No.Google Scholar
- Statistics Canada. (2011). Aboriginal identity, area of residence: Inuit Nunangat and sex for the population in private households of Canada, Provinces and Territories, 2011 National Household Survey. Retrieved from https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/dp-pd/dt-td/Rp-eng.cfm?LANG=E&APATH=3&DETAIL=0&DIM=0&FL=A&FREE=0&GC=0&GID=0&GK=0&GRP=0&PID=105397&PRID=0&PTYPE=105277&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=0&Temporal=2013&THEME=94&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=.
- Statistics Canada. (2012). Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s): Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS). Retrieved from http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb/p2SV.pl?Function=getInstrumentLink&SurvItem_Id=122649&Query_Id=109115&Query=instance&lang=en&db=imdb&adm=8&dis=2.
- Statistics Canada. (2014a). Aboriginal peoples in Canada: First Nations people, Métis and Inuit. Retrieved from http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/as-sa/99-011-x/99-011-x2011001-eng.cfm.
- Statistics Canada. (2014b). Census profile: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and Northwest Territories. Retrieved from http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/dp-pd/prof/details/page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=ER&Code1=6110&Geo2=PR&Code2=01&Data=Count&SearchText=canada&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All&Custom=&TABID=1.
- Sutherland, C., Skinner, K., Hanning, R. M., Montgomery, M., & Tsuji, L. J. S. (2007). A Cree perspective on gathering community input for physical activity programming in the Mushkegowuk Territory. Pimatisiwin, 5(1), 170–183 Retrieved from http://www.pimatisiwin.com/online/?page_id=348.Google Scholar
- Taylor, A. H., Cable, N. T., Faulkner, G., Hillsdon, M., Narici, M., & Van der Bij, A. K. (2004). Physical activity and older adults: A review of health benefits and the effectiveness of interventions. Journal of Sports Sciences, 22(8), 703–725. doi: 10.1080/02640410410001712421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Tellis, W. (1997). Application of a case study methodology. The Qualitative Report, 3(3). Retrieved from http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR3-3/tellis2.html.
- Thompson, S. L., Chenhall, R. D., & Brimblecombe, J. K. (2013). Indigenous perspectives on active living in remote Australia: A qualitative exploration of the socio-cultural link between health, the environment and economics. BMC Public Health, 13(473), 1–11. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-473.Google Scholar
- Tongco, D. C. (2007). Purposive sampling as a tool for informant selection. Ethnobotany Research & Applications, 5, 147–158 Retrieved from http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/handle/10125/227/I1547-3465-05-147.pdf.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Waldram, J. B., Herring, D. A., & Young, T. K. (2006). Aboriginal health in Canada (2nd ed.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
- Wesley-Esquimaux, C., & Calliou, B. (2010). Best practices in Aboriginal community development: A literature review and wise practices approach. Banff: The Banff Centre.Google Scholar
- Yin, R. K. (1994). Case study research: Design and methods (2 nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.Google Scholar
- Young, R. J. (2001). Postcolonialism: An historical introduction. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar