Uncanny Insight in Withdrawn Voices

Structural Violence, Aboriginal Hauntings and Youth-Powered Documentary in Western Canada
  • Rita Isabel Henderson
  • Leeanne Ireland
  • Wilfreda E. Thurston
Part of the New Research – New Voices book series (NRNV)


In the spring of 2012, members of our research team convened an urban Aboriginal Youth Council (AYC) in the city of Calgary for a Canada-wide health research program aimed at engaging marginalized youth in confronting structural violence. Nearly a dozen other groups composed of youth aged 16–24 years who experience exclusion of diverse forms – as refugees, as homeless, or as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered or Queer (LGBTQ) youth – were also established between 2011 and 2014.


Aboriginal People Participatory Action Research Aboriginal Person Child Welfare System Residential School 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alberta Child Intervention Review Panel. (2010). Closing the gap between vision and reality: strengthening accountability, adaptability and continuous improvement in Alberta’s child intervention system (final report). Retrieved from
  2. Baskin, C. (2007). Aboriginal youth talk about structural determinants as the causes of their homelessness. First Peoples Child and Family Review, 3(3), 31-42.Google Scholar
  3. Belanger, Y., Petryshyn, S., & Will, T. (2007). Assessing urban Aboriginal housing needs in southern Alberta (Public Policy Paper #51). Canada: The Saskatchewan Institute of Public Policy.Google Scholar
  4. Berg, M. J., & Owens, D. C. (2000). Empowered voices: A participatory action research curriculum for girls. Hartford CT: The Institute for Community Research.Google Scholar
  5. Berg, M., Coman, E., & Schensul, J. (2009). Youth action research for prevention: a multi-level intervention designed to increase efficacy and empowerment among urban youth. American Journal of Community Psychology, 43(3-4), 345-359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blodgett, A., Schinkel, R., Peltier, D., Fisher, L., Watson, J., & Wabono, M. J. (2011). May the circle be unbroken: the research recommendations of Aboriginal community members engaged in participatory action research with university academics. Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 35(3), 264-283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown, J., Wingert, S., Miller, C., & Morrissette, L. (2005). Challenges faced by Aboriginal youth in the inner city. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 14(1), 81-106.Google Scholar
  8. Cahill, C. (2007). Including excluded perspectives in participatory action research. Design Studies, 28, 325-340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cammarota, J., & Fine, M. (Eds.). (2008). Revolutionizing education: Youth participatory action research in motion. New York, NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.Google Scholar
  10. Du Hamel, P. (2003). Aboriginal youth: risk and resilience. Native Social Work Journal, 5, 213-224.Google Scholar
  11. Educational Video Center. (2006). Youth-powered video: A hands-on curriculum for teaching documentary. New York, NY: Educational Video Center.Google Scholar
  12. Environics Institute. (2012). Urban Aboriginal peoples study: Calgary report. Toronto: The Interprovincial Group. Retrieved from Google Scholar
  13. Fox, M., Mediratta, K., Ruglis, J., Stoudt, B., Shah, S., & Fine, M. (2010). Critical youth engagement: participatory action research and organizing. In L. R. Sherrod, J. Torney-Purta, & C. A. Flanagan (Eds.), Handbook of research on civic engagement in youth (pp. 621-649). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Furniss, E. (1999). The burden of history: colonialism and the frontier myth in a rural Canadian community. Vancouver: UBC Press.Google Scholar
  15. Galtung J. (1969). Violence, peace, and peace research. Journal of Peace Research, 6(3), 167-191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gatenby, B., & Humphries, M. (2000). Feminist participatory action research: methodological and ethical issues. Women’s Studies International Forum, 23(1), 89-105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hiller, H. (2009). Second promised land: Migration to Alberta and the transformation of Canadian society. Montreal, QC: McGill-Queen’s University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Howell, T. (2014, February 6). Extra education funds may be ‘gobbled’ by rising numbers. The Calgary Herald.Google Scholar
  19. James, S. E., Johnson, J., Raghaven, C., Lemos, T., Barakett, M., & Woolis, D. (2003). The violent matrix: A study of structural, interpersonal, and intrapersonal violence among a sample of poor women. American Journal of Community Psychology, 31(1/2), 129-141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Johnston, P. (1983). Native children and the child welfare system. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Council on Social Development.Google Scholar
  21. Luke, A. (2014, February 28). White systems, deficit talk and indigenous school reform: A glimmer at the end of the tunnel. Presentation at Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. Retrieved from Scholar
  22. Olshanksy, E., Sacco, D., Braxter, B., Dodge, P., Hughes, E., Ondeck, M., Stubbs, M., & Upvall, M. (2005). Participatory action research to understand and reduce health disparities. Nursing Outlook, 53, 121-126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Powers, J., & Tiffany, J. (2006). Engaging youth in participatory research and evaluation. Journal of Public Health Management Practice, November (suppl.), S79-S87.Google Scholar
  24. Regan, P. (2010). Unsettling the settler within: Indian residential schools, truth telling, and reconciliation in Canada. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.Google Scholar
  25. Ruttan, L., LaBoucane-Benson, P., & Munro B. (2010). “Home and Native land”: Aboriginal young women and homelessness in the city. First Peoples Child and Family Review, 5(1), 67-77.Google Scholar
  26. Schensul, J., & Berg, M. (2004). Youth participatory action research: A transformative approach to service-learning. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, Summer, 76-88.Google Scholar
  27. Simpson, A. (2007). On ethnographic refusal: Indigeneity, “voice”, and colonial citizenship. Junctures, 9, 67-80.Google Scholar
  28. Spurgeon, C. Burgess, J., Klaebe, H., McWilliam, K., Tacchi, J., & Tsai, M. (2009). Co-creative media: Theorising digital storytelling as a platform for researching and developing participatory culture. Communication, Creativity and Global Citizenship. Retrieved from Google Scholar
  29. Statistics Canada. (2012). Focus on Geography Series, 2011 Census. (Statistics Canada Catalogue No. 98-310-XWE2011004). Ottawa, Ontario: Analytical products, Census.Google Scholar
  30. Sydlo, S., Schensul, J., Schensul, D., Berg, M. J., Wiley, K., & Schensul, S. (2000). Participatory action research: A curriculum for empowering youth. Hartford CT: Institute for Community Research.Google Scholar
  31. Thomas, W. (2003). The social determinants of Aboriginal health: A literature review. Native Social Work Journal, 5, 270-286.Google Scholar
  32. Travers, K. (1997). Reducing inequities through participatory research and community empowerment. Health Education & Behaviour, 24, 344-356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tremonti, A. M. (2013, August 13). Post-flood Calgary’s low vacancy rate leaves renters in a lurch. CBC Radio Broadcast: The Current. Retrieved from Google Scholar
  34. Tuck, E., & Guishard, M. (2013). Uncollapsing ethics: racialized sciencism, settler coloniality, and an ethical framework of decolonial participatory action research. In T. M. Kress, C. Malott, & B. Porfilio (Eds.), Challenging status quo retrenchment: new directions in critical qualitative research (pp. 3-27). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  35. Tuck, E., & Yang, W. (2014). Unbecoming claims: Pedagogies of refusal in qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 20(6), 811-818.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wesley-Esquimaux, C., & Smolewski, M. (2004). Historic trauma and Aboriginal Healing. Ottawa, ON: The Aboriginal Healing Foundation.Google Scholar
  37. Willox, A. C., Harper, S., Edge, V. L. (2012). Storytelling in a digital age: digital storytelling as an emerging narrative method for preserving and promoting indigenous oral wisdom. Qualitative Research, 13(2), 127-147. doi:  10.1177/1468794112446105 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wolfe, P. (2006). Settler colonialism and the elimination of the Native. Journal of Genocide Research, 8(4), 387-409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Younging, G., Dewar, J., & Degagné, M. (2009). Response, responsibility, and renewal: Canada’s truth and reconciliation journey. Ottawa: The Aboriginal Healing Foundation. Retrieved from Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Sense Publishers 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rita Isabel Henderson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Leeanne Ireland
    • 3
  • Wilfreda E. Thurston
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Community Health SciencesCanada
  2. 2.Institute for Public HealthUniversity of CalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Urban Society for Aboriginal YouthCalgaryCanada
  4. 4.Department of Community Health SciencesCanada
  5. 5.Institute for Public HealthUniversity of CalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations