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U of R researcher receives federal funding to take on violence and bullying in Indigenous communities

News Release Release Date: November 12, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Bullying and violence among Canadian youth is a serious problem and can be potentially life threatening. Children who are bullied can suffer from depression and anxiety. Those who bully – and those whom they bully – are at risk of suicide.

Today, the federal government announced funding for a research project to support Indigenous youth and take action against violence and bullying.

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced $400,000 for the Northern Prairie Spirit Youth Cultural Continuity Project being led by the University of Regina’s Dr. Raven Sinclair, a professor in the Faculty of Social Work. 

“I am proud to announce federal funding for the Northern Prairie Spirit Youth Cultural Continuity Project,” says Blair. “It is important that we understand the issues Indigenous youth face around violence and bullying. This Project will provide the University of Regina with the resources that are needed to explore ways to develop culturally-sensitive prevention practices when it comes to violence and bullying.”

The support was made available under the Northern and Aboriginal Crime Prevention Fund (NACPF).

Sinclair says the objective of this research project is to collaborate with youth in Prince Albert, Pelican Narrows, Wollaston Lake, Stanley Mission, and Fond Du Lac to understand issues surrounding violence and bullying from their perspective. One of the co-investigators on the project is Dr. Brigitte Krieg, a mental health therapist with established relationships with the communities involved in the project. 

“Participants will learn to use digital storytelling to create individual and group stories related to the community and will share project information with stakeholders across the province. Recommendations for supports and resources will be implemented in each community,” says Sinclair. 

She says her team will also explore ways to develop culturally-sensitive crime prevention practices among Indigenous and northern populations. 

“We also hope that ultimately youth will develop confidence, research, writing, and public speaking skills, as well as to understand the role of research in informing policy and program development for when they become community leaders and service providers,” explains Sinclair.

Dr. Kathleen McNuttt, Vice-President (Research) at the University of Regina, says the funding will help to support Dr. Raven Sinclair’s work to make a real difference in the lives of Indigenous youth who are vulnerable to violence and bullying.

“By understanding these issues from the youth’s perspective, Dr. Sinclair and her team will be able help develop the tools and resources needed for culturally-sensitive crime prevention practices for Aboriginal and northern populations," says McNutt.

About The University of Regina:

The University of Regina—with campuses located on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territories, the ancestral lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota and Nakoda nations and the homeland of the Métis—is a comprehensive, mid-sized university that traces its roots back to the creation of Regina College in 1911. Today, more than 16,600 students study within the University's 10 faculties and three federated colleges (Campion College, First Nations University of Canada, and Luther College). The University of Regina has an established reputation for excellence and innovative programs that lead to undergraduate, master, and doctoral degrees.

 

 

 

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