Authored by: Gilbert Fredette

Grant: Partnering for Change: Community-Based Solutions for Aboriginal and Inner-City Poverty - 2012-2019
Category: Community Economic Development


The nuances within the youth of the Norway House Cree Nation along with the escalation in drugs, gangs and violence have led to climbing incarceration rates within the youth population. This has resulted in social devastation in the community over the last few decades. Statistics alone do not provide individual or community perspectives, or the nuanced understanding that insider qualitative research provides. In-depth interviewing provides personal accounts from the youth, community members, and respected Elders, and helps to provide insights on the complexity of community life that are absent from statistical accounts. By the time this thesis is defended, another noose will tighten, another fatal gunshot will be fired, and another youth will overdose on drugs or another suicide attempt might succeed. For many who manage to escape death, they will continue to face a life of abuse, poverty, and an uncertain future that may lead to a lifetime of incarceration, and premature death. This is the reality for too many youth of the Norway House Cree Nation. The community looks directly to their leaders not only to guide the economic development of the community, but at a very personal level. Our youth are very astute and observant; community leaders must demonstrate positive and healthy behaviour within the leadership in order for positive youth outcomes.

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