Rippling out the successful Aboriginal Youth Mentorship Program (AYMP) to Toronto


 

If you ask those who have participated in the Aboriginal Youth Mentorship Program (AYMP) two common themes emerge –  inclusion and empowerment.  During several years of working with Indigenous youth and leaders in Winnipeg and northern Manitoba, this resilience-based approach to preventing Type 2 diabetes was co-developed with scientists from the University of Manitoba and Indigenous Partners, led by Dr. Jon McGavock.  This after-school program provides physical activities, healthy snacks, games, and education and leadership activities to elementary school aged students. Delivered by Indigenous adolescents for Indigenous children in their community, this program seeks to build up the strengths of its participants and healthy inclusive communities.  This program is guided by an Indigenous medicine wheel concept of health called the Circle of Courage that was adopted by the Indigenous scholar Dr. Martin Brokenleg and consists of four elements: belonging; independence; mastery; and, generosity.

Building on this success, Diabetes Action Canada, in Partnership with Diabetes Canada and Manulife will be rippling-out this program in the downtown Toronto First Nations School. It is the mission of both Diabetes Action Canada and the AYMP to ripple out this successful project to the broader Indigenous and First Nations communities.  It is not new information that diabetes in Indigenous populations is a serious health concern and top priority for our governments and health care systems. What is unique, and has been extremely successful, is this relationship-based mentorship approach of the AYMP to encourage health living among youth to prevent this chronic disease.

 

As reported by the Indigenous Peoples Health Goal Group