Inheritors of the Future: Community-Driven Voices of Youth Contemplating Health and Wellbeing in Indigenous and Northern Geographies of British Columbia

Youth will inherit the decisions that are made today. Yet, youth in rural and remote northern and Indigenous communities are not often engaged when decisions that will impact their futures are made. Youth, however, are knowledgeable members of communities whose health is intimately connected with community wellbeing; they also have distinct experiences with social, cultural, economic, and ecological determinants that impact health.

This research will explore what youth in rural remote northern and Indigenous communities perceive as healthy communities, and how young people can inform environmentally, economically, and socially healthy futures. After successfully completing two pilot workshops with youth in 2018 and 2019, we will build from the priorities that youth have identified, such as community stressors due to mental health and climate change. We will profile and mobilize youth perspectives on healthy communities and healthy lands through arts-based research. Doing so will provide youth with an avenue to identify unique health priorities emerging from northern BC and their distinct perspectives. Youth participants will also propose strategies that can improve community care and health services across the region.