Integrating Culture

This module focuses on how to embed cultural elements into the different components of a comprehensive program. Indigenous youth experiencing homelessness face unique barriers to services. As such, specific considerations include access to cultural supports including elders and staff who share in Indigenous value systems, an emphasis in culturally-based language used in the provision of all wrap-around supports, as well as staff recognition that many Indigenous youth have developed distrust in service providers through difficult childhood experiences.

This module focuses on considerations related to adaptation methods, goals, language, content, and context, among others, that help to adequately and accurately adapt programming to meet the cultural needs of the Indigenous youth involved in programming. This section also includes a discussion of the Two-Eyed Seeing approach, which emphasizes holding both non-Indigenous and Indigenous knowledge together, and is imperative when adapting Western programs to meet the needs of Indigenous youth.

Lastly, a thorough examination of a cultural adaptation within a Northern, Indigenous context is provided. This includes an exploration of the ways culture was embedded at an organizational, staff, and individual level. This example highlights the individualized nature of the services offered, and that culture was embedded throughout each area of service, rather than an add-on service to an otherwise unmodified program.

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