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Understanding the Role of Cultural Continuity in Reclaiming the Identity of Young Indigenous Women

Brigette Krieg

Abstract

Statistical representation of young Indigenous women in Canada presents an

alarming picture of adversity characterized by addiction, pregnancy, and academic

underachievement. Using Photovoice as a vehicle for community dialogue and

education, the goal of this project was not to further the literature that examines

the limitations of young Indigenous women, but to examine their strengths and

their resilience. The project intended to document the lived experiences of young

Indigenous women and comment on youth-identified issues and responses to the

challenges experienced by Indigenous girls residing in urban centres. The level of

insight and maturity demonstrated by the photographers was astounding; these

young girls were able to consider their own circumstances within the broader context

of family and community. Further, they examined their circumstances critically

in relation to the historical consequences of past generations. In doing this,

the photographers, rather than getting trapped in a cycle of negativity reminiscing

about past wrongs, created opportunity for positive change and raised hope for

this generation.

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