Resource for Mentoring Indigenous Children and Youth
AMP offers two primary resources to support the establishment of new mentoring programs. For community groups or organizations, the “Create a Community-based Mentoring Program” Toolkit or for schools, the “Framework for Mentoring in Schools.”
The following Considerations for Mentoring within Indigenous Communities are a supplementary resource to support primarily non- Indigenous organizations that strive to develop and deliver quality mentoring programs for and with children, youth, and families of Indigenous descent. They are based on research and the combined expertise of those who are already engaged in this important work.
These considerations complement the existing mentoring resources available on the AMP website by providing specific resources to strengthen your mentoring work with Indigenous communities in service of young people. These considerations are intended to helping you support the development and implementation of quality mentoring programs that build on the strengths of the community, children, and youth.
Considerations for Mentoring in Indigenous CommunitiesDOWNLOAD: The Considerations for Mentoring in Indigenous Communities
Start with the conventional mentor program co-ordinator job description, and modify it to include the unique requirements of your program.
You may want to create some sort of advisory committee (formal or informal) to help you engage with the Indigenous community and offer guidance as you proceed. This is an important step in the beginning of the process, not in the middle or after programming has already commenced. This committee should include appropriate representation from the Indigenous community and at least one Elder or Traditional Knowledge Keeper if possible. In Consideration 3, we provide some tips to create an inclusive advisory committee. To be successful, an inclusive advisory committee must do more than just bringing diverse people around the table. The committee must have a willingness to listen and collaborate respectfully and responsively in the best interests of children, youth, and their families.
According to projections released by Statistics Canada (Morency et al., 2015), “The population who reported an Aboriginal identity [will] continue to grow faster than the non-Aboriginal population from 2011 to 2036” (p. 13). Additionally, research findings project that the Aboriginal population in Canada, estimated at 1,502,000 in 2011, could increase to between 1,965,000 and 2,633,000 by 2036 under the projection scenarios developed for this report. The average annual growth rate of the Aboriginal population is significantly higher than that of the non-Aboriginal population.
In Consideration 4, we present research related to the Circle of Courage (Brendtro, Brokenleg & Bockern, 1992, 2005; Brokenleg, 1998) and the importance of attending to the diverse and complex lives of children, youth, and their families (Chung, 2016; Lessard, Clandinin & Caine, 2015). In any program, it is critical to foster safe spaces where Indigenous youth, children, and families know they belong (Chung, 2016).
Please click on the links below for sample mentee application and parent consent forms for youth participants:
In Consideration 9, we provide real examples of mentoring programs currently serving Indigenous communities across Alberta. We created this document through our many partnerships and conversations with individuals who are also passionate about this work. These mentoring partners provide testimonies of children, youth, educators, and mentoring co-ordinators, as well as detailed descriptions of their programs.
Each community will have specific protocols for interacting with Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers. The guidelines that are attached are relatively generic and should be supported by specific information from the community you are working with, as the community is the strongest guide. In Consideration 10, we include additional ideas and resources for engaging Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers within your program.
Download: Handbook for Aboriginal Mentoring