Community and Culture as Foundations for Resilience: Participatory Health Research with First Nations Student Filmmakers

  • Ted Riecken Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Victoria
  • Tish Scott Department of Curriculum and Instruction University of Victoria
  • Michele T. Tanaka Department of Curriculum and Instruction University of Victoria
Keywords: Resilience, health, education, participatory research, First Nations, youth, video, community partnership, relationship, culture


This article describes a participatory action research project that brings together teachers and students from three First Nations education programs with researchers from the Centre for Youth & Society at the University of Victoria for the purpose of researching health and wellness among Aboriginal youth.Using the methodologies of participatory research, students identify topics that are of concern to them in the area of health and wellness.They plan, research and develop a video presentation on their chosen topic using digital video as a tool for research and communication of their findings.This article focuses on how such an approach to research contributes to building resiliency through the development of relationships that foster a connection with community and culture.The article describes the way the project has enhanced participants’ relationships with their communities, across generations, with diverse groups in urban settings, and with their sense of self, and culture.