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‘Culture’ as HIV Prevention: Indigenous Youth Speak Up!

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dc.contributor.author Wilson, Ciann
dc.contributor.author Oliver, Vanessa
dc.contributor.author Flicker, Sarah
dc.contributor.author Prentice, Tracey
dc.contributor.author Jackson, Randy
dc.contributor.author Larkin, June
dc.contributor.author Restoule, Jean-Paul
dc.contributor.author Mitchell, Claudia
dc.date.accessioned 2018-05-14T18:25:27Z
dc.date.available 2018-05-14T18:25:27Z
dc.date.copyright 2016 en_US
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.citation Wilson, C., Oliver, V., Flicker, S., Native Youth Sexual Health Network, Prentice, T., Jackson, R., … Mitchell, C. (2016). “Culture” as HIV prevention: Indigenous youth Speak Up!, Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, 9(1), 74–88. doi: 10.5130/ijcre.v9i1.4802 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/journals/index.php/ijcre/article/view/4802/5575
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/9365
dc.description.abstract One rainy spring evening, our research team was preparing for a community report-back session on the Taking Action community-based participatory action research project in Kahnawà:ke, a Mohawk reserve located near Montreal. We presented our major research findings by showcasing several of the arts-based products (e.g. murals, paintings, hip hop songs and videos) produced by youth participants during the project, linking structural inequity to HIV vulnerability (Flicker 2012; Flicker et al. 2014a, b). The event culminated in a conversation with the audience on the issues raised in the project. During the discussion, one man asked: ‘Why are Aboriginal youth into hip hop, wearing baggy clothes and acting Black?’ Many of the youth present were frustrated by the question. They tried to explain that Indigenous cultures are not static; rather they are fluid and change over time. They felt that expression through hip hop and ‘new’ forms of art were mediums as powerful as drumming circles or pow-wows for conveying their health promotion messages to their peers. One of the adults in the room chimed in, stating, ‘Ya, I do photography. That is not often seen as a traditional Aboriginal art form, but what does it mean to be “authentically” Aboriginal?’ Not completely sure if he was satisfied with the answers he had received, the man sat back in his seat mulling over the responses. The discussions in this community exemplify the challenges between representations of Indigenous identity and traditional and contemporary Indigenous cultures. They highlight the ways in which Indigenous identity is often thought to be synonymous with ‘static’, ‘primitive’ and ‘unchanging’ traditions that are often juxtaposed with ‘contemporary’ practices (King 2011). This vignette also demonstrates how Indigenous identity expression has taken on political, historical, racial and nationalist signification and remains a site of much tension, both within and outside Indigenous communities in Canada. In this article, we explore (a) the ways Indigenous youth involved in an HIV intervention take up and reclaim their cultures as a project of defining self, and (b) the way Indigenous culture can be used as a tool for resistance, HIV prevention, and health promotion more generally. Here, we draw on Simpson’s (2011) definition of culture as a series of interrelated processes (e.g. activities, ceremonies) that engage our full beings and require our full presence (mental, physical, spiritual, etc.) in order to survive, live full lives and grow. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Gateways: International International Journal of Community Research and Engagement en_US
dc.title ‘Culture’ as HIV Prevention: Indigenous Youth Speak Up! en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Faculty en_US
dc.description.reviewstatus Reviewed en_US


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