Projects “Journey” and “Sunset” build connections for positive community impact
Keywords:Indigenous, Project Journey, Project Sunset, aboriginal, youth, innovation
In 2011, the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario released the Death Review of the Youth Suicides at Pikangikum First Nation, 2006-2008 following an alarmingly high number of youth suicides that occurred in that community. Persistent social, health, infrastructure, economic, capacity, and governance deficits that exist contribute to vulnerability and atrisk behaviours among youth including crime, substance abuse, and suicide. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) sought ways and means to work to address these challenges in collaboration with communities. After securing funding support through Public Safety Canada, the OPP implemented an experiential youth development program called Project Journey, modelled after Project Venture, a program from the United States specifically designed for at-risk Indigenous youth. So promising are the results from Project Journey that a sister program, Project Sunset, came into being to help expand the proactive work with community partners. These OPP-led programs help address the root causes of youth crime, social disorder, and crisis. At the same time, they support relationship-building and community engagement, and empower individuals and community partners to take positive action for sustainable change.
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Copyright (c) 2017 Jennifer L Muise, Paul R Mackey
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