Module 7

Indigenous Children and Youth

Creating the best possible environment for Indigenous children and youth to develop, grow and succeed is a responsibility we have as a society. Children and youth who have access to healthy food, physical activity, quality education, health care and positive parenting tend to be healthier and better equipped for the challenges they face growing up. The following module describes Indigenous children and youth in Canada, where they live, socio-economic issues they face, family structures they are part of, community supports and challenges, health services they can access, the impact of the environment on their health, and developmental outcomes.

The Module is based on a Determinants of Health Model that examines the impacts of structural, systemic, community and family enablers on individual health and well-being. Creating a healthy, positive start for every Canadian child needs to become a priority – an investment in Indigenous children and youth is an investment in the future.

A Determinants of Health Model

A Determinants of Health Model is being used to structure the Indigenous Children and Youth Module. The Model provides a cohesive approach to data presentation that takes into account how structures, systems, community and family enablers impact overall child and family well-being to create optimal environments for Indigenous children and youth to grow up healthy.

Innovative Examples

This section provides some innovative examples of programs and interventions that groups and organizations have developed based on data and research. It is hoped that these examples, along with the supporting information found in this module, will provide inspiration for the further creation of initiatives to improve the lives of Indigenous children in Canada.

Section 5

Section 5: Individual Health and Well-Being - The Early Years

Pregnancy and the early years (ages 0-5) are a time of extreme growth and development for children. Prenatally, young children can be exposed to influences that impact their birth outcomes – making education and care of pregnant mothers critical. Equally important are the environments in which children grow up. Children with access to healthy food, physical activity, quality education, health care and positive parenting tend to be healthier and better equipped for the challenges they face growing up.

5.5 Section 5.5: Community Well-Being

5.8 Section 5.8: Physical Health