A big congratulations to Joanna Petrasek MacDonald, troche whose MA thesis “From the minds of youth: exploring Inuit youth resilience within a changing climate and applications for climate change adaptation in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, Canada” has been accepted. Joanna would like to thank the community members, academic peers and funding agencies for their collaboration and support that made this thesis possible. Joanna is currently the project coordinator for IK-ADAPT, and you can find her bio here: http://www.jamesford.ca/about#joanna
Abstract: The Canadian North is experiencing rapid social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental change that have direct impacts on the lives of Inuit living in this region, as well as serious implications for the future of the Inuit youth. Essential to facing this challenging context is a resilient youth population with the adaptive capacities and coping skills to respond to multiple stressors and pressures. This thesis considers the question of how to foster youth resilience and support youth protective factors that enhance youth well-being and can help young people deal with change, specifically climate change. To answer this question, a systematic literature review, a community-based, youth-led, cross-cultural participatory video project, and a regional community-based study were undertaken to explore youth-identified protective factors and examine challenges to these factors from youth perspectives and experiences. Specifically, this thesis characterizes the protective factors that influence Circumpolar Indigenous youth mental health resilience to climate change; explores participatory video as a process that can foster protective factors thereby demonstrating potential to be used in adaptation as a way to enhance youth resilience; documents youth-identified protective factors that support mental health and well-being amidst change (i.e. social, cultural, economic, or environmental); and examines how climatic changes and related environmental impacts challenge these factors throughout the region of Nunatsiavut from a youth perspective. The findings from this work highlight the importance of youth voices, perspectives, and involvement within research and practitioner communities, and contributes to the growing body of research on Circumpolar Indigenous youth resilience that can inform climate change adaptation efforts.