The High Prevalence Of Issues Facing Aboriginals Today

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Given the high prevalence of issues facing Aboriginals today that were previously discussed, it appears that sport could make a positive difference for this population. However, it must be noted that there is little access to culturally relevant and traditional sport activities that strengthen Aboriginal identity, while also encouraging senses of pride and self-confidence (ASRPAS, 2009; Heritage Canada, 2015). Consequently, there are numerous barriers presupposed to contribute to the under representation of Aboriginal peoples in sport and while some of these are of cultural origin, there are also concerns pertaining to social, geographical and economic isolation (ASRPAS, 2009; Heritage Canada, 2015). Nevertheless, a lack of quantitative data associated with rates of Aboriginal sport participation has made understanding impediments difficult. Irrespective of this, in order for the full participatory capacity of Aboriginal peoples in sport to be achieved this paper will highlight the following three categories: economic, social, and political. Firstly, economic impediments are concerned with the fact that many indigenous Canadians are faced economic challenges including financial dependence on income assistance, homelessness, loss of employment, and loss of family income due to substance use. Those in higher income brackets have the financial ability, resources, and opportunities to facilitate participation in sport. However, due to the economic stratification of many Aboriginal communities and families, “money” can be recognized as a chief inhibitor to participation in sport (mason, Year). This is also compounded by the fact that sport participation can be expensive and many cannot provide the costs associated with sports equipmen... ... middle of paper ... ...ive to membership in criminal gangs by filling voids established in Aboriginal youth’s lives by the issues discussed earlier. However, for sport programs work in this manner and reduce Aboriginal participation in crime, these initiatives must provide accessible, “appropriate activities in a supportive social context. In other words, sport and physical activity must be connected positively within the social fabric of groups and communities” (Cameron & MacDougall, 2000, pp. 1). To this end, utilizing sport to improve social environments should be regarded in a holistic manner that seeks to improve these conditions as a whole (rather than solely crime prevention, or improving physical and mental health). Aboriginal youth have a diverse range of needs and attention should be multifaceted if the consequences of Canadian colonialism that remain today are to be dismantled.

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