Project eyes healthier Aboriginal youth

A Western collaborative project will assist in the creation of a local network to enhance collaboration among community partners in London and nearby First Nations to promote healthier weights in Aboriginal children and youth.

Federal Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq announced today $150,000 in funding to support Western’s community-based project, which will be led by Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry assistant professor Piotr Wilk and University of Waterloo’s Martin Cooke, a professor in the Department of Sociology and the Department of Health Studies and Gerontology. The announcement was made at the Ontario Museum of Archaeology, a Western-affiliated research institute.

Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced $150,000 in funding for a Western project looking to promote healthier weights in Aboriginal children and youth.

“Investing in healthier weights is an important step in promoting good health and preventing illness among Canadians,” says Aglukkaq, noting the project will result in more culturally appropriate and effective programming.

“Obesity is a particular challenge among Aboriginal children and youth, which is why the Government of Canada is pleased to support community-based projects aimed at addressing this issue.”

The funding is provided through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Innovation Strategy for projects to help children and youth achieve healthy weights; create supportive workplaces for Canadians to achieve healthy weights; and develop the conditions for rural, remote, northern and underserved communities to achieve healthy weights.

“We are very pleased to receive this funding,” says Cooke. “Developing a strong, collaborative network is important. This project will support our work with partners to take positive steps to develop culturally appropriate programs for off-reserve First Nations and Métis children and youth.”