Aboriginal Youth Mentorship Program (AYMP)

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  • Children (ages 6-12) icon
  • Teens (ages 13-18) icon
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  • Healthy child development
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  • Obesity Prevention
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Overview

The AYMP is a 90 minute once per week after-school, peer led, health promotion program based on multi-age mentoring of children aged 10 years by grades 7 through grade 12 students to reduce risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

The program was developed and delivered in partnership with the community and university at the request of the regional health authority with collaboration between study investigators and stakeholders in Garden Hill (Kistiganwacheeng) First Nation Manitoba following the principles of participatory action research and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Curriculum was developed by teachers and Aboriginal youth in Winnipeg. AYMP was designed to improve wholistic health in youth by providing programmatic components that are targeted at a child’s social health, physical health, mental health and spiritual health. All aspects of indigenous culture are integrated into this program.

This initiative was carried out successfully in Garden Hill, an isolated First Nation reserve community in northern Manitoba, where the incidence of Type 2 diabetes among youth is exceptionally high.

The weekly sessions included a healthy snack, 45 minutes of physical activity and an educational game or activity. The skills of youth mentors were expanded to enhance their ability to provide instruction and support to younger children.

Significant decreases in the risk factors associated with diabetes were noted. Authors stated that the risk of metabolic syndrome was reduced by 12% among participants.

his is a very significant research project that has successfully for the first time achieved a positive impact on the risk of Type 2 diabetes among very high risk First Nations children. The curriculum is an excellent resource to guide future work in this area.

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