Courtney Mason -Post Doctoral Stipend 2011
University of Ottawa
There are considerable health inequities that exist between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in Canada. Physical activity has been identified as a significant factor related to these health inequities. This research investigates constraints to participation in physical activity, sport and exercise for Shibogama First Nations communities in northwestern Ontario. While researchers have invested more time in examining how changes in exercise and lifestyle contribute to higher levels of obesity and obesity related disease in some Aboriginal communities, there are few comprehensive studies that assess the complex factors that impact participation in physical activity for Aboriginal peoples. This research is concerned with how various constraints influence levels of physical activity within the broader context of health in three Aboriginal communities. By drawing primarily on semi-structured interviews with participants, Aboriginal perspectives are privileged in this study. Preliminary findings reveal how some Aboriginal communities negoitate health and cultural issues related to physical activity, sport and exercise in the backdrop of enduring colonial legacies.