K to A: Sewing Circle Program

The Sewing Circle Program was developed in Saskatoon by the community coordinator, parent council, two Elder parents, community members, teachers, nurses, and students at Princess Alexandra Community School. The program creators explained that students and families in their core neighborhoods were showing “signs of depression and emotional struggles while living through poverty as well as food insecurities.” Additionally, “families were not engaged with students or the school and the students were not confident and proud of the people they were.”

The Sewing Circle Program was created to connect students and parents with Indigenous knowledge to positively impact their self-esteem, skills and engagement with the school.
Through the program, Elders met with youth and parents to describe regalia and the meaning of colors. After students selected their colors, they explored different designs, shapes and animals and created their own designs. Students then transformed their designs into their own regalia with the help of parents and volunteers.

The program organizers reported the success they had in giving students the opportunity to create and perform in their traditional regalia “and be proud of their accomplishment and heritage.” Students, as well as two parents, danced for the first time when the program organizers and participants celebrated by attending powwows within the community. They also reported improvements in students’ school attendance and parents’ engagement with the school.

Image courtesy of Canadian Encyclopedia. Images from the Sewing Circle Program received by SAYCW, however, parents and guardians selected not to have them reproduced for public distribution.

Support youth and community well-being through the collaborative action of community partners working together. Through evidence, tools and resources, SAYCW supports stakeholders to turn the knowledge gained through the youth health survey into health promoting action.

Youth-focused Mental Health Action Report shines light on challenges and ignites movement for solutions
A new report released this week is bringing attention to mental health challenges faced by more than 10,000 youth across the province—and actions at the grassroots level to ignite change.

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This report provides a brief review of the scientific literature on COVID-19 and its effects on youth health, with particular emphasis on mental health.  SAYCW shares relevant data from the pre-pandemic, 2019 SAYCW survey – these findings show how stressors and unhealthy behaviours that have been worsened by the pandemic (e.g., worry, connection with others, screen time, etc.) had impacted Saskatchewan youths’ health and well-being prior to the pandemic. Suggested health promotion actions to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and improve youth health and well-being are also shared.

Click here to read the report


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