The Youth-Elder Partnership (YEP) program is based on collective impact (Turner, et al, 2012), developmental evaluation (Patton, 2011), and outcome mapping (Earl, Carden, & Smutylo, 2001). It aims to enhance community youth-adult partnership behaviours to improve the number, quality and sustainability of Aboriginal teaching-inspired resiliency-building opportunities available to youth, Aboriginal youth-in care and other youth-in care in the Fraser Health region. This approach acknowledges replicated studies showing resilience is a social process (Obradovic, Burt, & Masten, 2006; Sameroff & Rosenblum, 2006; Stajduhar, Funk, Shaw, Bottorff, & Johnson, 2009; Stone, Becker, Huber, & Catalano, 2012), and is based on three core factors that support youth into thriving by mid-life (Brown, Jean-Marie & Beck, 2010):
- opportunities to participate and contribute
- caring and connected relationships
- developing high self-expectations
These factors align with Indigenous teachings around the four quadrants of the medicine wheel: generosity, belonging, mastery, and independence (Brendtro, Brokenleg, & Van Bockern, 2002).
The project supports a Youth and Elder Community Facilitator whose role it is to support communities to start, enhance and expand the ways that they teach and learn about and engage in traditional ways between elders and youth.