Resilience in Canadian Indigenous Youth: A Scoping Review


Indigenous youth
Land-based programs

How to Cite

Toombs E., KowatchK. R., & MushquashC. J. (2016). Resilience in Canadian Indigenous Youth: A Scoping Review. International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience, 4(1), 4-32. Retrieved from


Introduction: Contemporary definitions of resilience generally include personal, family, and community characteristics that contribute to individuals’ abilities to thrive in the face of adversity. However, these definitions are derived largely from research involving nonIndigenous youth and may fail to incorporate unique characteristics from Indigenous perspectives. Understanding resilience in Indigenous youth by summarizing existing literature is an important next step in applied resilience-based research and intervention. Methods: A scoping review of 33 published and grey literature sources on resilience in Canadian Indigenous youth was completed. Results: Resilience among Indigenous youth included engagement in culture, having positive peer and family relationships, and having a positive self-identity, congruent with research involving non-Indigenous youth. Despite such similarities, unique factors to Indigenous youth were related to community-based resilience including autonomy and access, as well as support and connectedness. Conclusion: Resilience is an important concept that can foster strength and support pathways to perseverance in Indigenous youth. Incorporating Indigenous models in applied resilience-based research and intervention should include relational approaches of measurement and collaborative research methods that engage Indigenous young people and their communities.