Aboriginal Children’s Sport Participation in Canada





Physical activity can be viewed as a proactive health promotion strategy in terms of the relative benefits incurred for both physical and mental health. The purpose of this paper was to examine sport participation as one aspect of physical activity for Aboriginal children and to provide a comparison of Aboriginal children in Canada who do and do not participate in sport outside of school. Using a socio-ecological approach, various factors were explored as potential correlates of sport behaviour. Findings from the Aboriginal Peoples Survey 2001 (Children’s component), suggest that 65% of Aboriginal children were reported to engage in sport at least once per week. Results indicated that Aboriginal children who participate in sport were more likely to be male, have more educated parents, and come from two-parent households. In addition, sports participation was more likely if the child was living off-reserve and if the child was Métis or Inuit as compared to First Nations. The findings suggest that Aboriginal children are actively engaging in sport, although demographic, environmental, or cultural factors may affect rates of participation.

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