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Robert J. Schinke, Stephanie Hanrahan, Duke Peltier, Ginette Michel, Richard Danielson, Patricia Pickard, Chris Pheasant, Lawrence Enosse and Mark Peltier

This study was designed to elucidate the pre-competition and competition practices of elite Canadian Aboriginal athletes. Elite Canadian Aboriginal athletes (N = 23) participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were segmented into meaning units by academic and Aboriginal community-appointed members, and verified with each respondent individually through mail and a password-protected website. Competition tactics were divided into three chronological stages, each with specific athlete strategies: (a) general training before competitions, (b) pre-competition week, and (c) competition strategies. The majority of the numerous strategies they reported could be considered as reflecting native traditions, appropriate attitudes/perspective, or standard sport psychology techniques. Suggestions are proposed for applied researchers and practitioners working with cultural populations, as well as how these strategies might be developed for use with other populations.

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Robert J. Schinke, Ginette Michel, Alain P. Gauthier, Patricia Pickard, Richard Danielson, Duke Peltier, Chris Pheasant, Lawrence Enosse and Mark Peltier

Cultural sport psychology (CSP) is a recent attempt by researchers to better understand respondents from marginalized cultures. CSP research provides useful suggestions of how to work effectively with unique populations for coaches and sport science practitioners. This paper addresses the struggles and adaptation strategies of 23 (16 male, 7 female) elite Aboriginal Canadian athletes. National and international level athletes elicited from seven sport disciplines and three Canadian provinces were interviewed with a semistructured protocol. Indications are that Aboriginal Canadian athletes engage in two higher order types of adaptation: (a) self-adaptation and (b) adapted environment. The study was developed, analyzed, and coauthored with an Aboriginal community appointed research team. Implications, such as the use of ongoing reflective practice, are proposed for aspiring CSP sport researchers and practitioners.

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Robert Schinke, Hope Yungblut, Amy Blodgett, Mark Eys, Duke Peltier, Stephen Ritchie and Danielle Recollet-Saikkonen

Background:

There has been a recent push in the sport psychology literature for sport participants to be approached based on their cultural backgrounds. However, there are few examples where a cultural approach is considered, such as a culturally reflexive version of participatory action research (PAR). In the current study, the role of family is considered in relation to the sport engagement of Canadian Aboriginal youth.

Methods:

Mainstream researchers teamed with coresearchers from the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve for 5 years. Community meetings and talking circles were employed as culturally sensitive data collection techniques to uncover how to encourage youth participation in Wikwemikong’s sport programs. The overarching methodology for the project is PAR.

Results:

Themes and subthemes were determined by community consensus with terms indigenous (ie, culturally relevant) among the local Aboriginal culture. Family was considered important for youth involvement in Aboriginal community sport programs. Parents were expected to support their children by managing schedules and priorities, providing transportation, financial support, encouragement, and being committed to the child’s activity. Aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, grandparents, and the family as a whole were seen as sharing the responsibility to retain youth in sport through collateral support (ie, when gaps in parental support arose).

Conclusions:

Suggestions are proposed regarding how families in Aboriginal communities can collaborate to facilitate sport and physical activity among their youth. Further suggestions are proposed for researchers engaging in culturally reflexive research with participants and coresearchers from oppressed cultures.