Finding strength(s): Insights on Canadian Aboriginal physical cultural practices.

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2014

Publication Title

Sport in Society






In this exploratory paper, we used a strengths perspective to identify potential strengths linked to Aboriginal peoples' physical cultural practices in Canada. We drew on the principle that all individuals have strengths, which is the starting point for a strengths perspective analysis. Our methodology included a review of national survey data and government documents to identify potential strengths – positive qualities expressed by Aboriginal peoples that contribute towards their physical activity practices. Potential Aboriginal strengths were derived from national policies addressing Aboriginal physical activity practices, workshop and government reports incorporating Aboriginal perspectives on their physical activity practices, research examining Aboriginal physical cultural practices and national surveys. Identified Aboriginal peoples' strengths included being wholistically balanced, family- and community-oriented, able to draw on cultural and mainstream approaches, and committed to developing their own, preferred approach towards enhancing their lives through physical activity.