Body-related experiences of two young rural Aboriginal women
Tara-Leigh Fleming, MSc, College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan
Kent C. Kowalski, PhD, College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan
There has been a gradual increase in health research that explores the body-related experiences of young Aboriginal women living in urban and reserve settings. However, the voices of rural Canadian Aboriginal women not living on reserves, appear to be absent from this literature. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to better understand the body-related experiences of young Aboriginal women living in rural Canadian communities. Case study was utilized as the strategy of inquiry in which each of two young women (both 15 years of age) represented a case. One-on-one interviews were used to explore the young women’s experiences. Four themes emerged: (1) fitting in, (2) rural uniqueness, (3) role models, and (4) body talk. The primary contribution of this study is that it sheds light on the unique body-related experiences of two young women, each living in a rural community where she is the only teenaged Aboriginal woman. Despite some similarities, the young women related very different stories of their experiences in their respective communities. This research also highlights some of the ethical challenges of ensuring that the stories of the young women are adequately represented, while their confidentiality is respected.