Leisure and Recreation: A Look at the Importance of an Equal Opportunity to Participate for Aboriginal People and Communities
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The benefits of recreation and leisure on one’s mental, physical, social and spiritual health and well-being are heightened if that experience is culturally and spiritually significant to the user. This thesis will explore the historical use of recreation and leisure for Aboriginal people. I will then report on the general benefit of recreation and leisure, with a section on the application of adventure and wilderness based therapies. More specifically this thesis will highlight the Rediscovery Program, an Aboriginal based adventure program for children and youth that incorporates rites of passage and the importance of the connection to the land. The purpose of this thesis is to highlight the benefit of culturally and spiritually relevant recreation and leisure, and the barriers that are present for Aboriginal children, youth, adults and communities to accessing such programming. Resulting in the recommendation to provide resources to Aboriginal communities to create, maintain, evaluate and adjust their own, culturally and spiritually significant recreation and leisure programming.