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Wednesday November 4 2015 9 HEALTH WELLNESS TEEN HEALTH We honour those who have given their lives serving Canadians and defending the values and freedoms that we hold so dear. REMEMBRANCE DAY George Tuccaro Commissioner of the NWT By CRAIG GILBERT Arctic FOXY the group recently rewarded with a 1 million research grant for its work reinventing sex education for young women is getting back to what they do best. Founders Candice Lys and Nancy MacNeill and their peer leaders held focus groups with students and adults in Yellowknife and Fort Smith at the end of last month laying the groundwork for a FOXY equivalent for boys. They plan to hold similar feedback-seek- ing events across the Northwest Territories in the coming months as they visit commu- nities to deliver the FOXY girls program at local high schools. Lys said when she and MacNeill developed the girls program they jumped in head-rst and adjusted things on the y but they al- ready had a foundation after growing up in the NWT themselves and with Lys masters thesis on the subject. I am not a young man who grew up in the North so I dont have that background Lys said. People in the North have been telling us for a while there should be a program for young men. Itll be great to travel and talk to people about what they think. About 20 people including FOXY staff two new male facilitators and girls who took part in a past workshop gathered in the library at PWK High School in Fort Smith Oct. 27 to share theirthoughtsonwhataprogramforboys should look like. Lys and the facilitators heard from 32 male PWK students earlier that day. Attendees of the night session who signed condentiality agreements informing them the focus group was technically a part of Lys PhD research project brought up the impor- tance of talking about consent and negative stereotypes associated with pressure among males to be a man early and often. They also talked about their own sexual educa- tion experience and the fact that it focused almost entirely on biology and the reproduc- tive process. They also talked about negative societal inuences on teens and the ever-increasing inuence of social media and new technol- ogy on relationships. The landscape has changed even in the time FOXY for girls launched three years ago according to Lys. We see a lot more connectivity in the North now she said. A lot of communities have more accessible cell service and internet that didnt when we started. It has changed the entire landscape of teenager relation- ships which often exist over devices we didnt have as teenageers. A lot takes place over Snapchat. A lot of girls Snapchat all day they share everything. In the Fort Smith focus group one facilita- tor noted the traditional courtship that took place over a number of weeks in person now happens in a matter of days over platforms like Snapchat and sexual encounters take place a lot sooner. They want her voice too To Lys surprise men are telling FOXY they think female facilitators should take part in the boys program too. In order to talk about feminism and the experience of women and relationships that female voice needs to be there as well she said. FOXY is very much by and for North- ern women so it makes sense. FOXY has reached more than 500 indig- enous and Northern youth from 25 of the 33 communities in the Northwest Territo- ries through its school-based sexual health education program and on-the-land peer leadership retreats. They use art and other activities to break the ice. Lys said they have heard stand-up comedy videos and video games as well as traditional activities like hand drumming would be suc- cessful in reaching boys. I think a lot of the content is going to be the same Lys said. A lot of the things that came up that people think we should talk about including power dynamics and con- sent already come up in conversations in FOXY for girls. I think a lot of the pillars will translate well to FOXY for boys but were happy to hear what people think should be involved in content. We want to make sure everything we do with Foxy is relevant in the North and if people dont tell us were kind of guessing. Eyes on the prize It has been about a year since FOXY won the Arctic Inspiration Prize dedicated to organizations working in the Canadian Arctic on education human health so- cial-cultural issues the environment and the economy. They were the rst laureates ever not to have to split the 1 million prize with any co-winners. Their biggest ambition is to ex- pand to all three territories - they have been to Yukon twice and Nunavut once - and to reach both genders. Foxy boys is a huge component of all of that Lys said. We also wanted to focus on working with LGBTQ youth for their sexual health needs. Another part of the plan is doing longer- term cohort studies of FOXY participants to see how exposure to the program changes who they are. That work started during last weeks visit to Fort Smith and continued this week in Norman Wells. The bigger focus is on mental health Lys said. Weve noticed at FOXY how closely tied it is to sexual health and how you cant really have one without the other. Arctic FOXY The next generation focuses on boys Arctic FOXY is spending a portion of the Arctic Inspiration Prize they won in 2014 on developing a parallel program for boys. PhotocourtesyofFredCarroll 867 872 - 3000 ext. 26 effective stylish advertising call Your business in print