Exploring the Addiction Recovery Experiences of Urban Indigenous Youth and Non-Indigenous Youth Who Use the Services of The Saskatoon Community Arts Program


  • John George Hansen University of Saskatchewan
  • Chanda Corinne Hetzel University of Saskatchewan




Indigenous peoples, Addictions Recovery, Social Justice


This article explores the experiences of addiction recovery among urban Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth who attended the Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Program (SCYAP). SCYAP is a community-based organization that provides creative ways for youth to express themselves through art, and is intended to address the social, economic, and educational needs of urban youth who are characterized as at-risk. SCYAP has functioned since 2001 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Six Indigenous youth and four non-Indigenous youth were interviewed to explore how the processes of addiction recovery were understood and or experienced. The study postulates a theory of addiction recovery founded on Indigenous and non-Indigenous experiences, a sense of belonging, identity, values, art, and visualization. This study is qualitative in nature and explores the experiences of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in relation to addiction recovery. Research results show that Indigenous youth and non-Indigenous youth who use the services of SCYAP have meaningful insights into the ways in which they experience and understand addiction recovery.

Author Biographies

John George Hansen, University of Saskatchewan

John George Hansen is a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in northern Manitoba.  He is an Assistant Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of Saskatchewan, and his research and teaching specialization are in the fields of Restorative Justice, Indigenous Justice; Crime and Society, focusing on Indigenous knowledge and ways of healing.

Chanda Corinne Hetzel, University of Saskatchewan

Master's Student: Sociology