Indigenous Youth Participatory Evaluation
Summer Water Sovereignty Program
We are thrilled to share a new report about our summer water sovereignty program. This report and evaluation was completed by consultants Wakinyan LaPointe and Thorne Bordeaux LaPointe, from Mni Ki Wakan, and Dr. Nicole MartinRogers from Advance Consulting who worked in partnership with MIGIZI staff and youth participants to design and carry out the evaluation as an integrated part of the program. We learned that youth participants had new experiences with water, they learned about Indigenous culture and connections to water (and they wanted to learn more!). Some youth became interested in water protection as a career. The youth had fun and formed new friendships during the program, too!
This was the first time we used Indigenous Youth Participatory Evaluation (IYPE) at MIGIZI. This approach puts our youth participants in the “driver’s seat” when it comes to learning about how MIGIZI’s programming impacts youth and how we can improve our programs in the future. As a part of this project, we developed a theory of change to identify the outcomes we hoped to achieve. We spent several weeks designing and carrying out data gathering activities, including focus groups and photography by the youth and staff. We found out that we really enjoyed doing IYPE, and we learned a lot about how we can improve our programs as a result! For example, we learned more about how important peer mentoring is to our participants and got suggestions for how to incorporate activities that will foster peer support, mentoring, and leadership. MIGIZI plans to continue including youth participants in our evaluation efforts going forward, as part of our overall goal to become a more youth-led organization!