Sport Gave Me Something to Wake Up For: Aboriginal Adults with Disabilities Speak about Sport

by Elliott, Melanie Dawn

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this exploratory and descriptive study was to understand the experience of disability from the perspective of Aboriginal adults and the meaning they give to the importance of sport in their communities. The experiences of 3 Aboriginal adults with physical disabilities were captured using the phenomenological methods of one-on-one interviews, artifact collection, and field notes. The co-participants were provided the opportunity for collaboration at each research stage, from clarifying the purpose to finalizing and interpreting the emerging themes, in an effort to demonstrate sensitivity and respect for their Aboriginal culture, beliefs, and community. The conceptual framework utilized was the minority group model, which provided a framework for interpreting the sport experiences of the co-participants. The thematic analysis and interpretation of the findings facilitated by the co-participants revealed four themes: (a) we have to get out first, (b) not being a priority, (c) pride through accomplishments, and (d) the gift to grab others. We Have to Get Out First expressed the co-participants feelings that persons with disabilities were somewhat invisible in their rural Aboriginal communities as they did not venture far from their homes. The second theme, Not Being a Priority, recognized the lack of sport opportunities for people with disabilities. However, according to the third theme, Pride through Accomplishments, for these co-participants it was their involvement in their Aboriginal community and sport that gave them a sense of self-worth and dignity. The final theme, The Gift to Grab Others, empowered them to share the richness of their experiences with other Aboriginal people with disabilities. The results reflected the need to educate and build awareness of sport opportunities for Aboriginal people with disabilities. Furthermore, the co-participants expressed the need to encourage and support people with disabilities to get out of their homes and become active, visible members of society.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Goodwin, Donna

School:University of Saskatchewan

School Location:Canada - Saskatchewan

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:aboriginal disability sport


Date of Publication:07/05/2007

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