Introduction

The Vital Outcome Indicators for Community Engagement (VOICE) Research Project is a 5-year Community-University Research Alliance project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada and Vale, Manitoba Hydro, Brandon University, and the University College of the North. The focus of this research is success for children and youth living in northern communities and regions in Manitoba. Success includes improved educational outcomes, development of workplace skills, increased engagement in community leadership and activities, retention of culture and language, more effective youth success programs, and increased career opportunities for youth in these communities.

The VOICE Research Project is based on a community-based participatory research (CBPR) process that actively involves communities as equal partners in the research. The establishment of community circles, as part of the VOICE Research Project, respects community traditions, practices and observances. Over time, our main objective is to build the capacity of local communities to become change agents for success of children and youth in their communities.

The project began in the spring of 2011 and is expected to be completed sometime in 2016. We are now at the mid-term point of the project. This report is intended to describe our progress to date including a description of the community circles, the areas of research activities and financial highlights.