The Indigenous Youth Mentorship Program (IYMP) is a peer-led health promotion program grounded in the teachings of Indigenous scholars. IYMP is delivered as a multi-sited community-university partnership (CUP) with Indigenous communities across Canada for elementary students. A local young adult health leader and high school youth mentors offer students healthy snacks, physical activity games, relationship building activities and traditional cultural teachings. IYMP aims to improve children’s health and wellbeing and empower Indigenous youth and communities. The purpose of this descriptive qualitative study was to describe the essential characteristics of this multi-sited CUP as perceived by the IYMP principal investigators (PIs). Key informant interviews were conducted with 5 IYMP PIs (2 Indigenous) and analysed using content analysis. The overarching theme was forming a community of practice (CoP), where people with a common interest share best practices as they interact regularly. Four sub-themes were shared interest for Indigenous health/wellbeing and social justice, relationships, mentorship and taking a decolonizing research approach. The IYMP CoP allowed mentorship to occur across regions. The essential characteristics that made the IYMP CUPs successful could be used to inform other multi-sited CUPs with Indigenous communities. Those with mutual interests in Indigenous health and partnership with Indigenous communities could consider forming a CoP. Within a newly formed CoP, relationships and mentorship can be developed through discussion and activities. It is imperative within the CoP to take a decolonizing approach to research and acknowledge the impact that colonial policies and practices have had on generations of Indigenous peoples.

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