Jordan’s case illustrates one of several areas where the formulation of better federal child and family service funding policy for First Nations children and young people, could go a long way toward improving the lives of First Nation children on reserve.
This paper examines the events that occurred in British Columbia following the death of a First Nations child placed in a Kith and Kin arrangement. The paper, drawing extensively from internal government reports that were only just recently released to public, provides an “insider’s” view of government sponsored child welfare polices and practices in relation to First Nations child welfare agencies and the communities they serve.
First Nations people would argue that the ‘Sixties Scoop’ of removing their children from their homes and culture never ended. First Nations children entering ‘care’ of child welfare agencies has increased signiﬁcantly since the 1960s and 1970s. Storying the journey of a Mi’kmaq social worker working with a First Nations child, aspects of the child welfare system will be theoretically and historically located and critiqued from a social justice perspective. Schools of Social Work will be challenged to provide an education inclusive of decolonization, understanding the historical limitations of the child welfare system and its impact upon First Nations peoples.
The purpose of this article is to explore the importance of identity in First Nation adoption. It is adapted from a PhD study completed by the author in 2005. The objectives of this study were: (1) describe how connectedness relates to health for First Nation adoptees, and (2) explore legislative, policy and program implications in the adoption of First Nation children. The ﬁndings suggest that, for First Nation adoptees, there is a causal relationship between connection to birth family, community and ancestral knowledge, adoption and health. The major ﬁnding is that loss of identity may contribute to impaired physical, spiritual, mental and emotional health for First Nation adoptees. This article provides suggestions on how identity can be preserved in First Nation adoption through programs, policies and practice.
The “Sixties Scoop” describes a period in Aboriginal history in Canada in which thousands of Aboriginal children were removed from birth families and placed in non-Aboriginal environments. Despite literature that indicates adoption breakdown rates of 85-95%, recent research with adults adopted as children indicates that some adoptees have found solace through reacculturating to their birth culture and contextualizing their adoptions within colonial history. This article explores the history of Aboriginal adoption in Canada and examines some of the issues of transracial adoption through the lens of psychology theories to aid understanding of identity conﬂicts facing Aboriginal adoptees. The article concludes with recommendations towards a paradigm shift in adoption policy as it pertains to Aboriginal children.
This paper is based on the unique learning that the author obtained from various Cree and Anishinaabe Elders regarding Indigenous knowledge. The author’s experience with learning about Indigenous Knowledge is expressed through a review of the literature conducted on Indigenous knowledge and through symbolic imagery using the míkiwáhp (or “lodge”). Included is a discussion on appropriate considerations to utilizing Indigenous knowledge and its development in the context of colonial oppression over Indigenous peoples.
The focus of this article is on the key elements of anti oppressive practices as examined by two Indigenous women who practice and teach anti-oppressive ways. Anti oppressive living is characterized as a “Way of Life” that values the sacred and traditional teachings of various Indigenous cultures. The medicine wheel is discussed and highlighted as an effective teaching tool to examine antioppressive ways of living, practicing and perspectives.
The authors discuss the factors regarding the reconciliation movement in reconciling Indigenous and Western Knowledge to improve child welfare practice with respect to Aboriginal peoples. In particular, a current initiative undertaken in collaboration with various First Nation communities in Alberta involved with the “Making Our Hearts Sing” Initiative is highlighted. This initiative aimed to build on collaboration among child welfare stakeholders and Aboriginal communities to examine issues relating to child welfare that would be more in keeping with traditional Aboriginal worldviews that could, at the same time, contribute to reconciliation, healing and increased community capacity.
This article discusses the importance of identity formation and the development in young Aboriginal persons as important in the early years of education. Education is an important anchor that would help ensure a reduction in adolescent suicides and improve ego development.