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Volume 17, Issue (1) of the First People Child and Family Review puts forward articles that disrupt Westernized approaches in social work and counselling practices to provide systemic solutions that integrate cultural wellness and lived experiences from Métis and First Nations, and non-Indigenous expressions. Although written separately, the articles interconnect in ways that cover professional duties, critical self-reflection, and how to best support First Nations, Inuit, and Métis wellbeing and provide equity-based and culturally respective care. The authors encourage readers to act and revise their practices within their respective environments that impact First Nations, Inuit, and Métis wellbeing in Canada.

The issue begins with Nicole Roy, who is a Métis scholar. Her work is entitled, The Use of Indigenous Research Methodologies in Counselling. Roy posits that the 4Rs, “Responsibility, Respect, Relationality, and Reciprocity,” embedded with Indigenous research methodologies, can both be used to shake the core of Westernized wellness practices. Roy’s work reflectively values kinship and relational processes that are imperative and need to be practiced within counselling and psychotherapies.

Similarly, Monique Auger, Carly Jones, Renée Monchalin, and Willow Paul shed light upon Métis intersectional identities through Métis methodologies, including self-locating themselves as Métis peoples in their article. Their collective work is called, “It’s in my blood. It’s in my spirit. It’s in my ancestry”: Identity and its impact on Wellness for Métis Women, Two-Spirit, and Gender Diverse People in Victoria, British Columbia. The authors gathered twenty-four stories of self-identifying Métis peoples, weaving together the participants’ thematic cultural and living experiences. The authors found participants had shared understandings of the imperative of community and self-responsibilities, caring for the land, and relationships with kinship frameworks, all proposed to recentre balance and wellbeing.

Ralph Bodor (wîcîtasow— ally), Terri Cardinal (nêhiyaw — Cree), and Kristina Kopp (nêhiyaw-âpihtawikosisân — Métis) created an audio-visual learning experience with permission through protocols in ceremony and in relationship with various First Nations community members who are Knowledge Keepers, wisdom holders, language speakers, and Survivors of Indian Residential School System. Their collective work, isihcikêwinihk kâkî nâtawihon: Healing Through Ceremony, offers a vital and critical learning approach gifted to support social workers who serve First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities in Canada.

The final article of the issue is by Lauren Kalvari, who is a White settler social worker and is currently a researcher. In her article, A Critical Reflection: Exposing Whiteness in Child Welfare Practice, Kalvari engages in a self-reflective practice navigating experiences she encountered as a social worker in the early 1990s. She addresses implications and solutions for White settlers working in the social work field and how to decolonize their practice through critical self-reflection, which Kalvari offers as a critical first step prior to working with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities.

These articles weave together to offer readers critical insights into disrupting Westernized approaches to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit wellbeing and instead center equity-based and culturally respective approaches. The articles remind us of our vital responsibilities to work towards equitable, fair, and social justice-based approaches and principles to support First Nations, Inuit, and Métis wellbeing across Canada.

In good spirit,

Madelaine McCracken and Brittany Mathews