The release of a Canadian Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework highlights the importance of recent, Indigenous-specific information to describe the landscape of child care among Indigenous children in Canada; however, there has been a gap in identity-specific, national data on child care for Indigenous children. The purpose of the current study was to address data gaps on participation in child care for First Nations children living off reserve, Métis, and Inuit children. Furthermore, two years of data are examined which provide information on child care use both prior to and during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, First Nations children living off reserve (49%) and Inuit children (42E %)1 were significantly less likely to participate in child care compared with non-Indigenous children (60%), although Métis children (60%) were equally likely to participate in child care compared with non-Indigenous children. Only First Nations children living off reserve (40%) were significantly less likely than non-Indigenous children (53%) to participate in child care in 2020. In terms of the type of child care used, Inuit children were more likely to be in a daycare centre (70%) compared with non-Indigenous children (52%) in 2019, although Inuit children’s participation in a daycare centre dropped to 46E% in 2020. This is likely due to public health restrictions which closed many child care centres during the pandemic, as over one-third of child care in the territories is centre-based. The findings provide important information about patterns of child care use for Indigenous children both before and during the pandemic.
The Council of the Haida Nation (CHN) is the National government of all Haida citizens—and their response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Haida Gwaii—is the central focus of this study. The CHN’s response is contextualized through an analysis of governance structures, consideration of previous epidemics, diseases, and health inequalities. The research questions for this project include: (1) How did the CHN’s role shift during the COVID-19 emergency response on Haida Gwaii; (2) What lessons can be garnered from the CHN’s response to inform future Haida Nation governance? To explore these research questions I conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews with a sample of seven people who were living on Haida Gwaii during the pandemic and had some involvement with the CHN. Following an iterative process of data analysis, four main themes emerged from the data. These themes encompassed the inclusive approach taken by the CHN, the tireless work a small group of people did, and the importance of jurisdiction and self-determination while also considering lessons learned and capacity. The findings demonstrated the importance of continued pushes for self-determination as well as the ability of the CHN to expand its governance role.
We analysed Australian government strategic policy documents related to the "Closing the Gap" (CTG) strategy in early childhood circa 2008-2018 to explore the extent to which Indigenous rights are named and recognised in written policy. Our analysis of the policies was informed by Bacchi’s What’s the Problem approach and showed inconsistency in the recognition of Indigenous rights. These rights are sometimes undermined and ignored, sometimes implied and sometimes named and recognised. Silences within the CTG strategy are discussed and reveal the ongoing nature of colonisation and deficit framing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. Findings from this research are relevant for the current era of the "Closing the Gap" strategy.
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