This article describes Building A Nation, a store front program located in the heart of the core neighbourhood (west side) of Saskatoon and its use of the Medicine Wheel in providing a blend of traditional and western support services including supportive therapy to those who come through its doors. This article begins with a discussion of the need for culturally safe and competent counselling programs and how Building A Nation meets that need. Following this the paper discusses the Medicine Wheel and how the Medicine Wheel is used in the Building A Nation program. This article is a step toward completing the recommendation by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation that Building A Nation “provide more clarity about how western and traditional healing methods complement each other or blend together (Aboriginal Healing Foundation 2006, p. 275).
This article discusses the appropriateness of using mental health promotion as a prevention and healing tool for Canadian Aboriginal youth dealing with issues of suicide. Strengths of mental health promotion in the context of this population include its emphasis on community-wide approaches, consideration of root causes of mental health issues, recognition of culture as a protective factor, and integration of diverse forms of knowledge. Limitations include an inadequate role for spirituality, lack of culturally-sensitive program evaluation, and emphasis on Western patterns of time, space, and communication. In response to this analysis, recommendations are proposed that could guide the development of future mental health promotion programs.
This paper explores how the propensity of social workers to make a direct and unmitigated connection between good intentions, rationale thought and good outcomes forms a white noise barrier that substantially interferes with our ability to see negative outcomes resulting directly or indirectly from our works. The paper begins with outlining the harm experienced by Aboriginal children before moving to explore how two fundamental philosophies that pervade social service practice impact Aboriginal children: 1) an assumption of pious motivation and effect and 2) a desire to improve others. Finally, the paper explores why binding reconciliation and child welfare is a necessary ﬁrst step toward developing social work services that better support Aboriginal children and families.
The goals of this study are: to examine the awareness and utilization of the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS) and the Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (OIS) by First Nations child welfare decision-makers in the child welfare policy development process in the Province of Ontario and; to identify ways of making the CIS/OIS more useful to First Nations decision makers. No previous study has focused on assessing the inﬂuence and impact that the CIS/OIS data have on policy development with this speciﬁc population.
The purpose of this research was to examine the utilization of enhanced practice standards for children in care with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Children in care with FASD represent a vulnerable population and require multiple supports from a cross-disciplinary perspective. Children removed from the care of their parents were identiﬁed as having needs beyond standard care provided within Children’s Services in Alberta. To address this concern a project was initiated in 2002 and completed in 2005 which identiﬁed positive beneﬁt from an increase in caseload hours for workers responsible for children with FASD in the Aboriginal Unit including more contact with children and additional supports for foster parents. Standards regarding family visitation are also highlighted. An additional casework position was developed in order to decrease caseloads and meet the standards. Changing the way child welfare and foster care services are delivered for children with FASD is an important phenomenon to study and this research may guide future interventions.
Indigenous health research should reﬂect the needs and beneﬁts of the participants and their community as well as academic and practitioner interests. The research relationship can be viewed as co-constructed by researchers, participants, and communities, but this nature often goes unrecognized because it is conﬁned by the limits of Western epistemology. Dominant Western knowledge systems assume an objective reality or truth that does not support multiple or subjective realities, especially knowledge in which culture or context is important, such as in Indigenous ways of knowing. Alternatives and critiques of the current academic system of research could come from Native conceptualizations and philosophies, such as Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous protocols, which are increasingly becoming more prominent both Native and non-Native societies. This paper contains a narrative account by an Indigenous researcher of her personal experience of the signiﬁcant events of her doctoral research, which examined the narratives of Native Canadian counselors’ understanding of traditional and contemporary mental health and healing. As a result of this narrative, it is understood that research with Indigenous communities requires a different paradigm than has been historically offered by academic researchers. Research methodologies employed in Native contexts must come from Indigenous values and philosophies for a number of important reasons and with consequences that impact both the practice of research itself and the general validity of research results. In conclusion, Indigenous ways of knowing can form a new basis for understanding contemporary health research with Indigenous peoples and contribute to the evolution of Indigenous academics and research methodologies in both Western academic and Native community contexts.
This paper represents the need for First Nations community workers to share their narratives of experience and wisdom for academic review. A growing number of mature Indigenous social service workers are returning to Canada’s learning centers where they are articulating observations and insights to Indigenous experience in colonial Canada. It is imperative that post-colonial academic literature include these contributions. True reconciliation between Canada and First Peoples is only possible if those stories of resilience are reﬂected back from the experience of historic trauma and unresolved intergenerational suffering.