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Waaneziyenhwiininoodjimoowayin (The Path That Is Taken To Heal Together): Indigenous Parents' Stories of the Child Welfare System

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) refers to inequities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in  child welfare systems as a “growing crisis”. Enhanced understanding of the lived experiences of Indigenous parents and  caregivers’ interactions with the child welfare system in Canada contributes to a gap in the literature and is a step  towards truth, reconciliation, and healing. 


With our community partners, we aim to 

(1) examine the  experiences of Indigenous parents and caregivers who have had contact with any child welfare systems including the  mental, spiritual, physical, and relational implications; 

(2) analyze the intersection of social determinants, being  Indigenous, and parent-children relationships; (3) strategically share the unique needs and challenges for policy and  practice implications through manuscripts, briefs, and webinars. 


Grounded in Indigenous methodology valuing  respect and reciprocity, we will use semi-structured interviews (kitchen table talks) with 20 Indigenous parents or  caregivers. Thematic analysis guided by Medicine Wheel teachings will be used to interpret the data. By creating space for Indigenous voices throughout the project, self-determination is asserted in research and data  management. Accessible education resources such as articles, policy briefs, and videos will inform policymakers and  practitioners to improve social conditions impacting Indigenous families.


Funded by Edwin S.H. Leong Centre for Healthy Children: Leong Centre Catalyst Grant.


Community Partner: Aboriginal Legal Services

For more information, click here.

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