Presentation Title

(Re)thinking Reconciliation and Decolonization in Answering Calls to Action: A TRU Social Work Students Reflexive Navigation of Settler Allyships in Secwepemcul'ecw.

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented Friday March 31, 2017

Abstract

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada issued multiple calls to action to begin working towards reconciling Indigenous/Settler/Immigrant relations in Canada. Call to Action #5 states “we call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to develop culturally appropriate parenting programs for Aboriginal families” (TRC, 2015). As a social work student in unceded Secwepemc territory and a former Parenting Program Facilitator, I seek to understand why current parenting programs lack culturally restorative practices for Indigenous families. However, creating programs that are specifically and solely for Indigenous populations risks the maintenance of ‘othering’ that underlies ongoing settler colonial encounters. This research will outline three factors that contribute to this: lack of recognition of how historic and intergenerational trauma impacts parenting, how setter-colonialism continues to be embedded in existing parenting programs, and the need to shift the theoretical basis from one of westernized attachment theory to one of indigenized cultural attachment theory. These considerations only begin to address the indigenization of education through such programing. In the spirit of reconciliation and the building of restorative relationships based on equity, ally social workers must recognize and acknowledge the unique benefits of Indigenous knowledges and teachings within these parenting programs. Ally social workers - while remaining mindful and cautious of cultural appropriation - must incorporate indigenized practices into mainstream programing, crediting the source and disseminating the value of these practices with non-Indigenous families.

Department

Social Work

Faculty Advisor

Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour

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(Re)thinking Reconciliation and Decolonization in Answering Calls to Action: A TRU Social Work Students Reflexive Navigation of Settler Allyships in Secwepemcul'ecw.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada issued multiple calls to action to begin working towards reconciling Indigenous/Settler/Immigrant relations in Canada. Call to Action #5 states “we call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to develop culturally appropriate parenting programs for Aboriginal families” (TRC, 2015). As a social work student in unceded Secwepemc territory and a former Parenting Program Facilitator, I seek to understand why current parenting programs lack culturally restorative practices for Indigenous families. However, creating programs that are specifically and solely for Indigenous populations risks the maintenance of ‘othering’ that underlies ongoing settler colonial encounters. This research will outline three factors that contribute to this: lack of recognition of how historic and intergenerational trauma impacts parenting, how setter-colonialism continues to be embedded in existing parenting programs, and the need to shift the theoretical basis from one of westernized attachment theory to one of indigenized cultural attachment theory. These considerations only begin to address the indigenization of education through such programing. In the spirit of reconciliation and the building of restorative relationships based on equity, ally social workers must recognize and acknowledge the unique benefits of Indigenous knowledges and teachings within these parenting programs. Ally social workers - while remaining mindful and cautious of cultural appropriation - must incorporate indigenized practices into mainstream programing, crediting the source and disseminating the value of these practices with non-Indigenous families.