Journal of Aboriginal Health, Communities in Crisis


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Health Canada collaborated with NAHO to commission 12 research papers on First Nations Communities at-risk and in crisis

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Journal of Aboriginal Health, Communities in Crisis

  1. 1. Journal of Aboriginal Health “ Communities in Crisis” Volume 5 Paulette C. Tremblay, PhD September 9, 2010
  2. 2. First Nation Communities in Crisis <ul><li>Health Canada collaborated with NAHO to commission 12 research papers on First Nations Communities at-risk and in crisis. </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Aboriginal Health : 3 Issues of Vol. 5 Issue 1 – 4 Articles Issue 2 – 4 Articles Issue 3 – 3 Articles </li></ul>
  3. 3. 9 Discussion Papers & 3 Literature Reviews <ul><li>Colonialism & State Dependency </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Safety </li></ul><ul><li>Culture & Language </li></ul><ul><li>Intergenerational Trauma </li></ul><ul><li>Justice & Security </li></ul><ul><li>Resilience </li></ul><ul><li>Self Determination </li></ul><ul><li>Spirituality </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Health & Healing </li></ul><ul><li>Resilience </li></ul><ul><li>Social Capital </li></ul><ul><li>Traumatic Stress </li></ul>
  4. 4. Definition of Crisis <ul><li>Crisis – a community is unable to mobilize its own natural problem-solving and coping skills and needs help to recover. </li></ul><ul><li>A shared history of colonization and its legacy of cultural trauma have put all First Nation communities in Canada at risk of crisis. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Communities & Protective Factors <ul><li>Every First Nation community is different. </li></ul><ul><li>Not all are in crisis–some are very successful. </li></ul><ul><li>Each possesses different protective factors that contribute to their balance & stability. </li></ul><ul><li>Protective factors refer to conditions that build resilience, serve as buffers against risk & may be able to prevent risk. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Language and Culture as Protective Factors for At-Risk Communities Onowa McIvor and Art Napolean November 2009, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.6-25 Literature Review : Examined studies on the use of language or culture and the effects on the health of Aboriginal People.
  7. 7. The Link Between Language and Culture <ul><li>Language is one of the most tangible symbols of culture and group identity </li></ul><ul><li>The loss of language is tied to a deep sense of loss of a group’s identity and culture </li></ul><ul><li>Language is one of the main ways to transfer a culture from one generation to another </li></ul>
  8. 8. Language and Culture as Protective Factors in 6 Linked Themes <ul><li>Connection Between the Land and Health </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Medicine </li></ul><ul><li>Spirituality </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Foods </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul>
  9. 9. Community Resilience: Models, Metaphors and Measures Laurence Kirmayer, Megha Sehdev, Rob Whitley, St éphane Dandeneau & Colette Isaac November 2009, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.62-117 Assessed definitions of resilience,examined links between resilience and social capital, and considered interventions that promote resilience and well-being in Aboriginal communities.
  10. 10. Definition of Resilience <ul><li>Individual resilience – a person’s ability to overcome stress and adversity. </li></ul><ul><li>Community resilience – how people overcome stress by drawing from cultural networks that constitute communities. </li></ul><ul><li>Resilience is a dynamic interaction of individual and collective processes that contribute to adaptability, strength, the ability to surmount obstacles, meet challenges and recover from setbacks. </li></ul><ul><li>Resilience exists at the level of families, groups, communities and larger social systems. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Sources of Aboriginal Community Resilience <ul><li>Connections to family and community–interdependence & caring </li></ul><ul><li>Oral tradition & storytelling–ways to transmit cultural knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Connection to the land, environment & nature </li></ul><ul><li>Healing traditions–paths for personal transformation & conflict resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Ceremony & spirituality-access collective wisdom, humility & being connected </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural knowledge, identity & language </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural continuity-way individual & group moves from past through present to future with hope & possibility </li></ul><ul><li>Collective & political action-tools to challenge oppressive forces to create own future </li></ul>
  12. 12. Ways to Promote Community Resilience <ul><li>Strengthen social capital, networks and support. </li></ul><ul><li>Find ways to revive language, culture and spirituality. </li></ul><ul><li>Support families and parents to ensure healthy child development. </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance local control and group effectiveness. </li></ul><ul><li>Build infrastructure at many levels (buildings, human resources). </li></ul><ul><li>Increase economic opportunity and diversification. </li></ul><ul><li>Increase human diversity. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Traditional Medicine and Restoration of Wellness Strategies Dawn Martin Hill November 2009, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.26-42 Literature Review – Examined traditional medicine and Indigenous knowledge as protective factors for Aboriginal populations and communities.
  14. 14. Factors that Sustain Communities in Crisis <ul><li>Colonialism is the root cause </li></ul><ul><li>Education is a tool for assimilation </li></ul><ul><li>The loss of value and support for women </li></ul><ul><li>The prevalence of youth suicide </li></ul>
  15. 15. Recommendations <ul><li>Traditional knowledge and medicine can be protective factors. </li></ul><ul><li>Indigenous knowledge and traditional healing are keys to empowerment and prevention. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Emerging Themes Across Papers, #1 <ul><li>First Nations community imbalance in all social determinants of health can be traced to colonization as the root cause. </li></ul><ul><li>To deconstruct crisis an Indigenous world-view is essential in knowing how to move forward. </li></ul><ul><li>Take a strengths-based approach: understand resilience and how protective factors work. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Emerging Themes Across Papers, #2 <ul><li>Balance, social determinants and an Indigenous world-view. </li></ul><ul><li>Problem of separate departments and programmatic silos – horizontality. </li></ul><ul><li>Community-Centredness – requires a team approach that is flexible and responsive to needs. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Conclusions <ul><li>Investments in protective factors may promote resilience and increase the likelihood of community success: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>cultural continuity (language, identity, traditional healing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>self-determination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>economic sustainability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>spirituality </li></ul></ul>