- Topic: Social Work
How We Come to Know
Indigenous methodologies have been silenced and obscured by the Western scientific means of knowledge production. In a challenge to this colonialist rejection of Indigenous knowledge, Anishinaabe researcher Kathleen Absolon examines the academic work of fourteen Indigenous scholars who utilize Indigenous worldviews in their search for knowing. Through an examination not only of their work but also of their experience in producing that work, Kaandossiwin describes how Indigenous researchers re-theorize and re-create methodologies. Understanding Indigenous methodologies as guided by Indigenous paradigms, worldviews, principles, processes and contexts, Absolon argues that they are wholistic, relational, inter-relational and interdependent with Indigenous philosophies, beliefs and ways of life. In exploring the ways Indigenous researchers use Indigenous methodologies within mainstream academia, Kaandossiwin renders these methods visible and helps to guard other ways of knowing from colonial repression.
Mental Health Recovery in Ontario
Recovery has taken the mental health world by storm. In clinics, hospitals, community organizations and governments across North America and Europe, recovery rhetoric is everywhere. Its message of hope is catchy, its promise of wellness long overdue and its claims (somewhat) substantiated. But where did this new vision for mental health come from and what does it really mean for a system long unbalanced? Focusing on Ontario’s mental health communities, the book is the first to take a critical look at recovery’s talk and texts. Using Foucault’s analyses of discourse, it is also the first to go behind recovery’s rhetoric of hope and responsibility, re-theorizing mental health recovery in Canada.
Stories of Canadian Youth
Youth between sixteen and twenty-four are considered the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in Canada. While much has been written about street engagement and street culture, little attention has been paid to how youth move away from the street. Giving prominence to the voices of the street youth themselves, Leaving the Streets explores the attempts of street youth to exit street life, examining the motivations and challenges, as well as the supports and barriers that aid and hurt the youth through this process. From shelters and programs to mental health and drug use, this book examines the services that are available, and those that should be available, to help street youth find housing, income and the strength needed to start a new life.
An Investigation of Workfare in Ontario
This book is an institutional ethnographic investigation of the Ontario Works program and the problems that it creates in the lives of people on social assistance. Ontario Works is a work-for-welfare program that was implemented in Ontario in 1996 as part of the neoliberal restructuring of the welfare state. The book shows that Ontario Works has not, in reality, been used to help people on assistance and rather has been used as another means of facilitating an attack on them, while providing subsidized and cheap labour for companies and social agencies.
First Peoples Speaking on Adoption
The adoption of Aboriginal children into non-Aboriginal families has a long and contentious history in Canada. Life stories told by First Nations people reveal that the adoption experience has been far from positive for these communities and has, in fact, been an integral aspect of colonization. In an effort to decolonize adoption practices, the Yellowhead Tribal Services Agency (YTSA) in Alberta has integrated customary First Peoples’ adoption practices with provincial adoption laws and regulations. Introducing this unique agency, the authors outline the history of First Nations adoptions and, through an interview with a YTSA Elder, describe the adoption ceremonies offered at YTSA. Themes that emerged from interviews with adoptive parents and youth who have been adopted through this new integrated practice are also explored, and important recommendations for policy and practice in First Nations adoption are offered.
Aboriginal Social Work in Canada
Wícihitowin is the first Canadian social work book written by First Nations, Inuit and Métis authors who are educators at schools of social work across Canada. The book begins by presenting foundational theoretical perspectives that develop an understanding of the history of colonization and theories of decolonization and Indigenist social work. It goes on to explore issues and aspects of social work practice with Indigenous people to assist educators, researchers, students and practitioners to create effective and respectful approaches to social work with diverse populations. Traditional Indigenous knowledge that challenges and transforms the basis of social work with Indigenous and other peoples comprises a third section of the book. Wícihitowin concludes with an eye to the future, which the authors hope will continue to promote the innovations and creativity presented in this groundbreaking work.
Social Action Saving Lives
This book tells a story about community activism in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side (DTES) that culmi-nated in a social justice movement to open the first official safe injection site. This story is unique: it is told from the point of view of drug users – those most affected by drug policy, political decisions and policing. It provides a montage of poetry, photos, early Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) meetings, journal entries from the Back Alley, the “unofficial” safe injection site, and excerpts from significant health and media reports. The harms of prohibition, and resistance, hope, kindness, awakening and collective action are chronicled in these pages.
we have become a community of prophets in the downtown eastside rebuking the system and speaking hope and possibility into situations of apparent impossibility
to raise shit is to actively resist and we resist with our presence with our words with our love with our courage
by Bud Osborn
Women Learning Politics
This book is an empirical account of political learning in social movements based on a study of a women’s movement in Arica, Chile. In the first part of the book the author tells the story of how the women of Arica organized to oppose the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. This gripping narrative, told through the women’s own words and experiences, paints a graphic picture of their courage and determination. The second part focuses on the political learning and educational processes that emerged from this narrative. The author explores three key themes: political consciousness, social movement praxis and how participation in social movements changes lives. She concludes by discussing the role of adult education in social movements. The book is illustrated with images from the struggle.
Indigenous Research Methods
Indigenous researchers are knowledge seekers who work to progress Indigenous ways of being, knowing and doing in a modern and constantly evolving context. This book describes a research paradigm shared by Indigenous scholars in Canada and Australia, and demonstrates how this paradigm can be put into practice. Relationships don’t just shape Indigenous reality, they are our reality. Indigenous researchers develop relationships with ideas in order to achieve enlightenment in the ceremony that is Indigenous research. Indigenous research is the ceremony of maintaining accountability to these relationships. For researchers to be accountable to all our relations, we must make careful choices in our selection of topics, methods of data collection, forms of analysis and finally in the way we present information. I’m an Opaskwayak Cree from northern Manitoba currently living in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, Australia. I’m also a father of three boys, a researcher, son, uncle, teacher, world traveller, knowledge keeper and knowledge seeker. As an educated Indian, I’ve spent much of my life straddling the Indigenous and academic worlds. Most of my time these days is spent teaching other Indigenous knowledge seekers (and my kids) how to accomplish this balancing act while still keeping both feet on the ground.
Nova Scotia’s Mental Health Movement, 1908–2008
For one hundred years, the Canadian Mental Health Association and its antecedent organizations have constituted a major force in the campaign to improve the prospects of people living with mental illness. This book traces the evolution of the movement in Nova Scotia in three stages, from one that sought to protect mentally compromised people, to one that befriended those struggling with mental disabilities and spoke out against discrimination, and finally, to one that advocates for the rights of consumers and respects their need to speak on their own behalf. This journey through the social policy regarding mental health focuses on the individuals who fought stigma, institutionalization and marginalization: activists, bureaucrats, health professionals and consumers. Often with strong views and frequently with compassion, they attacked the problems of indifference with dedication and energy. The result is a history not only of a particular organization, but also of a society’s approach toward some of its most vulnerable constituents.