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Indigenous housing and health in the Canadian North: Revisiting cultural safety

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Abstract

In this article, I explore the relationship between housing, home and health amongst Indigenous homeless people living in the Canadian North. In particular, I examine the ways in which Indigenous homemaking practices conflict with housing policy, and exacerbate individual pathways to homelessness. I argue that integral components in northern Indigenous conceptualizations of home and, in turn, health are not only unrecognized in housing policy, but actively discouraged. The potential for homemaking to inform health and housing policy speaks to the relevance of cultural safety not only to Indigenous health services, but also to a comprehensive framing of Indigenous health.

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... Though some attempts to disrupt Indigenous cultures are in the past, assimilatory practices continue to exist in Canada in the forms of racism and restrictive housing policies, such as those that limit the number of people living in a space, rental schemes, and the prohibition of ceremonial practices (Alaazi et al., 2015;Blosser et al., 2014;Christensen, 2016;Dawson, 2006). ...
... A key component within Indigenous ideas of housing and homemaking is the importance of relationships with family and community (Alaazi et al., 2015;Christensen, 2016;Lubik & Kosatsky, 2019). One manner through which Indigenous homemaking practices foster this sense of social connection is through what has been labeled by the Western world as 'co-housing'. ...
Article
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Indigenous conceptualizations of home extend beyond the physical and social environments in which a person lives. Home can be conceived as the relationships that connect a person to all that surrounds them including people, plants, animals, insects, and land as well as ancestors, stories, languages, songs, and traditions. These relationships, and the homemaking practices that facilitate them, have direct and significant implications on the health and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples. This article explores the strengths of Indigenous homemaking practices to promote the wellbeing of Indigenous peoples in the settler state of Canada. Through summarizing relevant literature, this paper is an initial step in the reclamation and revitalization of Indigenous homemaking practices.
... By providing an overview of concepts of home and homelessness/houselessness and identifying how these concepts and experiences are unique for Indigenous people's, cultural safety can help promote the development of more Indigenous specific responses to homelessness/house-lessness. Ensuring that service providers have a more comprehensive and inclusive understanding of Indigenous experiences of homelessness/houselessness, as well as the history of colonization in Canada, there is potential for the presence of prejudice and racism to lessen (Christensen, 2016). By first providing an education in Indigenous cultures, worldviews, and experiences of homelessness/houselessness, service providers can undergo the first stage of cultural safety training. ...
... When applying cultural safety to the homeless sector it is important to describe how the effects of colonization have created an over-representation of Indigenous individuals in Canada's homeless population (Christensen, 2016). It is essential to frame Indigenous experiences of homelessness in Canada as a consequence of a colonial context that continually works to negatively impact the lives of Indigenous peoples through social hierarchies, harmful ideologies, and institutions and systems. ...
Technical Report
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This report provides an overview of Winnipeg’s journey to a coordinated housing and homelessness system. End Homelessness Winnipeg, the Community Entity in Winnipeg, has been developing coordination processes for several years and is now at the point of building coordination practices across the entire housing and homelessness system. This process has been grounded in the knowledge from previous research reports and from the lived experience of community members. To further document the journey to a holistic coordinated access system, End Homelessness Winnipeg partnered with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) to develop a program logic model and evaluation framework to guide implementation.
... Social assistance programs further contribute to housing precariousness when a child is taken into the child welfare system, as the family may lose the financial assistance that was helping them to pay for their home [73]. In the Northwest Territories specifically, a single parent living in social housing will be evicted from their home if they lose custody of their child, and there is limited housing available for single adults with no children [74]. These examples of government-mandated requirements that intensify the challenges families are already experiencing have been identified as institutional racism [72]. ...
... 84). Housing represents a key opportunity to address multiple pathways for reconciliation and cultural safety, as the home functions as a central point of convergence for the detrimental psychological, social, and environmental impacts of colonial genocide as well as the connections to family and community that are critical for resilience [74,76,77]. ...
Article
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The policies and actions that were enacted to colonize Indigenous Peoples in Canada have been described as constituting cultural genocide. When one considers the long-term consequences from the perspective of the social and environmental determinants of health framework, the impacts of such policies on the physical and mental health of Indigenous Peoples go well beyond cultural loss. This paper addresses the impacts of key historical and current Canadian federal policies in relation to the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples. Far from constituting a mere lesson in history, the connections between colonialist policies and actions on present-day outcomes are evaluated in terms of transgenerational and intergenerational transmission processes, including psychosocial, developmental, environmental, and neurobiological mechanisms and trauma responses. In addition, while colonialist policies have created adverse living conditions for Indigenous Peoples, resilience and the perseverance of many aspects of culture may be maintained through intergenerational processes.
... To the best of our knowledge, sense of home among Indigenous Peoples has been explored mostly in urban settings, or in the context of homelessness in Canada, and studies have highlighted the relational ontology of Indigenous sense of home (Alaazi et al., 2015;Christensen, 2016;Neale, 2017). 'Feeling at home', from an Indigenous perspective, has been described as a matter of connecting a community together; a practice centered around visiting family and constantly reaffirming the connection to people, and to the culture (Alaazi et al., 2015;Christensen, 2016;Neale, 2017). ...
... To the best of our knowledge, sense of home among Indigenous Peoples has been explored mostly in urban settings, or in the context of homelessness in Canada, and studies have highlighted the relational ontology of Indigenous sense of home (Alaazi et al., 2015;Christensen, 2016;Neale, 2017). 'Feeling at home', from an Indigenous perspective, has been described as a matter of connecting a community together; a practice centered around visiting family and constantly reaffirming the connection to people, and to the culture (Alaazi et al., 2015;Christensen, 2016;Neale, 2017). In a study exploring the ways Inuit women have been adapting to the shift from vernacular dwellings (igluit) to social housing, Collignon (2001) depicts how the forced sedentarization and the collateral drastic change in residential spaces have modified the Inuit culture and identities (Collignon, 2001). ...
Article
This study examines the relationship between living in overcrowded conditions and sense of home among 289 Inuit, the Indigenous population living in the Canadian Arctic. This study was conducted in Nunavut and Nunavik, two of the four Inuit regions in Canada, where the prevalence of overcrowding is six times the national average. Sense of home was derived from the conceptual notion of ontological security, where home is defined as a symbolic place for making claims of cultural identity and belonging. Sense of home was operationalized according to participants’ perception of their home in relation to space, identity, control, privacy, satisfaction, relationships, location, and security. Overcrowding was negatively associated with sense of home. In overcrowded dwellings, fewer women reported positive perceptions of their house with regards to sufficient space, feeling of identity, satisfaction and domestic relationships. Relational and cultural aspects of housing resonate with sense of home and may be particularly interesting to examine as potential mechanisms leading to individual and community wellbeing.
... The distinction made between the functional necessity of being housed and the affective sense of having a home (Padgett, 2007;Rykwert, 1991) is especially relevant to consider in Indigenous contexts given the close relationship between sedentarization and housing provision in colonial history. From a broad Indigenous perspective, 'home' means belonging to culture, land, family, and community; it is a practice centered around visiting family and constantly reaffirming connections to a complex kinship network (Alaazi et al., 2015;Christensen, 2016). Some authors have talked about the 'psychosocial dimension' of housing (Kearns et al., 2011) referring to the 'meaningful' (Dunn, 2000) or 'soft' (Shaw, 2004) aspects associated with the house, or to the ontological security the home conveys, which is to say the sense of being at home or of feeling well in one's dwelling (Padgett, 2007). ...
... Although everyone met at baseline was 'housed', about one third of participants reported having offered shelter in the previous year to someone who had no place to live. This speaks to concern about widespread hidden homelessness across the Canadian Arctic (Christensen, 2016), where extreme climate conditions limit the visible homelessness. ...
Article
One-third of Inuit households in the Canadian Arctic are in core housing need-three times the national average. In 2014–2015, over 400 social housing units were constructed in Nunavik and Nunavut, two of the four Inuit land claims regions in Canada. This article examines whether rehousing, following this large-scale construction commitment, is associated with significant improvements in housing outcomes. People on the waiting list for social housing were recruited in 12 communities in Nunavik and Nunavut. Of the 186 adults who were rehoused, 102 completed the study. Questionnaires were administered 1–6 months before and 15–18 months after rehousing. After rehousing, household crowding, major repairs needed, and thermal discomfort were significantly reduced. The sense of home, including factors such as perceived control, privacy, and identity, improved significantly post-move. Social housing construction significantly improves living conditions in Nunavik and Nunavut. Integration of housing and social policies are needed to maximize benefits of new housing construction and to avoid or mitigate unintended effects.
... An expanded definition of housing security that recognizes complex needs of Indigenous youth may also provide greater context for the need of culturally and contextually relevant solutions for this population. Such a definition relates housing stability with broader social determinants of health to specifically address previously identified barriers to maintaining housing such as cultural safety (Baskin, 2013;Christensen, 2016), safety and personal stability, and providing optional educational and skill development-based programming (Brown et al., 2007). In order to better support the complex needs of Indigenous youth experiencing homelessness, community-driven approaches can prioritize Indigenous-specific needs and provide interventions that may better address such concerns (Browne et al., 2016). ...
Article
There is a high prevalence of Indigenous youth experiencing either precarious housing or homelessness in northwestern Ontario. Given that Indigenous pathways to homelessness can differ from non-Indigenous youth, interventions that address homelessness must also adapt to meet diverse needs. The Housing Outreach Program Collaborative (HOP-C) is a tertiary prevention intervention designed to provide congruent housing and peer and mental health supports for youth experiencing homelessness in Toronto, Ontario. Less is known regarding its adaptability to adequately serve Indigenous youth in northwestern Ontario. This study assessed the preliminary effectiveness and feasibility of an adaptation of the HOP-C North program for transitional aged Indigenous youth exiting homelessness in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Participants completed premeasures (n = 15) and postmeasures (n = 8) as well as qualitative interviews regarding their experiences in the program. Qualitative interviews were also conducted with staff (n = 14) engaged in implementing the program. After completing the HOP-C North program, participants reported improvements in a number of outcomes, including increased educational enrolment, attainment of employment, reduced hospitalizations, and increased engagement in clinical mental health services. Specific program aspects that participants found helpful included increased program flexibility, accessibility, emphasis on relationships, relevance of programming, fostering participant autonomy, and an adaptive approach to program implementation. These findings suggest that the HOP-C North model, when adapted, is a helpful program for Indigenous youth.
... The social and psychological factors encompass the living arrangement and the experience of community living such as neighborhood environments, forging relationships with neighbors, security, and belongingness. The association between housing environments and depressive symptoms has been investigated in several studies, particularly in urban areas [18,19]. Some previous studies have shown the relationship between urban housing environments and mental health [20]. ...
Article
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Physical housing environment and living arrangements are significant determinants of health, particularly in developing countries, although results are mixed. We conducted this study to examine the gender differences in geriatric depressive symptoms in rural China, and further explored the influence of housing environments and living arrangements on depressive symptoms. The data used for this study were from the third wave of the nationally representative China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) survey in 2015; a total of 2056 females and 2529 males were included in this study. According to the analysis findings, 46.15% of the respondents had depressive symptoms based on the CES-D, with a statistically significant gender difference of 54.32% in females and 39.50% in males. Logistic Regression findings identified that with regard to the items of physical housing environments, toilets without seats (OR = 1.349) and the unavailability of bathing facilities (OR = 1.469) were statistically associated with depressive symptoms among male participants, whereas for female participants the use of polluting fuels (OR = 1.248) and living arrangements (i.e., living with children, OR = 1.430) was statistically associated with depressive symptoms. Statistically significant gender differences were found for having shower or bath facilities and our findings underscored that physical housing environments and living arrangements were associated with depressive symptoms for both genders. Moreover, the study revealed that a slight gender difference exists in terms of geriatric depression in rural China. Females are more likely to become depressed than their male counterparts with the same characteristics.
... Decolonial thought and Indigenous geographies are at the forefront of reshaping this knowledge, and Sarah Hunt's (Hunt 2014, Hunt andHolmes 2015) scholarship and compelling lectures are key examples of work that demands centering different questions and destabilizing the presuppositions embedded in settler-colonial knowledge production. Likewise, the work of Julia Christensen (2012Christensen ( , 2016 and Heather Castleden (Kershaw, Castleden, and Laroque 2014) is critical to understanding the issues facing northern (especially Indigenous) communities, and it is equally significant for making interventions in ethical and collaborative research practice (see also http://heclab.com/). I am equally captivated by the re-mappings of the field, particularly as undertaken by scholars who bring together seemingly distant relations: for instance, Nalini Mohabir (2017) combines postcolonial and historical geographies with archives and art to rethink time, belonging, identity, and indentured labour. ...
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In this country report, I offer a resident-outsider’s perspective on the recent history and current landscape of Canadian feminist geography. I highlight the institutional framework that showcases Canadian feminist geography: the Suzanne Mackenzie Memorial Lectures, the biennial events put on at the Canadian Association of Geographers meeting with the support of the Canadian Women and Geography Study Group/Groupe d'étude sur les femmes et la géographie (CWAG). I discuss recent community-building efforts, including the Great Lakes Feminist Geography Collective, and scholarly workshops, and point to the creative outputs that have emerged from these collective workspaces. I point to a variety of Canadian feminist geographers who have laid the groundwork for the diverse field that exists today, as well as some who are re-making the field through the use of other ontological and methodological frameworks. I conclude with a commentary on the importance of community- and alliance-building, especially in the face of challenges like structural injustice, generational transition, and even physical distance.
... Cultural safety is the understanding of colonization, colonial relationships, and power dynamics as they apply to individuals' health care or research experiences (Darroch et al., 2017;National Aboriginal Health Organization, 2008). It is an approach to health policies, programs, and services that aims to disrupt the power imbalances between researchers/practitioners/programmers and clients, to understand their influence on participants' day-to-day lives, and to ensure that these professionals respect and acknowledge participants' contextual, cultural, historical, and social experiences (Christensen, 2016;Fulcher, 2001;Giles, Hognestad, & Brooks, 2015). As a result, this approach to research and practice recognizes Indigenous peoples' culture (Smye & Browne, 2002). ...
Article
RÉSUMÉ La théorie postcoloniale a été utilisée dans cette étude pour identifier les recommandations actuelles en matière de prévention des chutes qui sont proposées par les programmeurs locaux en prévention des chutes (PLPC), afin de réduire les taux de chutes chez les aînés inuvialuits à Inuvik, dans les Territoires du Nord-Ouest (Canada), et en vue de comprendre comment co-créer avec les participants des programmes de prévention des chutes qui soient culturellement sûrs pour les aînés inuvialuits. Les résultats ont montré que les aînés inuvialuits et les PLPC à Inuvik recommandent d’ajouter aux programmes existants des évaluations et des modifications environnementales, de l’activité physique et de la formation pour les aînés et les soignants. Pour que les programmes de prévention des chutes soient culturellement sûrs, les aînés considéraient aussi que ces programmes devraient inclure les stratégies suivantes : établir des liens de confiance et des relations au sein de la communauté, intégrer des interventions autochtones et non autochtones dans ces programmes, et assurer une formation sur les pratiques culturellement sécuritaires.
... Causal associations between suitable housing environments and positive physical and mental health, and inappropriate housing environments and poor physical and mental health, has transcended a focus on basic housing and sanitary conditions to more complex direct and indirect influencers; including housing policy, housing location, neighborhood characteristics (i.e., physical accessibility; socioeconomic conditions), affordability, tenancy (i.e., who people live with), tenure security, and access to social and employment networks, educational opportunities, transportation systems, services (i.e., shopping; banking; health care facilities) and public resources (i.e., parks; museums; libraries) [1][2][3][4][5][6][7]. Further, causal associations between housing and health/wellbeing have been linked to multiple population groups; for example, children [8,9], adults [10,11], people from developed and developing nations [12], different geographical areas (i.e., urban, regional, remote locations) [11,13], a range of cultures [14,15], able-bodied populations [8,10], and people with diverse health conditions and impairments [16,17]. Despite this well-established, multifaceted link between housing and health/wellbeing, individuals with an acquired brain injury (ABI) or spinal cord injury (SCI) incur significant housing challenges [18][19][20]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This research aimed to synthesize housing supports funded by 20 major insurance-based schemes for Australians with an acquired brain injury (ABI) or spinal cord injury (SCI). Publicly available grey literature (i.e., primary information from respective scheme websites) was systematically reviewed and compared. There were notable differences between the different scheme types (disability vs. workers compensation schemes) and across different States. Collectively, scheme funding was more likely to be focused on housing infrastructure and service delivery, than on tenancy support. Australians who are least likely to benefit from the current funding context are those whose home cannot be reasonably modified, are wanting to build or purchase a new home, do not have suitable, alternative short- or long-term housing options if their current home is not feasible, require support to maintain occupancy of their home or financial assistance to move into a new home, may benefit from case management services, family supports, and assistance animals, and/or cannot afford their rent or home loan repayments. Several interactions, inconsistencies, contradictions, and gaps that warrant further attention were also revealed. This review has highlighted the need for policy makers to provide transparent information about housing entitlements for individuals with ABI or SCI, and their families. A unified, evidence-based framework to guide the funding of housing and housing support services may increase the consistency of interventions available to people with ABI or SCI and, therefore, improve outcomes.
... Few research studies addressed the problem of Indigenous housing in Canada. For instance, Christensen [27] investigated the correlation between housing and health among Indigenous homeless persons in Canada's north. The way Indigenous homemaking practices clash with housing legislation and aggravate homelessness is studied. ...
Conference Paper
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The sustainability of housing is a main issue in the modern world. The United Nations has espoused sustainable development goals to ensure that the resources are applied appropriately and that society can increase. This research will not only contribute to the general goal of sustainability for societal benefit but also improve the sustainability and preservation of Indigenous housing. The major objective of this study is to review the homelessness problem and current housing problems for Indigenous communities of Canada's north. In Canada, a disproportionate number of Indigenous people are homeless, a problem that is particularly acute in the country's north. Furthermore, Indigenous people in Canada live in households with varying locations, conditions, and compositions. These housing stocks face serious challenges because of multiple interconnected factors, such as past colonization, geographic constraints/remoteness, housing policies, and unsustainable housing schemes. Finally, this research presents a framework for dealing with this critical housing problem.
... Single women who experience homelessness have been referred to as "self-managed" (Robinson & Searby, 2005, p. 16) because they often manage their situation on their own and avoid presenting at services until they have no other option. We also know that Indigenous populations are an important part of a growing and often hidden homelessness problem (Christensen, 2016;Peters & Christensen, 2016;Schwan et al., 2020), and that there is too little information on Indigenous and women of color who are especially vulnerable to homelessness. Importantly, the hidden nature of homelessness, combined with colonialism, racism and sexism, mean that there are often insufficient resources to address the problem, prolonging their experiences of homelessness and its risks, and increasing the long-term effects on health and well-being, which may include further trauma, mental health problems, exhaustion and more (Gessler et al., 2011;Mayock et al., 2015;Watson et al., 2016). ...
Article
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We identify key issues for housing researchers, practitioners, and advocates working in the United States and Canada to consider, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and far beyond. First, we draw upon feminist and intersectional literatures on gendered inequalities and social structures, which provide the often forgotten or overlooked context for women’s experiences in housing. This includes the broader insight that too frequently, women have not been involved in shaping the policy and planning climate around housing, even as they disproportionately are affected by them. Second, we describe women’s housing-related precarity and some of its implications, grounding this research in a political economic critique of the way that housing and resources are allocated and the neoliberal climate that values profit over people and that has induced instability for many women in so many communities. We conclude by offering examples of organizations and initiatives that work to address the disparities identified herein. Throughout the paper, we emphasize the need for intersectional and interdisciplinary collaborations (for example, among queer, anti-racist, feminist, political economic, and other scholars) that engage with complexity and orient toward equity and justice.
... Paul Sylvestre and colleagues interrogate how settler colonial geographies and yearnings towards 'innocence' shape how educators in a Canadian medical school grapple with race and Indigenous difference (Sylvestre et al., 2019). Julia Christensen (2016) demonstrates how social policy is a contemporary colonial tool. She illuminates how ignoring cultural differences and Indigenous understandings about homelessness, health and housing means policy actors and researchers fail to adequately frame the issues. ...
Article
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Cultural safety means transforming systems and practices to enable different ways of knowing, providing a shift in our lens of inquiry – so that it includes privilege and advantage as well as the more common foci of disadvantage and exclusion. It is almost three decades since Isabel Dyck and Robin Kearns asserted the need to address these issues in health geography. Given the length of time that has passed since their suggestion, in this report, I pick up their challenge around cultural safety in relation to health geographies and explore how far we have come. In doing so, I highlight recent health geography work which exemplifies this individually and systemically transformative approach. I focus on how understanding and addressing privilege offers a helpful sensitising framework for health geographies and point to the barriers and the opportunities embracing this approach offer.
... In Nunavut, the term cultural humility is preferred. Resources have been created to support health care providers, including a mandatory course [74]; a smartphone application called HEALTH NU designed to improve cultural competence among Nunavut's health care practitioners, [with all components identified and written by community members, 75]; a set of online modules for healthcare practitioners working with Inuit children [76]; as well as an emerging body of literature and resources to support further development [77][78][79][80][81]. Finally, Section 6 of the Nunavut Public Health Act outlines specifically how the public health system of Nunavut is to be based on Inuit Societal values [82]. ...
Article
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Circumpolar Indigenous populations continue to experience dramatic health inequities when compared to their national counterparts. The objectives of this study are first, to explore the space given in the existing literature to the concepts of cultural safety and cultural competence, as it relates to Indigenous peoples in Circumpolar contexts; and second, to document where innovations have emerged. We conducted a review of the English, Danish, Norwegian, Russian and Swedish Circumpolar health literature focusing on Indigenous populations. We include research related to Alaska (USA); the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavik and Labrador (Canada); Greenland; Sápmi (northmost part of Sweden, Norway, and Finland); and arctic Russia. Our results show that the concepts of cultural safety and cultural competence (cultural humility in Nunavut) are widely discussed in the Canadian literature. In Alaska, the term relationship-centred care has emerged, and is defined broadly to encompass clinician-patient relationships and structural barriers to care. We found no evidence that similar concepts are used to inform service delivery in Greenland, Nordic countries and Russia. While we recognise that healthcare innovations are often localised, and that there is often a lapse before localised innovations find their way into the literature, we conclude that the general lack of attention to culturally safe care for Sámi and Greenlandic Inuit is somewhat surprising given Nordic countries’ concern for the welfare of their citizens. We see this as an important gap, and out of step with commitments made under United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We call for the integration of cultural safety (and its variants) as a lens to inform the development of health programs aiming to improve Indigenous in Circumpolar countries.
... National and regional health surveys have reported significant associations between poor housing quality, household overcrowding and mental distress among Inuit [4][5][6]. However, the lived experiences of such housing conditions and their implications for mental well-being have rarely been explored from an Inuit perspective, with few exceptions [7][8][9] and never in the context of a housing intervention. Between 2015 and 2018, over 300 public housing in Canada. ...
Article
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This study explores the ways in which a rehousing intervention shapes the mental well-being of Inuit adults living in Nunavut, Canada, where the prevalence of core housing need is four times the national average. More specifically, it compares the housing experiences of participants who were rehoused in a newly built public housing unit, to the experiences of participants on the public housing waitlist. The study was developed in collaboration with organizations based in Nunavut and Nunavik. Semi-structured interviews were transcribed, and a deductive-inductive thematic analysis was performed based on Gidden’s concept of ontological security, and Inuit-specific mental health conceptualization. Twenty-five Inuit adults participated (11 rehoused, 14 waitlist). Three themes were identified to describe how the subjective housing experiences of participants improved their mental well-being after rehousing: (1) refuge creation; (2) self-determination and increased control; (3) improved family dynamics and identity repair. Implicit to these themes are the contrasting housing experiences of participants on the waitlist. Construction initiatives that increase public housing stock and address gaps in the housing continuum across Inuit regions could promote well-being at a population level. However, larger socio-economic problems facing Inuit may hamper beneficial processes stemming from such interventions.
... The participating men also spoke about the power of art, creativity and reciprocity to support community building, and to facilitate the building and sustaining of positive identities and relationships, through the creation and donation of art (Brown & Timler, 2019). While we did not study Work 2 Give as a 'desistance' intervention or practice, our results confirmed how focusing on the strengths and talents -rather than deficits -of incarcerated men, and creating opportunities for reciprocity through relationships with communities, provided a powerful context for men to have their worth recognized, feel hopeful, and experience a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives; all of which are factors associated with desistance (Maruna & Mann, 2019;Rocque, 2017 (Browne, Varcoe, & Ward, 2021; Turpel-Lafound (Aki-Kwe), 2020), education (Milne & Wotherspoon, 2020;Neeganagwedgin, 2013), and housing sectors (Christensen, 2016;National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health, 2017). Together, the evidence of potential benefit through the initiation of A.R.T & Justice to support positive impact for incarcerated Indigenous peoples was compelling, both within the wider colonial Canadian and emergent pandemic contexts (Brewster, 2015;Brown, 2018;Brown et al., 2017;Gardner, Hager, & Hillman, 2014;Martin, Korchinski, Fels, & Leggo, 2014). ...
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Ecotherapy and gardening have gained popularity in corrections, with most interventions focusing on prison settings. This paper briefly describes the authors’ experiences developing a gardening program in a community corrections facility for women, describing a pilot research program and preliminary results. Findings indicate that gardening is an effective, low-cost programming option for community residential settings that improve clients’ mental health and nutritional awareness, fosters community partnerships, and promotes camaraderie among clients and staff.
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While the recorded presence of Indigenous Inuit peoples in larger, southern cities dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, this number has sharply grown since the early 1980s in Montreal and other major metropolitan areas. Yet high rent, low rental vacancies, and a lack of credit history can lead to Native individuals being unable to secure housing, leading to the rise of 'hidden homelessness,' where Native individuals utilize expanded networks to live with others—sometimes a dozen or more—in a single flat or home. The article broaches the psychological and emotional consequences of hidden homelessness and identifies further areas for study.
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Background: Cultural safety has the potential to improve the health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians, yet practical applications of the concept are lacking in the literature. Purpose: This study aims to identify the key components of culturally safe health initiatives for the Indigenous population of Canada to refine its application in health-care settings. Methods: We conducted a scoping review of the literature pertaining to culturally safe health promotion programs, initiatives, services, or care for the Indigenous population in Canada. Our initial search yielded 501 publications, but after full review of 44 publications, 30 were included in the review. After charting the data, we used thematic analysis to identify themes in the data. Results: We identified six themes: collaboration/partnerships, power sharing, address the broader context of the patient's life, safe environment, organizational and individual level self-reflection, and training for health-care providers. Conclusion: While it is important to recognize that the provision of culturally safe initiatives depend on the specific interaction between the health-care provider and the patient, having a common understanding of the components of cultural safety, such as those that we identified through this research, will help in the transition of cultural safety from theory into practice.
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In 2007, Canada was the third-largest producer of diamonds in the world. Marketed as ethical alternatives to “blood diamonds,” Canadian gemstones are said to go beyond basic “conflict-free” designations by providing northern Indigenous peoples with high-wage work and training. Th is article makes two connected points. First, it describes how the ethics of diamond mining are connected to the uneasy management of people groomed to do extractive work. Second, following the development and delivery of job training programs for Indigenous people over the course of the financial crisis of 2008-2009, this article reveals how mandatory “soft skills” courses attempt to adjust would-be worker speech to meet corporate norms in ways that were essential in maintaining the ethical sign value of subarctic stones.
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Resettlement can be an uncertain time for refugees as they have often suffered life-threatening circumstances prior to flight from their countries, yet few resettlement programs screen for mental health. The purpose of this study was to pilot the Refugee Health Screener-15 (RHS-15) to assess mental health and the Pathways to Wellness intervention to identify internal and structural barriers affecting resettlement with a refugee woman's sewing group. Community collaborations that create healthy social and physical environments through access to resources, economic opportunities, and social support promote a holistic approach to health and can improve quality of life for this vulnerable population.
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Aboriginal children's well-being is vital to the health and success of our future nations. Addressing persistent and current Aboriginal health inequities requires considering both the contexts in which disparities exist and innovative and culturally appropriate means of rectifying those inequities. The present article contextualizes Aboriginal children's health disparities, considers 'determinants' of health as opposed to biomedical explanations of ill health and concludes with ways to intervene in health inequities. Aboriginal children experience a greater burden of ill health compared with other children in Canada, and these health inequities have persisted for too long. A change that will impact individuals, communities and nations, a change that will last beyond seven generations, is required. Applying a social determinants of health framework to health inequities experienced by Aboriginal children can create that change.
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Indigenous peoples are overrepresented in homeless populations in many countries. As part of a larger ethnographic project, this case study draws upon interviews and photoelicitation projects with a homeless Māori woman, Ariā. The actions of this Māori woman exemplify how Indigenous cultural practices can shape a person’s efforts to retain a positive sense of self and place while homeless. Māori cultural concepts relating to caring, leadership, unity, relationships, spirituality, history and place provide a basis for interpreting Ariā’s actions. This article demonstrates the appropriateness of cultural concepts indigenous to a group for conducting ethnographic research into homelessness within that group.
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This article analyses housing provision for Indigenous populations in remote communities, focusing particularly on the Indigenous Australian population. It uses a 'best practice' framework to do this. It then develops a model of best practice which is used to evaluate remote area Indigenous housing in terms of four stages and six components of housing provision. After summarising the results of the application of the model to some 26 examples, with more detailed analysis of two of them, it reaches conclusions about elements of best practice in remote area Indigenous housing, about best practice methodology and about the wider applicability of the model.
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This paper considers the effectiveness of Housing First and its appli- cability to the European context. Housing First approaches explicitly incorporate secure tenures as an intrinsic part of support packages for homeless people who have mental health and substance misuse problems. We contend that the evidence from the growing body of research in North America makes a compel- ling argument for the explicit incorporation of housing at an early stage as an effective means of addressing homelessness. The North American studies suggest that even those who might be considered most difficult to house can, with help, successfully maintain their own tenancies. Evidence suggests no deleterious effects on mental health or increased drug misuse and indeed, possibly some benefits. Economic analysis also demonstrates advantages, the cost of providing support to people in Housing First programmes being consid- erably less than if they were to remain homeless. The introduction of a Housing First approach, however, is by no means a simple philosophy that can be applied everywhere. Rather, local contexts will require some tailoring to meet local needs. Research is therefore needed to highlight obstacles to implementation and means by which these can be overcome. Furthermore, housing on its own is not a solution. Rather, having a secure tenure has to be seen as a part of an integrated support package.
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This study compares child welfare services provided to Aboriginal (Indian) and Caucasian children in Canada. The findings suggest that child welfare reports involving Aboriginal children are more likely to be classified as suspected or substantiated than reports for Caucasian children. Aboriginal children also are twice as likely to be placed in foster care. This overrepresentation in out-of-home placement is explained statistically by socioeco-nomic, child, parent, and maltreatment characteristics. In addition, these variables play a significant role in accounting for higher rates of case substantiation among Aboriginal children. These factors may reflect the multiple disadvantages experienced by Aboriginal families.
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Public policy practices in the Canadian North, particularly those connected to housing and employment, are encouraging a reorganization of Inuit social organization to more closely resemble the insular and independent nuclear family household idealized by Eurocanadians. This has wide-ranging implications for the social stability of northern communities without sufficient employment opportunities. The paper examines the symbolic and structural effects of housing policies and employment on culturally valued social practices such as sharing in Holman, a community in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories of Canada.
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The concept of cultural safety arose from the colonial context of New Zealand society. In response to the poor health status of Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, and their insistence that service delivery change profoundly, nursing has begun a process of self examination and change in nursing education, prompted by Maori nurses. Nursing and midwifery organizations moved to support this initiative as something which spoke truly of nursing and New Zealand society. Cultural safety became a requirement for nursing and midwifery courses in 1992. But its introduction into nursing education has been controversial. It became highly publicized in the national media, and the role and function of the Nursing Council of New Zealand was questioned. This paper discusses the New Zealand experience of introducing cultural safety into nursing education. Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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Vicki Smye and Annette Browne explore the exportability of the concept of 'cultural safety' from the healthcare literature in New Zealand to inform an analysis of mental health policy discourse affecting aboriginal communities in British Columbia, Canada. The moral issues raised are, they suggest, ones that nurses in research, policy and practice must attend to when providing health care to marginalised, disenfranchised populations.
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We examined the longitudinal effects of a Housing First program for homeless, mentally ill individuals' on those individuals' consumer choice, housing stability, substance use, treatment utilization, and psychiatric symptoms. Two hundred twenty-five participants were randomly assigned to receive housing contingent on treatment and sobriety (control) or to receive immediate housing without treatment prerequisites (experimental). Interviews were conducted every 6 months for 24 months. The experimental group obtained housing earlier, remained stably housed, and reported higher perceived choice. Utilization of substance abuse treatment was significantly higher for the control group, but no differences were found in substance use or psychiatric symptoms. Participants in the Housing First program were able to obtain and maintain independent housing without compromising psychiatric or substance abuse symptoms.
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Health disparities are, first and foremost, those indicators of a relative disproportionate burden of disease on a particular population. Health inequities point to the underlying causes of the disparities, many if not most of which sit largely outside of the typically constituted domain of "health". The literature reviewed for this synthesis document indicates that time and again health disparities are directly and indirectly associated with social, economic, cultural and political inequities; the end result of which is a disproportionate burden of ill health and social suffering upon the Aboriginal populations of Canada. In analyses of health disparities, it is as important to navigate the interstices between the person and the wider social and historical contexts as it is to pay attention to the individual effects of inequity. Research and policy must address the contemporary realities of Aboriginal health and well-being, including the individual and community-based effects of health disparities and the direct and indirect sources of those disparities.
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This paper reports on the first wave of results from a study exploring the views and experiences of community-based stakeholders on improving care for pregnant and parenting Aboriginal people in Canada. The issue of poor access to prenatal care by Aboriginal women and families is viewed through a post-colonial lens within a historical and social location. This case study was guided by participatory research principles. Data were collected through exploratory interviews and small-group discussions. The sample comprised purposively selected community leaders, providers, and community members affiliated with 2 Aboriginal health-care organizations in a mainly rural region. Participants from all 3 stakeholder groups expressed the view that care should be based on an understanding of the priorities and experiences of the pregnant and parenting Aboriginal women and families themselves. Therefore the research question What are Aboriginal parents' views of the importance of pregnancy and parenting? was added to highlight the views and life experiences of Aboriginal parents. "Turning around" the intergenerational impact of residential schools was identified as pivotal to care. The results suggest that pregnancy and parenting must be understood as reflecting both the unique individual and family experiences of Aboriginal people and the intergenerational impact of residential schools as an instrument of collective violence and as a key factor in Aboriginal Canadians' inequitable health status and access to health services.
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Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand consistently place near the top of the United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Index (HDI) rankings, yet all have minority Indigenous populations with much poorer health and social conditions than non-Indigenous peoples. It is unclear just how the socioeconomic and health status of Indigenous peoples in these countries has changed in recent decades, and it remains generally unknown whether the overall conditions of Indigenous peoples are improving and whether the gaps between Indigenous peoples and other citizens have indeed narrowed. There is unsettling evidence that they may not have. It was the purpose of this study to determine how these gaps have narrowed or widened during the decade 1990 to 2000. Census data and life expectancy estimates from government sources were used to adapt the Human Development Index (HDI) to examine how the broad social, economic, and health status of Indigenous populations in these countries have changed since 1990. Three indices - life expectancy, educational attainment, and income - were combined into a single HDI measure. Between 1990 and 2000, the HDI scores of Indigenous peoples in North America and New Zealand improved at a faster rate than the general populations, closing the gap in human development. In Australia, the HDI scores of Indigenous peoples decreased while the general populations improved, widening the gap in human development. While these countries are considered to have high human development according to the UNDP, the Indigenous populations that reside within them have only medium levels of human development. The inconsistent progress in the health and well-being of Indigenous populations over time, and relative to non-Indigenous populations, points to the need for further efforts to improve the social, economic, and physical health of Indigenous peoples.
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The recent debate about cultural safety highlights the distance between those who seek to retain the practices and values of a colonial past, and those who want to proceed to a post-colonial future. In the present case, the latter group have attempted to alter the education of some health professionals, nurses, by offering a critical understanding of colonial structures and their effects, and by providing an alternative that centres on ethnic sensitivity. In most respects, it has been a modest innovation in nursing education in terms of meeting the goal of tino rangatiratanga in health delivery services for iwi. But the opposition that began in 1992 in Metro Magazine and which reached something of a crescendo from mid-1993 illustrates the reluctance of important sectors of the community to even consider such modest changes an improvement. Indeed, the reverse is the case. Cultural safety has become defined as a politically inspired campaign of subversion which represents the agenda of extremism....
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Dans son classique Esssai sur les variations saisonnieres des societes Eskimos, Marcel Mauss a demontre qu’un fort rapport existe entre l’organisation spatiale des formes traditionnelles des maisons des Inuit et la morphologie sociale des familles qu’elles abritent. Ces observations devancent les ouvrages plus recents en anthropologie qui examinent comment des processus culturels sont refletes dans, et soutenus par, l’environnement bâti. De telles idees sont importantes en considerant les effets des programmes de logement d’apres-guerre sur des familles inuit de l’Arctique canadien. Durant les annees 60, des tentatives ont ete faites pour restructurer les habitudes des familles inuit par des cours en economie domestique et par l’architecture euro-canadienne. Cependant, des observations ethnographiques recentes de menages inuit indiquent que beaucoup continuent a utiliser leurs maisons de manieres traditionnelles. De cette facon, les familles inuit essayent de s’adapter a des habitations concues autour de concepts du menage et de la vie familiale provenant d’une autre culture. Les idees de Mauss sont donc un rappel poignant qu’il faut tenir compte des facteurs culturels en developpant la politique du logement autochtone.
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Over the past decade, intergenerational trauma as an explanation for the array of social conditions that exist within Aboriginal communities has been put forward by a number of researchers. This study explored the family histories of 21 Aboriginal men at a homeless shelter, seeking links between personal homelessness and intergenerational trauma. The indicators of intergenerational trauma within four domains are synthesized in the Intergenerational Trauma Model. Recognizing that the healing of intergenerational trauma at the individual level must include family, community and nation, traditional Aboriginal healing practices including healing circles, sweat- lodge, fasting, vision quest and other ceremonies can augment mainstream interventions and motivate the individual to further explore their deep rooted pain. Healing within the intergenerational trauma framework is a slow complicated process and is a difficult journey both for the therapist and the client.
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Much of what is known of street homelessness is informed by accounts from urban centres throughout North America and the UK. The nature of the problem and the ways in which it is addressed are implicitly assumed to be similar across diverse major cities. The street homeless are thought to be highly marginalised and vulnerable. In turn, contemporary policy aims to provide housing/accommodation and welfare to address this form of homelessness as deep exclusion. Based on empirical research in Australia's northernmost capital city, Darwin, this article demonstrates the role of culture in how homelessness is experienced and addressed. It argues that cultural mobility and modes of behaviour that normalise rough sleeping are embedded within condoned poverty and discriminatory legislation directed towards Indigenous people. Indigenous people are constructed as out of place in urban environments and rather than housing and welfare, the focus is directed towards moving the problem.
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A scoping review was carried out to investigate the prevalence and causes of urban homelessness among Indigenous peoples in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Relevant information was sought from both academic and grey literatures. Data on prevalence were sourced from homeless count reports. Analysis reveals Indigenous peoples are consistently over-represented within urban homeless populations, often by a factor of 5 or more. Literature addressing causation is limited, with just 35 relevant studies identified. These were reviewed to build a thematic and contextual account of urban Indigenous homelessness. Eight key themes were evident, which encompass different cultural understandings of housing and mobility, as well as complex and often traumatic relationships between settler states and Indigenous peoples. Individually and collectively, these factors greatly complicate Indigenous peoples' access to safe, affordable and adequate urban housing. Broad similarities between the three case study countries suggest opportunities for further comparative research as well as policy transfer.
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Visible homelessness in the Northwest Territories, Canada is often described as a recent phenomenon by policy makers and the popular media alike. Indeed, since the late 1990s, homeless shelters in Yellowknife and Inuvik report a steady increase in demand for beds and other support for homeless people. Homelessness in these two communities disproportionately affects Aboriginal northerners, however little is known about their individual pathways to homelessness. Moreover, homelessness in the Northwest Territories is often portrayed as an issue confined to larger “urbanizing” regional centres, yet many homeless Aboriginal northerners have originated from small, rural settlement communities. Despite this, little concern has been paid to how factors at the small community level intersect with more visible forms of homelessness in larger, urban centres, not to mention how these intersections shape a territorial geography of homelessness. In this article, I aim to uncover and explore the often hidden factors at the northern rural settlement level that ultimately contribute to more visible forms of homelessness in northern urban centres. I suggest that uneven and fragmented social, institutional, and economic geographies result in a unique landscape of vulnerability to homelessness in the Northwest Territories. This geography emerges through the production of particular dynamics between rural settlement communities and northern urban centres. In particular, four main factors represent these rural-urban dynamics: 1) the attractions of opportunity in northern urban centres; 2) rural settlement-urban institutional flows; 3) chronic housing need in the settlements; and, 4) disintegrating social relationships in the settlements. I explore the particular ways in which these factors influence rural-urban migration among the homeless population and what roles this mobility plays in individual pathways to homelessness.
Article
In this article, I examine the sociocultural dimensions of Indigenous home and homelessness through a case study of increasing visible homelessness in two northern Canadian communities. Drawing on five years of ethnographic research on Indigenous homelessness in Yellowknife and Inuvik, two regional centres in the Northwest Territories (NWT), Canada, I suggest that Indigenous experiences of homelessness are at once collective and immediate. In particular, I draw on the concept of ‘spiritual homelessness’ (Keys Young 1998) to examine the multiple scales of homelessness experienced among northern Indigenous people. Research participants highlight several key elements of rapid sociocultural change that have an enduring impact on a collective sense of home and belonging, and play integral roles in shaping the experiences of homeless Indigenous people. Social and material exclusion, breakdowns in family and community, detachment from cultural identity, intergenerational trauma and institutionalisation are all woven throughout the personal narratives of homelessness articulated by research participants. I argue that the alleviation of Indigenous homelessness in the NWT depends on a decolonising agenda that specifically addresses contemporary colonial geographies and their expressions in the key institutions in Indigenous peoples' lives.
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Policy initiatives in remote Indigenous Australia aim to improve Indigenous health and well-being, and reduce homelessness. But they have raised controversy because they impinge on Indigenous aspirations to remain on homeland communities, require mainstreaming of Indigenous housing and transfer Indigenous land to the state. This paper uses recognition theory to argue that if policies of normalization are imposed on remote living Indigenous people in ways that take insufficient account of their cultural realities they may be experienced as a form of misrecognition and have detrimental policy effects. The paper examines the responses of remote living Indigenous people to the National Partnerships at the time of their introduction in 2009–2010. Drawing on interview and administrative data from a national study on Indigenous population mobility, the paper argues although the policies have been welcomed, they have also been a source of anxiety and anger. These feelings are associated with a sense of violated justice arising from experiences of misrecognition. The paper argues this can lead tenants to depart their homes as a culturally sanctioned form of resistance to state control. This population mobility is associated with homelessness because it takes place in the context of housing exclusion. Policy implications include developing new models of intercultural professional practice and employing a capacity-building approach to local Indigenous organisations.
Article
This article provides a comparative perspective on homelessness in Canada and New Zealand, with a focus on three urban regions. It seeks to document homeless numbers in the chosen cities, to evaluate the utility of counting the homeless, and to identify common and divergent approaches in homelessness policy. Research involved document analysis, key informant interviews, and participant observation. Literal homelessness is found to be several orders of magnitude higher in the Canadian cities. In one of the Canadian centers, suburban homelessness is emerging as a significant phenomenon. Efforts to count the homeless allow such trends to be tentatively quantified, and inform policymaking. Policy differences between the countries are stark: Canadian cities are seeking to respond to an emergency, which may call for a radical change of approach in the form of "housing first." In New Zealand, a national program of social housing, combined with cultural factors, reduces pressure to act.
Article
This study examines the role of rural reserves in the mobility strategies of First Nations homeless participants, who were interviewed in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, a town in Canada's central prairie province. Although increasing attention is being paid to homelessness in rural areas, existing geographic work on homeless mobility has provided little in the way of a framework for identifying the paths homeless people take through different urban and rural places. Reserves are places where First Nations (indigenous) people have unique rights and/or residency. Created through colonial legislation, the expectation was that reserves would disappear as First Nations people were assimilated. However, colonialism shaped reserves as places of poverty, poor housing, and economic disadvantage, but they also became places where First Nations experienced family connections and where they had some special rights. Our research showed that many First Nations people interviewed in the city had reserves as origins or destinations in their mobility paths in the year and a half prior to the interview. Circumstances on reserves led individuals to move elsewhere, but lack of resources and the desire to maintain social connections led them back. The results show the ongoing effects of colonial history on homeless people's lives. They also indicate the importance of studying the geographic pattern and scale of homeless individuals' mobility patterns.
Article
The right to adequate and affordable housing was pursued in Canadian policy during the 1970s and 1980s. The right of self-determination has been re-asserted by Aboriginal peoples since the 1970s, including in urban communities. The trajectories of social housing and Aboriginal self-determination were institutionalised together during the 1970s and 1980s. Such has not been the case since 1993. Self-determination in urban housing initiatives will not on its own rectify Aboriginal housing need, but must be paired with a common pursuit of adequate and affordable housing for all Canadians.
Article
Though distinctions are commonly drawn between the long-term and more recently homeless, our understanding as to the nature and shape of what Randall refers to as 'homeless careers' is limited as are our understandings of the dynamics driving those careers. This is because studies of homelessness have seldom incorporated a longitudinal dimension or have worked with only a simplistic and incomplete picture of homeless people's housing histories. The paper argues for the adoption of a biographical approach in studies of homelessness and reports on the first complete set of accommodation biographies constructed with single homeless hostel users. It is shown that, rather than fitting a description of either the long-term or more recently homeless or following a progressive 'drift' into homelessness, the majority of men interviewed had in fact experienced numerous homeless episodes in the past but with each of these episodes being of relatively limited duration and separated by much longer periods in (their own) accommodation. Examining the nature of that accommodation, it is shown that the housing careers of these men had been almost entirely dominated by the use of poor quality and often insecure private rented bedsits and flats whilst almost all had simultaneously been either long-term or permanently unemployed. With few additional 'vulnerabilities' to help account for their frequent returns to homelessness the paper challenges a conventional 'political model' of single homelessness to explain these men's homeless careers in relation to their position of multiple structural disadvantage. The paper contrasts these biographies with the biographies of those who were either visibly homeless for the first time or who better fitted a description of the truly long-term homeless and concludes by outlining the ways in which a biographical approach might further our understanding of single homelessness more broadly and enable the formulation of more appropriate responses to the problems of homelessness.
Article
In response to the mental health disparities experienced by Aboriginal peoples, and related inequities regarding the accessibility to appropriate mental health care, there has been a shift in health policy to endorse ‘By Indigenous for Indigenous’ health care delivery models. In Canada, this has resulted in the creation of new mechanisms for Aboriginal participation in health care planning by health authorities with the goal of fostering culturally safe mental health and addictions care. Yet, there is a growing concern about the effects of neo-liberal cost concerns in health policy on the effective implementation of such progressive reform ideas. Drawing on a critical policy review and ethnographic interviews with four community-based Aboriginal organisations and one health authority, this article uses ‘cultural safety’ as a critical lens to discuss emerging tensions within the context of regional Aboriginal mental health care reform in British Columbia. The findings of this study draw attention to the intersecting ways that dominant socio-historical and political ideologies undermine cultural safety in decision-making and funding practices, thereby creating situations of cultural risk for both Aboriginal people working within the area of Aboriginal mental health and by extension for Aboriginal people who are seeking mental health and addictions care. The insights gained from this research contribute to the ongoing dialogue regarding how to foster culturally safe mental health policy and practice, and for action in the political realm.
Article
In this paper we outline the development of the Papakainga Housing Scheme, which has been predominantly applied in rural regions of the North Island of New Zealand. The objective of this policy which was introduced in 1985 has been to remove legal impediments that have prevented Maori people building dwellings on collectively owned ancestral land. By 1992, a total of 901 loans had been approved, but the future of the programme is uncertain. We consider that the outcomes of this housing policy are, at best, ambiguous. The policy fits well with Maori concepts of land and home, and facilitates a return to tribal areas. However, designing special programmes for particular groups is as odds with current state policies that promote the ‘level playing-field’. In addition, the scheme will not achieve its full potential without the promotion of employment and other social services to create sustainable rural communities.
Article
An inaugural study of Indigenous fathers' involvement in Canada conceptualized a temporal horizon within which to situate challenges and opportunities for Indigenous father's involvement in caring for children following decades of colonial interventions that have diminished Indigenous men's roles. Through five community-university partnerships, conversational interviews were held with 80 First Nations and Métis fathers in British Columbia, Canada. Using a grounded theory approach, a conceptual model was constructed identifying six key ecological and psychological factors that combine to account for Indigenous men's experiences of fatherhood: personal wellness; learning fathering; socio-economic inclusion; social support; legislative and policy support; and cultural continuity. Elements within these domains, such as childhood experience of attachment and exposure to father role models, social capital, and generativity have been addressed in other models and research about fathers' involvement. Indigenous fathers' accounts additionally bring into focus systemic barriers to positive fathers' involvement, including socioeconomic exclusion due to failures of the educational system, ongoing colonization through Canada's Indian Act, and mother-centrism in parenting programs and child welfare practices. Policy and program reforms are suggested that could increase Indigenous fathers' positive and sustained engagement with their children.
Article
In recent years there has been a proliferation of writing on the meaning of home within the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, psychology, human geography, history, architecture and philosophy. Although many researchers now understand home as a multidimensional concept and acknowledge the presence of and need for multidisciplinary research in the field, there has been little sustained reflection and critique of the multidisciplinary field of home research and the diverse, even contradictory meanings of this term. This paper brings together and examines the dominant and recurring ideas about home represented in the relevant theoretical and empirical literature. It raises the question whether or not home is (a) place(s), (a) space(s), feeling(s), practices, and/or an active state of state of being in the world? Home is variously described in the literature as conflated with or related to house, family, haven, self, gender, and journeying. Many authors also consider notions of being-at-home, creating or making home and the ideal home. In an effort to facilitate interdisciplinary conversations about the meaning and experience of home each of these themes are briefly considered in this critical literature review.
Article
Despite the prevalence of an ethic of generosity among foragers, much sharing is by demand rather than by unsolicited giving. Although a behavioristic model of demand sharing can be seen as matching sociobiological expectations, the emphasis here is on the social and symbolic significance of the practice. It is argued that demand sharing involves testing, assertive, and/or substantiating behavior and is important in the constitution of social relations in egalitarian societies.
Article
The ‘cultural safety’ debate in New Zealand concerns the power-ladenness of health care interactions and the (controversial) need for health professionals to be fully conversant with the historical and contemporary circumstances of Maori people. We take this debate as a prompt to survey the implications of different ‘ways of seeing’ for how we define and investigate issues of health and illness in geography. The paper reflects on the issue of representation and the attendant question of how to include the researched in the construction of knowledge about health and healing. Given that knowledge and experience of health issues are social and cultural constructions, we suggest that geographical studies of health and place need to be centred in ‘culturally safe’ research practice.
Article
Cultural safety is a concept which has been developed by Maori nurses in New Zealand in order to reflect on nursing practice from their point of view as the indigenous minority in our country. The paper contrasts this new concept critically with Leininger's well-known model of transcultural nursing in order to suggest its potential significance. To date work on cultural safety in New Zealand has focused on the attitudes which individual nurses bring to their practice, attempting to change the effects of their social conditioning on their approach to nursing. The paper supports the view that all nursing care is provided in a social context which influences its efficacy, and specifies that the structural elements, such as the institutional context within which nursing care is provided and policies which influence how care is the provided, need to be explicitly recognized. The paper concludes that until the effects on the health care system of inequalities in power between groups in society are addressed we cannot ensure that the needs of persons from minority cultures will be met. Because it illuminates this dimension of nursing care, cultural safety is a concept of general significance for all nurses.
Article
Cancer mortality among Indigenous Australians is higher compared to the non-Indigenous population and attributed to poor access to cancer detection, screening, treatment and support services. A large proportion of Indigenous Australians live in rural and remote areas which makes access to cancer treatment services more challenging. Factors, such as transport, accommodation, poor socio-economic status and cultural appropriateness of services also negatively affect health service access and, in turn, lead to poor cancer outcomes. Qualitative research with 30 in-depth interviews was conducted with Aboriginal people affected by cancer from across WA, using a variety of recruitment approaches. The infrastructure around the whole-of-treatment experience affected the decision-making and experiences of Aboriginal patients, particularly affecting rural residents. Issues raised included transport and accommodation problems, travel and service expenses, displacement from family, concerns about the hospital environment and lack of appropriate support persons. These factors are compounded by a range of disadvantages already experienced by Aboriginal Australians and are vital factors affecting treatment decision-making and access. To improve cancer outcomes for Aboriginal people, logistical, infrastructure and cultural safety issues must be addressed. One way of ensuring this could be by dedicated support to better coordinate cancer diagnostic and treatment services with primary healthcare services.
Article
Two problems are noted in the process of measuring material inequality and linking it to health across cultural boundaries. First, comparative measurements may be used as the basis for policy making, which ends up disciplining cultural minorities. In this way, policies intended to relieve disparities can actually have the effect of extending the power of the dominant group to define appropriate cultural understanding of the world for the minority group. Second, comparative measurements may inaccurately inform theories of how inequality works to influence health and well-being. To the extent that culture mediates the relationship between inequality and outcomes of interest to researchers, those ignoring cultural differences will fail to adequately assess the impact and significance of material inequality. In this paper we discuss and illustrate these problems with reference to the study and measurement of overcrowding and its effects on health and well-being for Inuit communities in Nunavut, Canada.
Article
This paper describes the major structural and historical dimensions of health ideology and praxis in the Canadian Arctic. It examines the problems that occur when primary care services exclude their clients from meaningful involvement in planning and administration. It argues that the structure of health services in northern Canada reflects an internal colonial political economy which is characteristic of most Fourth World situations.
Article
Indigenous people living in remote communities face some particular difficulties with regard to housing and its impact on their health. This paper reviews the contemporary international understanding of the relationship between housing and health, the history of settlement and housing conditions in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and some of the recent initiatives to improve housing in these communities.