In July 1999, the first meeting of the Aboriginal Mental Health Committee was held at the Longhouse, The University of British Columbia (UBC). The meeting was sponsored and initiated by Mheccu, UBC in response to concerns that mental health service delivery, including the field of community psychiatry, did not adequately – or appropriately – deal with the needs of Aboriginal people. At the initial meeting, the membership appointed an Aboriginal person to facilitate the meetings and ongoing funding support for the initiative was provided by the Mental Health Evaluation and Community Consultation Unit ( Mheccu). Adult Mental Health Division, Ministry of Health Services ( MHS), formally agreed to continue support for the initiative in the spring of 2000 until the end of the fiscal year (2001). It was at this time that the Aboriginal Mental Health Committee began its focus on and this draft discussion paper as the Aboriginal Mental Health ‘Best Practices’ Working Group.
This report by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation presents a critical analysis of the resilience literature and considers it against the cultures, lived experiences and larger social contexts of Aboriginal Survivors of residential school. The findings serve as the basis for recommended actions in the areas of planning and research, interventions and evaluation.
This manual was written to complement and guide the ongoing efforts of groups and individuals, such as yourself, who are interested in developing and implementing suicide prevention programs for Canada’s Aboriginal youth. The purpose of the manual is to provide high quality and user-friendly advice and information in order to facilitate the development of successful programs. As such, the manual recommends a number of prevention strategies that follow the best evidence about what works and what should be done to prevent suicide amongst Aboriginal youth.
A review of the available literature shows that First Nations youth suicide is occurring at an alarming rate across Canada. Despite this, it should be possible to reduce suicide by making multi-level changes to the systems that youth, families and communities look to for support when they are in crisis. Many First Nations youth experience isolation, poverty, lack of basic amenities and family relationships which do not nourish and support them. Furthermore, colonization, marginalization and rapid cultural change have left them in the wake of foreign values and beliefs and deep conflicts about who they are. Therefore, a broad perspective is critical when looking at the problem of suicide and proposing tangible ideas for action.
This Assessment and Planning Tool Kit for Suicide Prevention in First Nations communities has been developed to help individuals and groups interested in addressing the issue of suicide in their communities. It is a framework to guide First Nations in assessing and planning a suicide prevention plan. Communities are encouraged to adapt the tool to meet their own needs. The tool kit also provides information and research on suicide prevention to increase awareness and encourage discussion.
In many First Nations and Aboriginal societies, good health was a result of a balance of ones entire being, ‘mind, body and spirit’. This annotated bibliography is a collection of scholarly literature with respect to cultural models of intervention in mental health.
In the 77 years between 1892 and 1969, generations of Aboriginal children in Canada were sent to government sponsored residential schools run by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, United, Presbyterian and other churches. The physical and sexual abuse suffered by many of these childre —along with the imposed alienation from families, communities and cultures—left scars that have been passed on from generation to generation. This legacy of abuse and intergenerational trauma is now well recognized. Sadly, Canada was not alone in its attempts to assimilate Aboriginal people through the education system. While educational policies and the criteria under which children were removed varied, many thousands of Indigenous children in the United States and Australia were taken away from their families and placed in boarding or mission schools. Colonialism took different forms in New Zealand and Greenland: if judged by the lower socioeconomic and health status of Indigenous people compared to non-Indigenous citizens, the consequences of colonialism were equally damaging. This report explores colonization, decolonization and healing among Indigenous people in these four nation-states.
This volume is a collection of papers and brief reflections from more than thirty contributors who have worked to create just and inclusive societies in Canada and abroad. The Aboriginal Healing Foundation is honoured to present a distillation of their experience and wisdom to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as it sets out on its mission to transform the legacy of Indian residential schools.
This study proposes a model to describe the intergenerational transmission of historic trauma and examines the implications for healing in a contemporary Aboriginal context. The purpose of the study was to develop a comprehensive historical framework of Aboriginal trauma, beginning with contact in 1492 through to the 1950s, with a primary focus on the period immediately after contact.
This document attempts to capture the wisdom shared by over 160 Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal leaders in health who were so warmly welcomed to the traditional territory of the Esquimalt, Songhees and Saanich First Nations on December 3-5, 2005. Many Hands, One Dream: New perspectives on the health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and youth was a gathering that marked the collaborative efforts of 11 national organizations engaging a wider community to help define child health, acknowledge the barriers and strengths of the current health system, and to articulate what a desirable future may hold to lay the foundation to better support the health of Aboriginal children and youth in Canada.