Theses (Social Work)

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    Healing the way home : an autoethnographic exploration of the importance of homecoming for a Haida adoptee
    (2024) Decker, Treena; Carriere, Jeannine
    A vision to walk on a healing homecoming, community building journey with other Haida adoptees, their families, and communities, became a solo journey through the COVID 19 pandemic. Building relationship became a self-transformational process. Coming of age without connection to Indigenous community or culture, I sought to identify and highlight themes and narratives along my homecoming journey as a Haida adoptee that would help ease the way home for others. To acknowledge and address existing power imbalances, a complimentary, theoretical framework was used that blends anti-oppressive and feminist theories, and understands people are experts in their own lived experience. Through this journey, I explored a variety of methodologies designed to embrace Indigenous ways of knowing and being while embracing oral traditions. Knowledge gathering combined storytelling and arts-based research techniques using both performative inquiry and Ethnotheatre were used to create a path to interact with the data through performance and witnessing. I sought to answer the research question; How do Haida birth families and communities create successful adoptee homecoming experiences? My findings were that adoptee homecoming can be complex, messy and that it was essential for my own healing that I find my way home to self before the work of building relationships with my Haida family and community could continue.
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    BIPOC Communities in the Outdoors: Insisting, Resisting, and Persisting
    (2023-12-18) Girgrah, Reem; Holmes, Cindy
    This interdisciplinary qualitative study explores how outdoor adventure functions as joy as resistance for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) Instagram users. Using digital ethnographic and reflexive thematic analysis methodologies, I examined a sample of Instagram posts with the hashtag #diversifyoutdoors and narratives of outdoor adventure described as joy as resistance. To analyse the data, I used an intersectional feminist theoretical framework grounded in Black and Indigenous, anti-racist, decolonial and feminist theories. Instagram posts revealed four themes: 1) representation and underrepresentation; 2) challenging the dominant narrative; 3) dreaming, inspiration, healing, and wellness; 4) connection, family, and community. Instagram users asserted that outdoor adventure is any experience in the outdoors where reflection, connection and healing can happen. Intersectional feminist, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive social work understands that social inequities are the result of historical and current social contexts of systemic oppression and ongoing violence. BIPOC communities experience marginalization and exclusion from opportunities, meaningful participation, and a thriving life. Therefore, engaging in acts to combat systemic oppressions and experiences that foster joy are vital to keeping resistance movements healthy, vibrant, and effective. Engaging in joyful acts of resistance that subvert dominant narratives is a gap in social work education and practice. The dominant narrative of outdoor adventure is both colonial and racist. Subverting dominant narratives through acts such as joyfully engaging in outdoor adventure for BIPOC communities can be a way to rejuvenate and care for our wellness through the ongoing collective effort to combat social inequities and create social change.
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    To know us is to know an ocean: A racialized social worker’s unruly, Mad, decolonial autoethnography
    (2023-04-26) Sharma, Aman K; Holmes, Cindy
    This research explores the implications of my life as a racialized social worker with lived experience of psychiatrization, practicing in the mental health field in British Columbia. Situated in the context of BC’s involuntary treatment regimes and relevant conversations about the intersections of race, madness, and social work, I centre subjective experience in a way that intentionally disrupts rationalist notions of objectivity. This method represents part of the activist aims of my thesis, which include joining other efforts by people with lived and living experience to assert our voices into conversations affecting our communities, and confronting and contesting the master narratives about our experiences. To achieve this goal, my thesis illuminates my stories through an autoethnographic methodology, a qualitative ethnographic and/or arts-based research approach that relates personal embodied experience to broader cultural, political, and social contexts. My autoethnographic approach specifically grounds itself in Mad, decolonial perspectives. I employ this approach to examine my intersectional experiences as a racialized social worker who has experienced psychiatrization, and investigate how my embodied experiences challenge, disrupt, and problematize the normative assumptions of social work. Poetry, contextualizing documents, emails, journals, writing, and memories all stimulate the collection of the stories I use. In my analysis of these autoethnographic accounts, I distinguish themes that operate as both a means of accessing insights contained within my stories, as well as acting as Mad, decolonial praxis. My work concludes by imagining and discovering possibilities and opportunities for future social work theory, practice, and education using the unruly, Mad, decolonial ethic that my work articulates.
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    Community Drug Checking and Substance Use Stigma: An Analysis of Stigma-Related Barriers and Potential Responses
    (2022-09-12) Davis, Samantha; Wallace, Bruce; Green, Kundoqk Jacquie Louise
    The illicit drug overdose crisis is an ongoing epidemic that continues to take lives at unprecedented rates and British Columbia, Canada has been identified as the epicenter in Canada, where approximately five deaths per day are linked to unregulated substances most often including fentanyl (Service, 2022). In Victoria, British Columbia, community drug checking sites have been implemented as a public health response to the ongoing overdose crisis and the unregulated illicit drug market through a community-based research project called the Vancouver Island Drug Checking Project. In addition to providing anonymous, confidential, and non-judgmental drug checking services with rapid results, the project has conducted qualitative research aimed to better understand drug checking as a potential harm reduction response to the illicit drug overdose crisis and the unregulated illicit drug market (Wallace et al., 2021; Wallace et al., 2020). An analytical framework was utilized to understand the impact substance use stigma has on those accessing drug checking services, as well as those who avoid accessing these services as a direct result of substance use stigma. This study found that the risk of criminalization and the anticipation of being poorly treated appear to be the most significant barriers related to stigma, rather than actually experiencing stigma. Further, it appears the implementation of community drug checking creates tensions that need to be navigated as sites and services balance a hierarchy of substances and stigma; differing definitions of peers; public yet private locations; and, normalization within criminalization. The findings suggest the solution to substance use stigma and drug checking will not come from continuing as we are, but through making changes at all levels (individual, interpersonal, and structural) and thus for all people who access community drug checking.
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    How to Assess and Mitigate Risk from a Mi'kmaq Perspective
    (2022-09-07) MacEachern, Mary; Thomas, Robina A.
    Within the journey of self-determination, Indigenous Peoples are creating various systems that reflect their ways of knowing and being. Mi’kmaq Family & Children Services is such an agency, however, it is mandated to use provincial legislation, guidelines and policies that are deeply rooted in western ways of knowing. This thesis explores how to assess and mitigate risk from a Mi’kmaq perspective. Mi’kmaq social workers, who have experience assessing risk and developing plans to mitigate it, were interviewed regarding their perspectives on what needs to be considered when creating a model of assessment for Mi’kmaq families. Storytelling methodology was used for interviewees to share broadly what they felt as necessary aspects to incorporate into the assessment and mitigation processes. As the researcher I analyzed the interviews for themes and ideologies that would be necessary to consider when assessing risk and creating tools that assist with this process. Four open ended questions were provided to interviewees as a guideline for this exploration. They are: What do you believe the concerns, challenges and/or strengths of the current risk assessment model are when you are assessing the risk of Mi’kmaq children and youth? From your knowledge of Mi’kmaq ways of knowing and being what do you think a Mi’kmaq risk assessment would/could/should look like? Is risk assessment the right term for this work, or are there other words that best describe the work that we do from your knowledge of Mi’kmaq ways of knowing and being? What are the opportunities a Mi’kmaq risk assessment could offer Mi’kmaq communities? Due to Covid 19 restrictions the interviews had to occur by phone. They averaged one hour in duration. Interviewees agreed to be recorded, and following the interviews I transcribed the interviews. The transcription was given to each participant to review, edit and revise. The transcription was then formatted into a narrative format and each participant was given a name from the Seven Directions, with a pronoun being used to maintain anonymity. This narrative was given to each interviewee to review, edit and revise.
 The research found the following themes: ongoing cultural competence training is needed; the effects of residential school and other assimilation/oppressive tactics, not only affected Mi’kmaq lives in the past but continues to affect them currently; due to this, trauma informed and strength based practice, that is collaborative, is essential. Interviewees stressed the importance of using tools, such as risk assessments, that are more reflective of, and uphold a collaborative process, which holds up Indigenous epistemology, ontology, and axiology. This includes practices such as, the Medicine Wheel, Seven Sacred Teachings, reciprocity, reflection, circular thinking, use of Medicines and various Spiritual practices.
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    We were children and we are human beings: Tsartlip Indian Day School student experiences
    (2022-02-25) Carolyn, Sampson Thulih’Wul Wut’ XET’XOT’EL,WET; Thomas, Robina A.
    Storytelling was utilized to capture the experiences of Tsartlip Indian Day School students by telling their stories. Storytelling is a way of living, being, and a way of knowing, while walking with the voices of our ancestors. Storytelling is used to fill in the gap of available resources for Indian Day School students to ensure their experiences are not minimized, disregarded, or misunderstood. Indian Day Schools were omitted from the Indian Residential School Agreement and their experiences were insidious as teachers, staff, and administration ingratiated themselves into our day-to-day life. It is crucial to fill in the gap of academic information to create awareness and understanding, which can provide the context of one’s social history. The legislation (Indian Act 1868 - 1976) (Venne, 1981), policy, and field manuals created an environment that set the stage for the teacher-to-student violence, staff-to-student violence, and student-to-student abuse to occur first at the residential schools and later at the Tsartlip Indian Day School. The inter-generational violence was perpetuated from 1920 – 1996 in the guise of an educational environment on the WSÁNEĆ Peoples, which is the span of either three or four generations. In my family, it is three generations (parental, mine, nieces/nephews).
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    Honouring our ancestral wisdom: a Squamish way of life
    (2021-09-29) McReynolds, Kelley; Allan, Billie; Green, Kundoqk Jacquie Louise
    The foundation of this research was to establish a framework based on ceremonial work, gathering around fires of the longhouse to honour our ancestral wisdom. As a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Coast Salish researcher and social work practitioner, I noticed an absence of specific west coast Indigenous and Coast Salish knowledge that would help inform social work practices, experiences and understanding in order to be good helpers and relatives within Indigenous community. I applied the Tl’áḵtax̱an longhouse model as a research methodology framework that guides an approach of traditional story-telling and place- based Coast Salish teachings and weaves together a cedar basket of knowledge. The intention of this study was to explore traditional knowledge that may offer pathways to build relational practice for social workers to form a deeper understanding of how to be good helpers and relatives in community. Respectful practice that is foundational to restore harmony, dignity and repair from colonial harm.
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    Where are persons with disabilities? A reflexive thematic analysis of Federal Government climate change documents
    (2021-09-15) MacDonald, Sarah Ellen; Jeffery, Donna
    While persons with disabilities are not a homogenous group, most are likely to be disproportionately impacted by climate change and the “natural” disasters that result from these changes. As a social worker living with chronic health conditions and a particular interest in disability and public policy, I was curious about how Canada’s Federal Government climate change policies and initiatives address persons with disabilities and their diverse needs. My research explored how matters of health and disability have been taken up in recent Canadian Federal Government climate change policies and strategies through an analysis of six significant climate change documents. Framed by a feminist, poststructural-inspired critical disability lens, the documents were examined through an inductive approach to reflexive thematic analysis, with the aim of contributing to critical conversations around the intersections of disability justice, climate justice, and related social justice matters. Through reflexive thematic analysis, I identified three key themes: persons with disabilities are widely absent from Canadian Federal Government climate change documents, both as collaborators as well as groups considered in climate change planning; adaptation to climate change and climate resilience are central in government climate mitigation strategies; and healthy and normative body-minds are presumed by the documents, which broadly assume all people have the same capacities to adapt. Subthemes included both a prioritization of the economy, and a foregrounding of a productive, compulsory, able-bodied and able-minded citizen around which climate change strategies are designed. I conclude with some suggestions for how Canada’s climate change policies may become more inclusive for persons with disabilities.
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    Voices in the media: key stakeholders and the overdose crisis
    (2021-08-26) Booth, Katyanna; Wallace, Bruce B.; Pauly, Bernie
    Opioid overdose deaths have impacted the lives of countless Canadians at unprecedented rates and have taken the lives of over 19,000 people since 2016, over 4,000 of those deaths occurred in 2017. The overdose crisis has been repeatedly represented in the media and how the issues are represented by key stakeholders is an area left primarily unresearched. Online news media articles stemming from International Overdose Awareness Day in 2017 were collected and methodologically reviewed via Critical discourse analysis to answer the following: What messages, and from which key stakeholders, how key stakeholders challenged or accepted constructions of substances and PWUD, and how messages converged and/or diverged amongst key stakeholders. Loved Ones most the most cited, then Frontline Providers, followed by Experiential People, Government Officials, and Indigenous People the least. Themes that emerged included the Stigma Experience, Sharing Experience of Grief, Loss, and Substance Use, and Problems and Solutions. Competing and divergent views also presented themselves through the stakeholder voices and often revolved around similar goals but different approaches. The voices in the media for International Overdose Awareness Day advocated and disrupted pre-conceived notions yet also contributed to constructions directly connected to the stigma and oppression PWUD face.
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    Centering a Métis grandmothers’ knowledge: story of grandmothers’ teachings and Métis child welfare in B.C.
    (2021-07-29) LaFrance, Shelley Angela; Carrière, Jeannine
    Despite decades of evidence in Canada of injustices involving child welfare systems and outstanding recommendations, the overrepresentation and harm to Indigenous children, youth, and families remain (Blackstock, 2011, 2016). The literature reveals a need to build on Métis-focused research related to child welfare systems including noticeable gaps in the voices and knowledge of Métis grandmothers and mothers. This thesis centers on a Métis grandmother's story and my own experiences as a Métis social worker in relation to child welfare experiences within the framework of Métis kinship care and mothering. Through storytelling and autoethnography, I addressed the following research question: How can the lived experiences and teachings of a Métis grandmother and Métis women enhance social work practices for social workers, community members, as well as organizations and agencies that serve Métis children and families? Significantly the findings in this study reveal the ways that Métis grandmothers and mothers carry inherent knowledge about child, family, and community care, utilize resistance strategies in their experiences with child welfare, and explore the social work implications that can disrupt colonial systems to inform agency and community responses.
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    Fat bodies in space: explorations of an alternate narrative
    (2021-05-03) Webb, Natasha K.; Carrière, Jeannine
    For far too long ‘obesity’ and healthcare have been inextricably linked, both forming and maintaining distinct narratives responsible for the “fear of fat” North American societies have embraced. Largely unrecognized, fatphobia now permeates individual and social consciousness and creates considerable harm broadly and within healthcare practice and policy. The following study seeks to unsettle the pathologization and binary views of weight and bodies to contribute to a building of a more socially just, intersectional system of care. Fat Bodies in Space is a qualitative study situated on the unceded lək̓ ʷəŋən territories and grounded in critical race, queer and decolonial perspectives. The disproportionate impacts of fatphobia in Canadian healthcare are discussed through the stories of five self-described fat individuals navigating their health in Victoria, British Columbia. Storywork, narrative and autoethnographic methods were part of the collection and analysis processes. Findings suggest a longstanding relationship between systemic inequities, social discourse and the treatment of fat individuals within health care systems.
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    Intergenerational trauma and stories of healing through Jesus
    (2021-04-29) Mohammed, Dionne A.; Allan, Billie; Hackett, V. C. Rhonda
    Through a storytelling/yarning methodology (Bessarab & Ng'andu, 2010) and experience centered narrative research (Patterson, 2008), three Indigenous followers of Jesus and original inhabitants of the lands currently known as Canada, shared their stories of healing. The storytelling/ yarning method (Bessarab & Ng'andu, 2010) is rooted in Indigenous ways of knowing and fit seamlessly with the participants diverse Indigenous backgrounds and shared oral traditions. Through the experience centered research model, each participant engaged in meaning making of their personal narratives, reconstructed and presented their stories as their human lived experience, and finally, revealed their metamorphosis (Patterson, 2008) and contributions to Indigenous knowledges. The experience centered research framework utilized for knowledge gathering worked concertedly with the storytelling/yarning methodology as the healing stories presented here evolved not as stories of defeat, but of strength (Bessarab & Ng'andu, 2010). Some key teachings and themes arising from their stories include trauma, forgiveness, resilience, family, healing, and hope. This study aims to reveal Indigenous stories of healing and cease the perpetuation of harm to Indigenous peoples who have declared Jesus as their source of healing. Furthermore, this study aims to situate the knowledges gathered through these healing stories within the academic body of Indigenous knowledges.
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    Stitching ourselves back together: urban Indigenous women's experience of reconnecting with identity through beadwork
    (2020-11-04) Bowler, Shawna; Carrière, Jeannine
    This thesis explores how urban Indigenous women experience reconnections to cultural identity when they take up the practice of traditional beadwork. A beading methodology was used to explore the experiences of five urban Indigenous women in Winnipeg. Within this methodology, stories and conversations about beadwork are used as a way to gather and share knowledge in research. Participants were asked to share their experience of identity reconnections through beadwork stories. The major elements of this beading methodology and its underlying theoretical, epistemological and ontological roots are told through the story of the beaded medicine bags that were created for and gifted to each participant for the knowledge they contributed to this research. The author’s own beaded medicine bag is also used as a framework for a thematic analysis and discussion of the research findings. The themes identified through this analysis suggest beading as a multi-faceted and action-oriented approach that facilitates processes of journeying, remembering, relationships, asserting the self and healing that urban Indigenous women experience through their engagement with this practice. This thesis concludes by highlighting some of the important implications of beading as an Indigenous way of knowing, being and doing in social work practice and research to promote decolonization, resiliency, wellness and healing in our work with Indigenous communities.
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    Contesting care: applying a critical social citizenship lens to care for trans children
    (2020-08-18) MacAdams, Alyx; Moosa-Mitha, Mehmoona; Holmes, Cindy
    Recent years have seen an unprecedented paradigm shift wherein pathologizing approaches to caring for trans children have been contested by efforts to accept and affirm trans children as their self-determined gender. This has resulted in a mainstreaming of gender affirming and de-pathologizing approaches to caring for trans children. While gender affirming care undoubtedly benefits many trans children, this research analyzes the ways in which practices and delivery of gender affirming care can be exclusionary of children who do not fit within a normative, binary, medicalized, white, and middle-class conceptualization of trans childhood. Applying critical social citizenship as a theoretical framework, this research argues that care for trans children is shaped through a complex interweaving of normative liberal citizenship regimes, professional and social care practices, and relational care practices that seek to recognize and create space for children to belong as their self-determined gender. Using a community-based research methodology to engage with trans youth and supportive parent caregivers around their experiences of care, this study sought to a) better understand how the contested landscape of care impacts the lives of trans children and b) offer possibilities for transforming care for trans children. Centring the voices and experiences of trans youth and parents, this research argues that trans children face exclusions and barriers when accessing care. This research then discusses what relational care practices, as shared in participant narratives, offer for envisioning care possibilities that centre trans children’s agency and gender self-determination. The outcome of this research is a vision of care for trans children that is rearticulated through a critical theorization of trans children’s citizenship.
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    Leadership supports for Indigenous staff with lived experience
    (2020-04-08) Perrett, Sarah; Carrière, Jeannine
    Social work practice involves acknowledging the interconnection between the personal and professional. Organizations hiring Indigenous staff are responsible to recognize the lived experience that comes with being an Indigenous person. Critical reflections of who benefits in an employment relationship are important to address issues of tokenization and exploitation. The language of ‘lived experience’ is most commonly used in the social work field to imply that a professional has experienced trauma, hardship, and systemic violence similar to individuals receiving or accessing services. In the context of a helping role, ‘lived experience’ is better represented by ‘healing experience’ because it recognizes the responsibilities of leadership and staff in ensuring supports are healing-focused. Anti-oppressive, decolonizing, and Indigenist methods were used to speak with Indigenous staff who self-identified lived experience similar to the people who access services to learn how supervisors and organizational leadership can provide helpful support. The findings contributed to a supervision model based in the buffalo teachings of sharing, reciprocity, and valuing each aspect of a person as the starting place for relationship and good work. Building on this knowledge, changing the language from lived experience to healing experience offers a shift in the philosophical approach to recruitment and supervision. Each conversation naturally aligned with a quadrant of the Medicine Wheel where tangible insights into practice are shared into the spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental aspects of the self in an employment context. This study accounts for the non-Indigenous researcher’s personal journey to this topic, the importance of developing and contributing to the success of Indigenous social workers, and the ways organizations are responsible to their workforce beyond minimum legislated requirements.
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    Wounded healer or stigmatized healer? First-person experience with suicidality among helping professionals in suicide prevention and intervention
    (2020-02-18) Huss, Sabine; Strega, Susan
    This study sought to explore the experiences of helping professionals who have first-hand lived experience with suicidal ideation or suicidal behaviour and who work with suicidal people. The research is placed in the context of the wounded healer discourse. Within the helping professions, the term ‘wounded healer’ refers to the idea that a healer’s lived experience of being ‘wounded’, i.e., suffering harm or violence or facing psychological or addiction challenges, is inherently helpful to their healing abilities. While a growing body of literature about the wounded healer concept exists for helping professions with some experiences, such as mental health practitioners who experience mental health challenges, this research project focuses specifically on the under-researched area of suicide. The study was conducted from an insider perspective. It utilized narrative methodology with a feminist and intersectional lens to analyze the stories gathered from semi-structured interviews with five helping professionals from a variety of professional backgrounds who work with suicidal people. The findings of the study indicate that, while the wounded healers who were interviewed believe that their lived experience benefits their practice and the people with whom they work, lived experience with suicidality remains a taboo among professionals in suicide prevention and intervention. Certain features of the wounded healer discourse, namely that some wounded healers can become impaired professionals and put the healing process and thus the client at risk, have contributed to this taboo. This study aims to contribute to the conversation about what it means to be a helping professional with lived experience with suicidality in the area of suicide prevention and intervention, and thus to lessening the stigma surrounding this experience.
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    How one becomes what one is: transformative journeys to allyship
    (2020-01-09) Knudsgaard, Harald Bart; Thomas, Qwul'sih'yah'maht Robina Anne
    This thesis explores the phenomenon of Indigenous/non-Indigenous allyship. In this thesis, Indigenous child welfare leaders were interviewed regarding their perspectives on allyship and were asked to identify non-Indigenous leaders whom they consider allies. Through a storytelling methodology, these non-Indigenous leaders were interviewed regarding their journeys to allyship. As the researcher I employed thematic analysis of the interviews conducted to determine if there are patterns that suggest a process through which a non-Indigenous person becomes an ally. Analysis of the literature and the interviews conducted suggest critical processes that non-Indigenous leaders have undergone, and comprise a series of steps, in the journey to allyship. The research questions addressed in this thesis are: (1) Are there process patterns or themes that emerge with the phenomenon of allyship? (2) Is there a framework that can be identified that can inform a settler leader’s journey to becoming an ally? The research findings suggest that there are essential process patterns that emerge with the phenomenon of allyship. Further, the findings suggest there is danger in suggesting a sequential or linear process for this journey of head, heart and spirit.
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    The connection between culture and wellness for indigenous social workers: how culturally-grounded practice can impact our work with children, families and communities
    (2019-12-23) Brown, Alysha Kerry Anne; Thomas, Robina A.
    Reflecting on my own experience as an Indigenous social worker, and a thorough literature review of mostly other Indigenous researchers, I addressed the following questions: What can wellness look like for Indigenous social workers? Does connection to culture contribute to wellness for Indigenous social workers practicing from an Indigenous way of being? And does this connection to culture impact my approach to practice and how? By exploring the literature, current policy and legislation, and social work practice in this province, I will discuss how I navigate my work and how I ensure that my practice continues to be grounded in traditional ways of being. In addition, recent shifts in policy, legislation and practice, urge us to practice in a way that honours traditional systems of decision-making, planning and caring for children within child welfare in BC. Given this, this research is timely. I will explore cultural and permanency planning for children and youth in care and how my own experience plays a vital role in how I approach this area of practice. I will discuss the integral role of culture in my life and how it keeps me grounded to continue walking alongside the Indigenous community in a good way. Ultimately, though, the foundation of this research is centered around wellness. Wellness for Indigenous social workers directly impacts the work we do, how we approach children and families, and our ability to continue doing the work in a good way.
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    An inquiry into the stories of First Nations Fathers and their path to Fatherhood: a narrative analysis conducted with Kwakwaka’wakw Fathers
    (2019-12-18) Johnston, Tanille; Carriere, Jeannine
    The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to the other works that have been done in the area of Fatherhood in hopes to cause a shift in child welfare practice. Moving child welfare away from mother-centrism, and towards equitable parent involvement. It is my hope that this piece encourages social workers to strive for the inclusion of Fathers in their daily practice and to hold themselves to a high level of accountability in regards to the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s (MCFD) goal of supporting all children and youth in British Columbia to live in safe, healthy, and nurturing families. (MCFD, February 2018) This thesis is a qualitative study which was approached using a Storytelling methodology to answer the question “What reflections do Kwakwaka'wakw Fathers have when asked about their journey of coming into Fatherhood?”. Three conversations were held with Kwakwaka’wakw Fathers to listen to their stories of their experiences along their paths of Fatherhood. Thematic analysis was used to highlight commonalities within each of the Father’s stories. These themes were used to look at the various challenges that Kwakwaka’wakw Fathers face today and to create recommendations for social workers when their files were involving Kwakwaka’wakw Fathers. Through the support of a literature review, this thesis concludes with looking at what a Kwakwaka’wakw Father is and makes recommendations for change for the future work between frontline social workers at MCFD and our Kwakwaka’wakw Fathers.
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    There goes the neighbourhood: a case study of social mix in Vancouver's downtown eastside
    (2019-05-01) Edelman, Valerya; Brown, Leslie Allison
    Social mix is a highly contested global trend in urban planning as it can result in some of the same negative social consequences as gentrification, such as displacement and social polarization. In 2014, the City of Vancouver approved a social mix strategy for one of its low-income neighbourhoods in their Downtown Eastside (DTES) Local Area Plan (LAP). With this plan, the city aimed to increase mid- and high-income residents in a predominately low-income neighbourhood. Included were Social Impact Objectives to mitigate harm to existing low-income residents, and assurances the approach would benefit all community members. The LAP provoked questions of whether social mix could, indeed, benefit low-income residents. This qualitative single-case research study investigates the experiences of residents with low incomes in the DTES neighbourhood, three years after the implementation of the LAP. The study is grounded in an anti-oppressive framework, with attention to anti-colonization and the unique experiences at the intersection of gender and colonial oppression. Three key findings emerged from neighbourhood observations and semi-structured focus groups conducted in 2017 with twenty-four research participants. First, experiences of displacement in the DTES were reported; second, experiences of social polarization within their neighbourhood were described; and, third, most participants demonstrated strong community connections despite the social mix changes. The findings suggest low-income residents did not benefit from social mix and, if further displacement and polarization were to continue, the negative impact on low-income residents would increase.