Child Intervention Research Forum – Cracker Barrel Presentation – Ralph Bodor

Culturally Grounded Outcomes in Indigenous Child Welfare: Formative Conversations The project, “Culturally Grounded Outcomes in Aboriginal Child Welfare”, is in its formative stages. The Child Intervention Research Forum offers a first opportunity to describe the background and methodology of the project to a broad audience. We hope to maintain congruence between the project and how it is presented. At this point in its development, we think that two aspects of the project may be of particular interest to Forum participants: the commitment to an Indigenous research approach and the invitation to reflect on outcomes from an alternative way of knowing. Different cultures “know” the world in different ways. Alberta’s child intervention policies and strategies are generally built on Western assumptions about the nature of reality and how it can be known objectively. Indigenous ways of knowing offer possibilities for understanding child intervention from different perspectives. Preferred outcomes for Indigenous children may be different if considered through the lens of Indigenous worldviews. Our research focuses on what outcomes might emerge if approached from perspectives within the Edmonton’s Indigenous community. Currently, our project consists of a Research team and a Steering Circle. The Research Team includes Indigenous (Leona Makokis and James Shawana) and non-Indigenous (Ralph Bodor and Avery Calhoun) members. In keeping with Indigenous research methodology, the research team will be guided by the community of people interested and experienced in Indigenous child welfare. We have invited some people to join a Steering Circle, which represents the community and will provide direction to the Research Team. By definition, all people who attend the Child Intervention Research Forum are members of the community concerned with outcomes for Indigenous families involved in child intervention services. Through the Forum, we hope to describe our project and consult community members regarding the possibilities for the research. During the presentation, participants will learn about key aspects of Indigenous research methodology and will be invited to consider how Western ways of knowing currently ground the outcomes that form the backbone of child intervention services. Following this brief presentation, participants will be invited to contribute their thoughts about and recommendations for the research project. All Research Team members will participate in the presentation. Ralph Bodor and Avery Calhoun are Faculty of Social Work researchers. Leona Makokis, a Cree elder and the former president of Blue Quills First Nations College. James Shawana, currently a doctoral student in Adult Learning, is the project Coordinator. Given its stage of development, we have not presented previously on this project. Together, the team brings knowledge and skills in the area of Indigenous research, community-based research and social work with Aboriginal people

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