UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Shqwultuns tu s’ulxwe:nst : the voice of our ancestors Jardey, Samaya


Disproportionate numbers of indigenous children are removed from their birth families and placed in child welfare care and there is reason to believe the incidents of this practice will increase. The current trend threatens to assimilate indigenous peoples into mainstream Canadian society, as did the preceding state mandated Indian residential school policy. The Indian residential school experience contaminated traditional indigenous childcare values and the current child welfare system further destroys them. The purpose of this indigenous and phenomenological study is to address and eventually reverse the practice of removing Coast Salish children from their homes and placing them in child welfare care. This study identifies, describes and gives voice to the lived experiences of five Coast Salish elders who were nurtured with traditional childcare values. The findings show that the childcare values experienced by the elders are now virtually non-existent in present day Coast Salish childcare practice. The recommendations offer concrete methods for Coast Salish people to reclaim the traditional childcare values that sustained children within their birth families for thousands of years before the genesis of Indian residential school and the child welfare system.

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