UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Places for the good care of children : a discussion of indigenous cultural considerations and early childhood in Canada and New Zealand Greenwood, Margo Lainne


Places for the Good Care of Children is, broadly speaking, about Indigenous early childhood and the potential of understanding child development as a site for cultural rejuvenation and efforts to rebuild colonized peoples. More specifically, the project seeks to answer questions about linkages between early childhood, government policies, community visions, and the identity and rebuilding of Indigenous peoples and communities. I pursue this topic by examining two communities (Lake Babine and Tl'azt'en) within the Carrier Nation in Canada and two Tuhoe Maori Kohanga Reo sites in Aotearoa / New Zealand. Integral to this study is my own positioning as a Cree scholar, a long-time professional in the area of early childhood development, an advisor on multiple committees and tables concerned with Aboriginal issues in Canada, and a mother of three. From these multiple positions I have undertaken a qualitative inquiry employing focus groups, key informant interviews, and thematic analysis, all of which draw from multiple methodologies and a literature largely comprising works concerned with decolonization, Indigenous theory, early childhood development, and policy. The key findings of this research suggest that early childhood (and related educational considerations) is a critical site for cultural rejuvenation, for the rebuilding of community, and for the establishment of healthy Aboriginal communities in the future. Fundamental to this (rebuilding is autonomy by Indigenous communities over language and culture, over the care and education of their children, over their lives and futures, and over the lives and futures of their children.

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