3“Cultural safety”What do we need to understand about some peoples’ sense of risk or danger when bringing themselves or a family member for screening, assessment or therapy?What can we do to create culturally safe environments and encounters?
6Cultural safety in nursing practice Maori origins: Dyck & Kearns; Papps & RamsdenUBC: Joan Anderson, Annette Brown, Vicki Smye, et al.U Sask: Verna St. DenisAssembly of First Nations Health SecretariatConceptualized within post-colonial,post-national, feminist discourses.Recognizing & re-dressingpower inequities
7What do we mean by ‘culture’ Culture - not just ‘dress, dinner, decorations’!- embodied in our identities, values, beliefs, life styles, and the ways we raise our children.Screening and assessment tools and interventions methodsare cultural artifacts.
8Cultural un-safety: What is it? A subjective sense that one’s cherished values, goals, language, identity & ways of life are denigrated or threatened in an encounter, or that one is being asked to venture into a foreign culture without knowing how to function in it and without positive accompaniment.
9Indicators of cultural un-safety ‘Denial’ of suggestions that there is a problemLow utilization of available servicesLow ‘compliance’ with service referrals or prescribed interventionsReticence in interactions with service providersAngerLow self-worth
10Deepening understandings: Two research studies Problem: Perennial protests about lack of cultural relevance/appropriateness of tools & interventions transported from dominant culture to Indigenous children & families
11Study 1: Survey of 90 Aboriginal Early Childhood Study 1: Survey of 90 Aboriginal Early Childhood Programs about tools used. Funded by First Nations & Inuit Health Branch, Maternal & Child Health BranchStudy 2: In-depth exploration in 4 Indigenous communities of whether mainstream tools can support family goals for children’s development (63 parents; 42 child development practitioners)Funded by Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada.
12Take home message: Process is a greater determinant of outcomes than content
13It’s about the ways the tools are used The relationship context in which the tools are used(trust vs fear)Who decides a tool or intervention will be used (consent?)What tools are usedFor what purposes (‘ammunition’, pathologizing, apprehending??)What happens, or fails to happen, afterwardsINCLUSION of key family members in the process.
14Acculturation / Assimilation through professional services Contemporary context of rising:‘Standardization’Universal surveillance‘Best practice’ modelsOne-size-fits-allTechnologies imported from the dominant (European heritage) culture perpetuate colonial imposition of policies, procedures, criteria, performance demands, and social exclusion of Indigenous caregivers of Indigenous children
15How can our best intentions really seem so dangerous? “My grandparents taught me that to truly understand the importance of something you must look back seven generations and you must look forward seven generations”Debbie JetteCree Elder
16Silencing minority voices / Awakenings It’s about time!(Chronosystem – Bronfenbrenner, 1979)Once upon a time …pre-contact…intact culturesColonialism – disruption & resistanceNeo-colonialsm – resistance & healingSilencing minority voices / AwakeningsPost-colonialism - revitalization of culturesPost-nationalism – beyond racialization & us/ them
17Reflexive practice uses a critical, socio-historical perspective Many Aboriginal parents want to preserve & protect their cultures and languages through child rearing & services(16% Aboriginal children Canada exposed to Indig lang at home)Protection of Indigenous language transmission falls within our scope of practiceHistorical & ongoing significance of basing programs in schools, of government-contracted workers visiting in homes, of surveillance, or the words like “intervention” “disability” & “special needs”
18“A litany of woes”“We hear a lot about what’s wrong with our kids. A lot of our kids know things that white kids growing up in cities don’t know. About who their ancestors are, and how they walked on this land. About living with nature. About where their food comes from. If they haven’t started learning the ABCs or having a big vocabulary by the time they go to school, it doesn’t mean they’re off track in their development.”Avoid processes that inflame ongoingnegative stereotypes.
19Balanced perspective including strengths “We believe that every child is a gift, and has gifts. Isn’t there some way to use these observations to focus in on a child’s skills – what they CAN do – because we could work with that. If they’re good at cooking and they enjoy it, then they can be cooks. Not everyone has to be brainy or a speaker in the Big House to be happy.”
20So, it’s all about Them? Culturally sensitive Culturally appropriate Culturally informedPolitically correctMaking space for the ‘Other’Risk: ‘politics of guilt & resentment’ –polarities of ‘us & them’ / ‘perpetrators & victims’
21It’s about us!Braiding histories & futures across cultural boundaries (post-nationalism)Self-reflexivity – locating ourselves in terms of culture of origin, culture of choice, gender, age, income, education, creedIndividuals, families & communities, like ourselves, are diverse & hybrid.Reflexive practice – understand the cultural embeddedness of our practice goals, methods, ‘norms’, frustrations, & what we construct as positive outcomesExample:English dialects – Do we interpret differences as defects?Do we promote assimilation through insistence on the one and the only way?Some First Nations ask us to preserve children’s home dialects of English while also teaching them to code switch into the English of the dominant culture (‘school English’)
24Cultural protocols Seek cultural knowledge – ask questions Show respect – ask permissionDemonstrate reciprocity – learning, services given & takenEngage community accompaniment – find allies, colleagues, mentors in community of practice
25Personal reflexiveness Relational practice is founded on authentic encounters.Locate ourselves on cultural continuums.Introduce ourselves in terms of how our identities intersect many categories“I learned to leave my baggage at the door. Stopped needing to be the answer woman. Became open to what these women, these children, these Elders had to teach me. What we had in common was our desire to see them learn and grow to their full potential. What we needed to figure out was how to work together to see that happen.” (BH)
26Process Good process is culturally appropriate practice Grounded in relationshipsPacing: Is this the right time to be offering this particular form of service?Family-centred“I was contracted as an SLP to work at the band-operated preschool. I learned patience! I had to wait for parents to feel comfortable with who I was and why I was there. I sat quietly at the side of the room for a year before any parents would engage in conversation with me. I had been there for two years before I ever assessed an individual chld. But I had formed some positive relationships and was familiar to the children by the time I started delivering a service.” (AHF)
27Partnerships Creating & negotiating relationships: child family memberscommunity-based program staffcommunity leadersKnowledge sharing vs. informingCollaborative problem solving vs. expert/authorityReciprocal learning / mutual capacity buildingCo-constructing ways to move supports into place
28Positive purposeAwareness of colonial interventions that have depleted cultures, communities, & roles for familiesInformed consentFocus on strengthsAvoid negative labelingConfidentialityAccountabilityThe so-what? factor
29Make it matterEnsure there are real benefits that will follow from monitoring, screening or assessment.If few or no services, invest more in community-based capacity development than in screening & diagnosisWork with primary caregivers to enable them to support speech, language, hearingparents, guardians, other family membersECEs, Infant Development, Supported Child Development practitioners,nurses, teachersNavigator model (D. Olds) ensures a firm handshake between client and services needed
30Cultural safety is respectful engagement that supports & protects many paths to wellbeing “Finding our way to supporting wellness among diverse communities of children and families requires many pathways. No one approach, no one program model, will reach or work for everyone.”Meadow Lake Tribal Council Administrator