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Child Welfare & Indigenous Families

Dr. Dena Ned“What frustrates me,” said Dr. Dena Ned, “is that Indigenous Peoples—who just want to be who they are, who want to practice their spirituality and raise families in the way that makes sense to them, in connection to the land and space they are in—are consistently told ‘you are doing this wrong.’  For too many generations, the intrusion of colonization has disrupted Indigenous lives.  People are continuing to come into Indigenous spaces with no understanding of the long history of oppression saying, ‘your families are wrong and we need to fix them,’ instead of allowing American Indian peoples to have the family and community life that works for them.”

Despite this history, this book presents tangible shifts in this pattern of interference.  Not only does this publication capture the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada, one of the few moments when a Western government has acknowledged the historical trauma they imposed on Native Peoples; it also explores a reconnection to the valuable knowledge Native Peoples have always had.  “Indigenous families have known what they were doing all along,” Dr. Ned continues.  “They have always valued their children as individuals with a bright future. This book is unique in the way it pushes past the list of problems and reflects what is actually being done to take back the strengths of American Indian life.  First Nations have an acute ability to survive.  This book captures the ways that tribal communities are taking back how Native children and families are initiating positive, sustainable change in their communities.”


Ned, J. D. & Frost, C. J., eds. (2017). Contemporary Issues in Child Welfare: American Indian and Canadian Aboriginal Contexts. Canada:  J. Charlton Publishing, Ltd. ISBN: 9781926476155

Last Updated: 5/28/19