Urban Indigenous Identity Development in Survivors of the Child Welfare System

  • Author / Creator
    Reed, Kelsey Erin
  • This study examined the experiences of identity development in urban Indigenous survivors of the Child Welfare System, the ways in which their Indigenous identity developed, and how they did/did not feel supported. In this study I interviewed three Indigenous women who were involved with the Child Welfare System throughout their childhood and/or adolescence in Edmonton, Alberta. Using an Indigenous Research Methodology, I approached this study from an Indigenous paradigm. Grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing and being, this study included cultural protocol and ceremony to honour the voices of the participants. The data was collected through three semi-structured interviews with each participant. The interviews revealed that our existing policies in the Child Welfare System, specifically the policies and practices around apprehension, separation of sibling groups, and forced transition to Semi-Independent Living programs are negatively impacting Indigenous identity development of children in care. Furthermore, the non-Indigenous placements lacked cultural mirrors, the participants experienced constant displacement, and were given direct and indirect negative messaging about Indigenous peoples. Participants spoke about reconnecting to their Indigenous identity and the value of having connection with other Indigenous peoples. These findings indicate the need for policy reform in the Child Welfare System, the recruitment and retention of Indigenous Child and Youth Care Practitioners, and investment into family reunification.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2023
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.