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Title: Help or hindrance? A narrative exploration of the familial relationships of an indigenous woman living in Northern Ontario
Authors: Carfagnini, Adrienne
Keywords: homelessness;indigenous;aboriginal;native
Issue Date: 22-Aug-2016
Abstract: In Canada, Indigenous women and parents have been over-represented in the homeless population (Menzies, 2006). Relatively little is known about the experiences, perspectives and needs of this population (Shaikh, Kauppi, Pallard, & Gervais, 2013). This narrative study uncovers the family life experiences of an Indigenous woman given the pseudonym “Sam”; she was living in Northern Ontario and had experienced homelessness. Both the Listening Guide, a qualitative voice-centered relational method of inquiry based on the work of Carol Gilligan, and traditional Cree Medicine Wheel teachings were utilized to analyze data. Results indicate that family members played roles both supportive and unsupportive to Sam. Family members were instrumental in the genesis of homelessness for Sam and in facilitating transitions into housing. I-poems derived from interviews with Sam reveal aspects of life in stages from childhood through to elder, and illustrate her relationships with immediate family (mother, father, siblings, son), extended family members (grandmother, aunts, cousins, grandchildren), partners and friends. The findings support the view that changes in social work practice and policy are required to ensure that services are culturally safe and relevant for Indigenous peoples, and allow for the full inclusion of family members and varied relationships within the lives of women living with homelessness.
Appears in Collections:Social Work - Master's Major Papers

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