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Title: Resilience and Urban Aboriginal Women
Authors: Scarpino, Gina
Issue Date: Mar-2007
Citation: Scarpino, Gina, "Resilience and Urban Aboriginal Women". NSWJ-V6, p. 33-55.
Abstract: This paper presents the results of a qualitative research study that explored resilience with four urban Aboriginal women. The research focused on the strengths of urban Aboriginal women, for research has silenced the voices of Aboriginal women by using Western concepts and constructs that have maintained colonialism through a negative portrayal of Aboriginal women. A two-part analysis was utilised in my research on resilience with urban Aboriginal women. First, the Western concept definition of resilience (the ability to overcome adversity by having more protective factors than risk factors) was critiqued. Second, the process of resilience from the cultural framework of the Medicine Wheel was explored, while applying post-colonial Indigenous epistemological and methodological approaches. The voices of four urban Aboriginal women were honoured using a discussion group with three participants, followed by two in-depth interviews, which were analysed using content analysis. A study of the data revealed that, through relationship with self, others and the Creator, a process of resilience emerges, and this process can effectively be captured by using the Medicine Wheel as a tool for analysis and understanding. From a Western perspective, risk and protective factors are linear forms used to explore resilience. From an Indigenous perspective, however, the exploration is a continual web of relationships, process and flow that encompasses life from childhood to adulthood and through to Elder status. The research explored the positive strengths of Aboriginal women and showed that the process of resilience is dependent on Indigenous ways of knowing.
ISSN: 1206-5323
Appears in Collections:Volume 6, March 2007: Resistance and Resiliency: Addressing Historical Trauma of Aboriginal Peoples

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