Deverteuil, Geoffrey and Wilson, Kathi
Reconciling indigenous need with the urban welfare state? Evidence of culturally-appropriate services and spaces for Aboriginals in Winnipeg, Canada
Geoforum, 41, (3), . (doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2010.01.004).
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Despite the increasing urbanization of the Aboriginal population in Canada over the past 50 years, most municipalities have not developed services and programs designed to meet their unique social and cultural needs. Faced with numerous health and social problems, the Aboriginal population is mainly forced to rely on the non-Aboriginal social services sector. However, little is known about the extent to which such sectors seek to accommodate Aboriginal populations in their programming. We examine the extent to which the recovery system makes space for Aboriginal healing through the provision of culturally-appropriate services and programming. Through the use of 24 in-depth interviews with staff members at seven treatment facilities in Winnipeg (Canada), we find an entrenched reluctance, indifference and lack of desire to create Aboriginal spaces of healing in treatment, save for one facility where Aboriginal healing spaces serve as a focal point of treatment. We discuss the implications in terms of the effectiveness of the non-Aboriginal recovery system (along with other social services) in meeting the needs of Canada’s urban Aboriginal population.
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