Past experiences enhance the future. Health care providers gaining expertise in creative thinking, traditional medicine, spirituality, and cultural sensitivity is an essential requirement for 21st century health care. We must stay mindful that poverty, isolation, and rural living may create new forms of social exclusion because of lack of communication and rapidly changing technology. Conversely, sensory overload resulting from a faster paced lifestyle and rapid enhancements in technology may cause increased tension and stress. This article reviews successes that may offer the reader ideas on coping with the provision of health care services in such a volatile changing environment, while honoring tradition and cultural competency.
Child Sexual Assault (CSA) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is a complex issue that cannot be understood in isolation from the ongoing impacts of colonial invasion, genocide, assimilation, institutionalised racism and severe socio-economic deprivation. Service responses to CSA are often experienced as racist, culturally, financially and/or geographically inaccessible. A two-day forum, National Yarn Up: Sharing the Wisdoms and Challenges of Young People and Sexual Abuse, was convened by sexual assault services to identify the main practice and policy concerns regarding working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people (C&YP), families and communities in the context of CSA. The forum also aimed to explore how services can become more accountable and better engaged with the communities they are designed to support. The forum was attended by eighty invited Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal youth sexual assault managers and workers representing both "victim" and "those who sexually harm others" services. In keeping with Aboriginal Community-Based Research methods forum participants largely directed discussions and contributed to the analysis of key themes and recommendations reported in this article. The need for sexual assault services to prioritise cultural safety by meaningfully integrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Worldviews emerged as a key recommendation. It was also identified that collaboration between "victims" and "those who sexually harm" services are essential given Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander C&YP who sexually harm others may have also been victims of sexual assault or physical violence and intergenerational trauma. By working with the whole family and community, a collaborative approach is more likely than the current service model to develop cultural safety and thus increase the accessibility of sexual assault services.
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This ethnographic study explored the question, How do urban-based First Nations peoples use healing traditions to address their health issues? The objectives were to examine how Aboriginal traditions addressed health issues and explore the link between such traditions and holism in nursing practice. Data collection consisted of individual interviews, participant observations, and field notes. Three major categories that emerged from the data analysis were: following a cultural path, gaining balance, and sharing in the circle of life. The global theme of healing holistically included following a cultural path by regaining culture through the use of healing traditions; gaining balance in the four realms of spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health; and sharing in the circle of life by cultural interactions between Aboriginal peoples and non-Aboriginal health professionals. Implications for practice include incorporating the concepts of balance, holism, and cultural healing into the health care services for diverse Aboriginal peoples.
This off-reservation boarding school serves over 600 students in grades 4-12; approximately 85% of the students reside in campus dormitories. After having documented significant improvement on a number of outcomes during a previous High Risk Youth Prevention demonstration grant, the site submitted a Therapeutic Residential Model proposal, requesting funding to continue successful elements developed under the demonstration grant and to expand mental health services. The site received Therapeutic Residential Model funding for school year 2001-2002. Once funds were received, the site chose to shift Therapeutic Residential Model funds to an intensive academic enhancement effort. While not in compliance with the Therapeutic Residential Model initiative and therefore not funded in subsequent years, this site created the opportunity to enhance the research design by providing a naturally occurring placebo condition at a site with extensive cross-sectional data baselines that addressed issues related to current federal educational policies.
PURPOSE: To provide a picture of the access and use of health services by Aboriginal British Columbians living in both reserve and off-reserve communities. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: This project represents a collaborative effort between the University of British Columbia and multiple Aboriginal community partners. Between June and November 2003, 267 face-to-face interviews were conducted with Aboriginal persons in seven rural community organizations across the province. FINDINGS: This paper reports on the results of a survey of 267 Aboriginal clients. It was found that a substantial number of survey respondents accessed health services provided by an Aboriginal person. Although most respondents felt that services were available, they also identified a number of concerns. These revolved around the need to travel for services, as well as a lack of access to more specialized services. A number of self-reported barriers to service were also identified. These findings have several policy implications and will be useful to service planners. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: Several questions for additional research were identified including the need to establish an inventory of service problem areas and investigating service and benefit policy and community awareness issues. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: This paper provides policy makers with knowledge on the rural Aboriginal population, a population that has faced long standing problems in accessing appropriate health services.