ICWRN Sponsored Research


Georgina Martin

With the support of an ICWRN student research grant, phD student Georgina Martin is undertaking a research project entitled Secwepemc Knowledge, in which she researches the loss of identity and its relevance to proactive health with the Secwepemc people. The purpose of this holistic health project is to examine how the community can restore a stronger sense of identity and community.

Secwepemc Knowledge final report.[pdf].

Damien Lee

With the support of an ICWRN student research grant, Damien Lee graduated from the UVic Indigenous Governance program with a Community Governance Project entitled Dibaajimowinan: Four Stories of Resurgence in Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg Territory. This was not a thesis project, but a community-based initiative that supported anti-colonial work in Nishnaabeg territory, in southern Ontario.

The output of the project was a blog website, along with four podcast audio files. The third podcast consists of one person’s view of how Nishnaabeg children are engaging in cultural resurgence.The site is self-explanatory, but it is best if you start reading through it from the introductory page:



carriersekani copy  Our Family Our Children Our Laws

In April 2010, CSFS produced a project called Our Family Our Children Our Laws in which community-based research was used to determine how services should evolve so they are culturally-based and governed through the laws of the Carrier peoples. The power point presentation outlines the project methodology, goals, and objectives.

Our Children Family Laws [pdf]

Secwepemc Rites of Passage-1 copy  Secwepemc Rites of Passage

Also in April 2010, SCES produced a project called Secwepemc Rites of Passage the objective of which was to provide their children, families and communities with some essential information about Secwepemc rites of passage so that they will have a way to be a part of rites of passage ceremonies. The power point presentation provides information about the project overview, methodology, research topics, project participants, and project researcher.

Secwepemc Rites of Passage [pdf]

ICWRN Steering Committee:

Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD)

Featuring Dr. Jeannine Carriére

In 2007, the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) Adoption services management team provided funding to explore how the Cultural Planning Policy that was implemented in 1996, has impacted the adoption of Aboriginal children into non-Aboriginal families.

  • Phase 1 [pdf]  You Should Know that I Trust You: Cultural Planning, Aboriginal Children and Adoption.
  • Phase 2 [pdf]  You Should Know That I Trust You: A study entitled Strengthening Cultural Plans for Aboriginal Children and Adoption.
  • phase 3 [pdf] You Should Know that I Trust You:  A summary of a qualitative online survey conducted with adoption, guardianship and Roots workers in BC.

Phase 1 of the research focuses on the adoptive families and the Aboriginal communities experiences, Phase 2 provides a summary of a qualitative online survey conducted with adoption, guardianship and Roots workers in BC. Phase 3 looks at the perspectives of youth on cultural planning, foster care and adoption. We are honoured by the voices of these 8 youth in this phase of the research. Many thanks go to Kim Grzbowski for her interviewing skills with youth and to the Adoptive Families Association for their assistance. We are grateful to all who assisted in all three phases of this cultural planning research, which is now complete.

Dr. Sandrina de Finney

Developing Aboriginal Adoption Strategies:

This community report features a community-based research study on urban Aboriginal adoptions in Victoria, British Columbia. Entitled NONG SILA, a Lekwungen word meaning many grandparents, many grandchildren, the study responds to the urgent need for building culturally-appropriate capacity in the Aboriginal adoptions sector in British Columbia. Although they represent less than 5% of BC’s population, Aboriginal children constitute half of all BC children who are available for adoption, while 64% of adoptive parents are non-Aboriginal. Despite this over-representation, there is a dearth of research about off reserve, urban social services.

Grounded in an Indigenous community-based action research design, the NONG SILA project drew on community consultations with Elders, families and service providers to identify historical, policy and programming gaps, with the goal of building culturally-appropriate capacity for supporting urban Aboriginal children, families and caregivers. The result was the development of an Aboriginal “Adoptions Council” for Victoria’s urban, off reserve community.

The report offers reflections on the need for the study and the study’s relevance for developing an adoptions council in an urban context characterized by a highly mobile and diverse Aboriginal population. Findings discuss the ethical complexity of service provision in urban contexts, where delegated agencies must work within and across multiple and sometimes competing policy and institutional mandates, cultural traditions related to caregiving, fostering and adoptions, as well as Aboriginal territories and jurisdictions.

Please contact Sandrina de Finney for document.



Vancouver Foundation
University of Victoria: Human & Social Development
Univeristy of Victoria