MASP Reconciliation Statement and Resources
Land Acknowledgement Statement
The Manitoba Association of School Psychologists (MASP) is located on original lands of Anishinaabe, Cree, Dakota, Dene and Oji-Cree peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. We honour the Treaties that were signed on these lands and we acknowledge the harms of the past. We commit to a future of genuine partnership and reconciliation with Indigenous communities in this region by meaningful collaboration and mutually beneficial relationships.
The Manitoba Association of School Psychologists acknowledges the profession of psychology’s history of unethical practice and the harm it has caused Indigenous Peoples. We are committed to taking accountability and actively addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s Calls to Action. We aim to support School Psychologists in addressing educational gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, promoting the integration of culturally responsive practices, and facilitating family and community educational involvement. By sharing these resources, we hope that our community engages in self-reflection and evaluation, and takes collective, corrective action going forward.
Truth and Reconciliation Links and Resources for School Psychologists
Descriptions include information about the article and how it informs School Psychology practice.
Barnes, R. & Josefowitz, N. (2019). Indian Residential Schools in Canada: Persistent Impacts on Aboriginal students’ psychological development and functioning. Canadian Psychology, 60, 65-76.
In this article, a model is proposed to explore the possible impacts of Indian Residential School (IRS) experiences. The model identifies four aspects of student experiences that were a direct result of Canadian law or policy and so affected all IRS students: parental loss, institutional care, forced acculturation and acculturation stress, and discrimination/racism. The model also identifies three aspects of student experiences related to inadequate or abusive IRS operations: maltreatment, trauma, and bullying. This model suggests important and not generally understood IRS psychological impacts, including the vulnerability of former students not only to (a) persistent mental disorders but also to (b) complex traumatic reactions arising from impaired relational attachment and developmental maturation, (c) negative cascades of events, and (d) social marginalization resulting from both Canadian societal racism and lack of opportunities to develop or retain Aboriginal languages and cultures. The article concludes with specific ways for psychologists to use this model to participate in the truth and reconciliation process through research, education, clinical treatment, and advocacy.
Bigfoot, D. S., & Funderburk, B. W. (2011). Honoring children, making relatives: The cultural translation of parent-child interaction therapy for American Indian and Alaska Native families. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 43(4), 309-318.
Similar to the above resource (Bigfoot et al., 2010), this article analyzes American Indian and Alaska Native adaptations to evidence-based treatment. Particularly, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) was adjusted to be effective for parents struggling with different aspects of parenting of difficult child behaviour. This adaptation was titled Honoring Children-Making relatives. This adaption includes and honours beliefs held by both cultures surrounding parenting and children. The authors describe the adaptations made to PCIT within this new model of treatment and the different considerations that were taken into account when including important aspects of the individual cultures. Additionally, how this model of treatment may be applied is discussed.
Bigfoot, D. S., & Schmidt, S. R. (2010). Honoring children, mending the circle: cultural adaptation of trauma‐focused cognitive‐behavioral therapy for American Indian and Alaska Native children. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 66(8), 847-856.
This article discusses a modification of an evidence-based child trauma treatment for ‘American Indians’ and ‘Alaska Natives. A trauma-focused cognitive-behavioural therapy program developed by the Indian Country Child Trauma Center focusing on addressing the significant levels of trauma exposure and vulnerabilities in these populations. Influencing how the treatment and teachings were run was “Honoring Children, Mending the Circle (HC-MC)” using teachings traditional to both cultures combined with a CBT approach to practice. This article is important as it highlights the importance of considering and honouring culture in effective treatment and practices in order to promote best outcomes for individuals.
Brophy, A. (2014). Assessing the Language of Aboriginal Canadian Children: Towards a More Culturally Valid Approach. Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 38(2), 152-173
This article considers the lack of valid principles or procedures for the assessment of Indigenous youth’s language skills and/or potential deficits. The article comes from a speech-language pathology perspective and emphasizes the need for appropriate practices in order to screen for potential deficits, establish baselines, and measure change from interventions. This article also emphasizes the crucial role of speech and language in an individual's success in many domains throughout development, such as within the educational domain. The information provided in this article would be beneficial for those interested in considering the potential bias and/or error within speech & language assessments of Indigenous youth in Canada and the suggestions made for development of best practices to eliminate the same.
CPA’s Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Report
The scope of this report includes psychology’s role in service delivery, research, and mental health program development and evaluation. The task force hopes that this paper will directly and quickly be of assistance to Indigenous communities, by providing direction and guidelines for the profession of psychology and by leading to further self-reflection, recommendations, and cultural literacy development by those who practice psychology.
CPA’s Indigenous Peoples’ Psychology Section
The Indigenous Peoples’ Psychology Section supports psychologists, researchers, students, and community partners who are committed to advancing the wellbeing of Indigenous peoples throughout Canada and the world. The site offers news and events, information on Indigenous student awards, and gathering opportunities. The Indigenous Peoples’ Psychology Section Chair is also listed on the link and may be a wealth of knowledge for psychologists with questions pertaining to Indigenous peoples.
Findlay, L., Kohen, D., & Miller, A. (2014). Developmental milestones among aboriginal children in Canada. Paediatrics & Child Health, 19(5), 241-6.
In this study, researchers examined the developmental milestones of Inuit, Metis, and off-reserve First Nation children in Canada. Findings indicated that children in all three groups achieved gross motor and self-help skills earlier, whereas language skills were achieved slightly later than in Canadian children in general. Additionally, health factors (e.g., low birth weight, chronic health conditions) were associated with late achievement of developmental outcomes. It was suggested that development may be influenced by social or cultural factors.
Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
The full report from The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (535 pages).
Ingraham, C. (2000). Consultation through a multicultural lens: Multicultural and cross-cultural consultation in schools. School Psychology Review, 29(3), 320-343.
This article discusses how school psychologists deal with many diverse cultures within the schools they practice, and different cultural issues can affect different areas of practice. The goal of the article is to use a multicultural lens to explore consultation practice within schools and to identify potential “issues, constructs and processes to explore in future research”. Specifically, authors define different constructs related to culture and consultation within schools and review the current literature in this area while mentioning important areas for future research. Further, the framework of multicultural school consultation (MSC) is discussed in the context of different facets of consultation and the strengths of this approach in the consideration of diversity. This document is important for school psychologists as large caseloads contain many diverse cultures and diversity should be considered within consultation to improve communication and understanding.
Kirmayer, L. J. (2012). Cultural competence and evidence-based practice in mental health: Epistemic communities and the politics of pluralism. Social Science and Medicine, 75, 249-256.
This article discusses how there are discrepancies between cultural competence (CC) and Evidence-based practice (EBP). Both of these concepts help to make mental health care more effective for diverse populations, and what the authors describe as “tension” between the two may result in issues for practice within mental health. EBP is described as having limitations when it comes to cultural assumptions, scientific rigidity and economic or political interest. What is recommended is often based on the population majority and may not be relevant for diverse cultures. The authors discuss how considering culture in EBP can raise problems related to diagnostic and conceptual frameworks for questions, interventions and outcome assessment, as well as certain communities or cultures potentially not relying on the method EBP takes to inform practice. Therefore, it is important to consider both cultural factors and scientific evidence-based practice in our practices in order to promote both EBP and CC and provide mental health services that will be effective for all cultures.
Lee, J., Heberlein, E., Pyle, E., Caughlan, T., Rahaman, D., Sabin, M., & Kaar, J. (2020). Evaluation of a resiliency focused health coaching intervention for middle school students: Building resilience for healthy kids program. American Journal of Health Promotion 1(8).
This article is an intervention study using a pre-post design to evaluate a program with the goal of building resiliency in students through the teaching of coping skills and other strategies by way of health coaches. The sample was 11-12 years in age and the program occurred over an 8-week period during regular school hours. This study was a pilot study and the program included motivational interviewing, resilience-related goal planning and improvement of coping and self-efficacy. The measures utilized to assess change included information on demographics, health behaviours, mood, academic pressure, grit, self-efficacy and resilience. An increase in resilience was found post-intervention, and the next highest improvement was found in self-efficacy, then grit. The lowest levels of improvement were seen in depression, anxiety and academic pressure. These findings show that health coaching may be effective at improving resiliency in youth and resiliency has been linked to positive mental health outcomes in children. Although, this is a pilot, single-group study and future research is needed to further support these outcomes.
Lindblom, A. (2014). Under-detection of autism among First Nations children in British Columbia, Canada. Disability & Society, 29(8), 1248–1259.
This article demonstrates that First Nations children diagnosed with autism in British Columbia, Canada are underrepresented in publications regarding autism and this group appears to be undetected. The aim of this study was to identify possible explanations why this group is not being represented in publications regarding autism. The researchers suggest possible reasons for under-detection of autism among Indigenous populations include: diagnostic substitution and symptom presentation, ethnic or cultural reasons, area of residence or the impact of historical oppression and discrimination.
McIntosh, K., Moniz, C., Craft C., Golby, R., & Steinwand-Deschambault, T. (2014). Implementing school-wide positive behavioural interventions and supports to better meet the needs of Indigenous students. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 29,(3), 236-257.
The authors of this article provide a brief overview of positive behavioural interventions and supports (PBIS) and how PBIS can be adapted to meet the needs of Indigenous students. The need for and importance of culturally responsive behaviour supports for Indigenous students is also discussed. They also review a study that was done in a high school in the Northwest Territories where culturally adapted PBIS was implemented in a high school. They found there was a steady decrease in the rate of suspensions, with the number of days of suspensions per student cut by more than half with the implementation of culturally adapted PBIS.
National Association of School Psychologists. (2020). Effective Service Delivery for Indigenous Children, Youth, Families, and Communities. [Position Statement].
In this article, NASP posits itself as a group that affirms the rights of all Indigenous children and youth to access culturally responsive education and mental health support. The NASP Indigenous American Subcommittee has developed, and presents in this article, The Indigenous Conceptual Framework that school psychologists can use to guide their work with Indigenous students. The framework is presented in a nonlinear graphic image drawing on Indigenous world views. There are eight points on a star that represent the main concepts school psychologists should keep at the forefront of their practice - sovereignty, language, intentionality, reciprocity, spirituality, cognitive/academic (assessment), social/behavioural (resilience), and physical (health).
Nelson, M., & Ford, L. (2019). Linking assessment and intervention: Toward culturally responsive ways of supporting mental health and wellness of children and youth who identify as Indigenous. Psynopsis, 41(3), 23-24.
A brief article that provides psychologists with nine concrete ideas aligned with the TRC’s Calls to Action to consider when working with children and youth who identify as Indigenous. These include using language consistent with cultural health and wellness and accepting invitations to participate in cultural activities.
Portage and Press: Authentic Indigenous Content for Early Years Classrooms
Portage and Press have created a list of books aimed to support teachers and clinicians in bringing thoughtful Indigenous content written by Indigenous authors into schools. The website includes both children’s stories and books for teachers who are wanting to teach Indigenous content in a thoughtful way.
Psynopsis, Vol. 41, Issue 3: Indigenous Peoples Mental Health and Wellbeing – Updates in Canadian Psychology Practice
This Edition of the Canadian Psychological Association’s magazine centers around Indigenous Peoples’ mental health and wellbeing. It features several articles of especial relevance to School Psychologists in Manitoba, a few examples being: Approaching psychological assessment with northern Indigenous Peoples: suggestions from a psychologist in the Yukon Territory; Linking assessment and intervention: Toward culturally responsive ways of supporting mental health and wellness of children and youth who identify as Indigenous; and Exploring Indigenous youths’ perspectives on wellness.
Rushing, S., Hildebrandt, N., Grimes, C., Rowsell, A., Christensen, B., & Lambert, W. (2016). Healthy & empowered youth: A positive youth development program for native youth. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 52, 263-267.
This paper looks at a program called Healthy & Empowered Youth (HEY) that was implemented in the USA to improve health behaviours. The program builds on a curricula referred to as STAND (Students Together Against Negative Decisions) which draws on traditional Indigenous values and teachings for Indigenous youth. This program consists of 27 sessions that are 90 minutes each and includes programming such as hands-on learning, field trips, guest speakers, and other activities on a variety of topics, including sexual/reproductive health. Cultural activities and career development programming were also included. The study found through pre and post surveys that the program improved student leadership and achievement, physical and mental health, and sexual health behaviours. Through interviewing the youth involved they also found improvements in student self-esteem, life skills, health behaviour, and engagement in culture/community.
Snowshoe, A., Crooks, C. V., Tremblay, P. F., & Hinson, R. E. (2017). Cultural connectedness and its relation to mental wellness for First Nations youth. Journal of Primary Prevention, 38, 67-86.
Canadian researchers from the University of Regina and University of Western Ontario investigated the link between cultural connectedness and mental wellness in 290 First Nations Youth from rural and urban schools in Saskatchewan and Southwestern Ontario. Using the Cultural Connectedness Scale - Short Version they measured three components of cultural connectedness - identity, spirituality and traditions. They further measured self-efficacy, sense of self (present and future), school connectedness and life satisfaction. Results from the students aged 11-24 (mean = 14.4) indicated that cultural connectedness had strong associations with mental health indicators, at times above the level of social determinants of health.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission makes the following calls to action in the areas of child welfare, education, language and culture, health, and justice.
Wendt, D. C., & Gone, J. P. (2012). Rethinking cultural competence: Insights from Indigenous community treatment settings. Transcultural Psychiatry, 49(2), 206-222.
This article discusses what conceptualization of cultural competence within psychotherapeutic interventions may be most appropriate and beneficial. Wendt & Gone discuss how some conceptualizations of cultural competence can lead to the provider perceiving larger between-groups differences than within-groups differences leading to cultural essentialism, which they argue is simply furthering racism. They also discuss the pitfalls of process-oriented conceptualizations, which they argue is too general. Wendt & Gone present a conceptualization that emphasizes shared meanings and practices of everyday life between communities and practitioners and attempts to avoid the pitfalls of essentialism and generalization that other conceptualizations can contain. This article includes two case studies, with one occurring in the USA and one right here in Manitoba. This article could be beneficial for psychologists to consider their own conceptualization of cultural competence and the potentials pitfalls therein.
Wexler, L. M., & Gone, J. P. (2012). Culturally responsive suicide prevention in Indigenous communities: Unexamined assumptions and new possibilities. American Journal of Public Health, 102(5), 800-806.
This article discusses how there is a disproportionately high suicide rate among Indigenous communities in North America, and prevention/intervention has not appropriately addressed this due to potential disconnect between these efforts and Indigenous community view and understanding of suicide. The authors in this study looked at assumptions that are included within suicide prevention and intervention programs and how these may not be universally relevant, especially within Indigenous communities. The goal of the article was to engage discussion surrounding the best ways to address the high rate of suicide within Indigenous communities and encourage development of more culturally specific intervention and prevention programs. This information may be particularly beneficial for school psychologists engaging in or conducting research in suicide prevention or intervention strategies, particularly in the Manitoba school environment which consists of a large number of Indigenous students. The consideration of cultural context when addressing suicide is extremely important in order to promote positive communication, relationships and intervention/prevention outcomes.