The role of culture in parenting: some Ojibway parents' perspectives

Neckoway, Raymond (2011) The role of culture in parenting: some Ojibway parents' perspectives. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

A child welfare court decision to grant the adoption of two Aboriginal children to non- Aboriginal parents despite the extended family's ability to care for the children and the community's leaders desire to repatriate their citizens raises two key issues that will be addressed in this study. The first key issue examines Ojibway parenting and their responses to common family challenges. The Ojibway culture had and continues to have pre-existing parenting and child development knowledge but it is largely unknown to professionals who provide various services to this population, i.e., judges, social workers, and psychologists. The history and context of Aboriginal families in Canada and the influence of culture in parenting is explored in the literature. The historical pattern, when dealing with Aboriginal families in Canada, is to favour ideas or solutions that can be called "European," or "Western" in origin. This means that Aboriginal ideas or solutions to their family or parenting problems are ignored or devalued. The second key issue is that Aboriginal families, First Nations leaders, and Aboriginal service providers have encountered child welfare court decisions, child welfare policies, and social work practice that rely on the premises of attachment theory. The (over) reliance on attachment theory has meant that Aboriginal children have been removed from their parents and/or their communities when alternative solutions exist. For the above reasons, this study explores the role of Ojibway culture on urban Ojibway parents' perspectives utilizing a Talking Circle format. Ojibway participants' words and the meanings attributed to parenting practices are compared to attachment theory's sensitivity and security constructs. Urban Ojibway parents lean towards the Ojibway culture for information on parenting values, practices, perspectives, ceremonies and customs. Relying on Ojibway parenting assumptions and practices that are not supported in an urban environment produces a discontinuity from participant's childhoods and parenting assumptions. Thus, the urban context exerts its influence by creating conditions of parenting that previous generations of Ojibway parents in First Nations communities did not have to consider and solve. The implications for Ojibway parenting perspectives and practices and the consideration of using knowledge developed outside of their culture are considered.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12285
Item ID: 12285
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 218-230).
Department(s): Social Work, School of
Date: May 2011
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Ojibwa Indians--Family relationships; Child rearing--Cross-cultural studies; Child development--Cross-cultural studies

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