Utilizing the Cultural Responsiveness Framework to Develop a Strength-Based, Trauma-Informed Practice: Understanding the Practitioner's role in Indigenous Wellbeing

Video and Slides

The recorded video including Q&A are accessible from: https://youtu.be/kQF508sSVz0
To download the powerpoint slides from the event, click here.

These materials are available for non-commercial use only. If you use of these materials for non-commercial purposes, please make sure to give proper attribution:

Sasakamoose, J. (2022, April 20). Utilizing the Cultural Responsiveness Framework to Develop a Strength-Based, Trauma-Informed Practice: Understanding the Practitioner’s role in Indigenous Wellbeing. Public virtual lecture -- SFU Psychology Indigenous Reconciliation Committee: Invited Scholar Colloquium, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. https://youtu.be/kQF508sSVz0

About this event

This invited colloquium was organized by the SFU Department of Psychology's Indigenous Reconciliation Committee. The talk featured Indigenous scholar Dr. JoLee Sasakamoose discussing Utilizing the Cultural Responsiveness Framework to Develop a Strength-Based, Trauma-Informed Practice: Understanding the Practitioner's role in Indigenous Wellbeing.

At this talk, participants learned about:

  • The role of colonization, residential schools and adverse child experiences in Indigenous wellbeing
  • The Culturally Responsive Framework
  • How to shift from deficit to strengths-based thinking
  • The principles of trauma-informed practice

About Dr. JoLee Sasakamoose

JoLee Sasakamoose is Ashininaabe (Ojibwe) and a member of M'Chigeeng First Nation in Ontario and an active citizen of Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. Dr. JoLee’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Michigan State University (MSU), a Master's of Science in Human Development, Counseling and Family Studies from the University of Rhode Island (URI), and a Doctorate in Philosophy from MSU in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) program. She is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Educational Psychology and Counselling subject area in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina. She teaches Group Counselling, Counselling Girls and Women, Counselling Children and Youth, Indigenous Family Therapies, and Decolonizing Research Methodologies.

In collaboration with the First Nations communities of Saskatchewan, she co-authored the Indigenous Cultural Responsiveness Theory (ICRT), now known as the CRF, a theoretical framework to direct research that improves the health of Indigenous peoples in Saskatchewan. Dr. JoLee is the Wellness and Research Director of the Muskiki Muskwa Medicine Bear Healing Lodge and Peer Advocacy Services part of the Indigenous Wellness Research Community Network (IWRCN), a partnership with the Wellness Wheel Medical Clinic. The IWRCN assists peoples in Treaties 4 and 6 in their recovery from the residues of historical and intergenerational traumas related to colonization, residential schools and the ongoing genocidal practices in Canada today. IWRCN offers a training ground for practicum students from various professions, including counselling, social work, medicine, nursing, policing, education and a host of many others. Peer Health Advocacy services and training support with the Canadian Mental Health Association ensure the capacity building is locally-driven and resourced.

As the former Research Director for the Wellness Wheel Medical Clinic, she continues to engage researchers alongside a clinical team delivering comprehensive, interdisciplinary treatment provided through urban health centers and with First Nation partner communities’ heath teams. Dr. JoLee’s team are leaders in recognizing historic trauma as a critical determinant of Indigenous health (TRC, 2015). Via Indigenous community engagement, knowledge exchange, clinical intervention, education and outreach, she ensures the use of quality research that specifically affects the public health of First Nations, Metis and Indigenous peoples in provincially, nationally and beyond.

Dr. JoLee is a Principal Investigator in the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funded Saskatchewan First Nations and Metis Health Research Network (FMHRN). The nātawihowin (the art of self-healing) First Nations Health and Wellness Network is the only First Nations-specific health research network in Saskatchewan. Dr. JoLee serves as an Interim Co-Scientific Director under the umbrella of Federations of Sovereign Indigenous Nations' (FSIN) Health and Social Development Commission (HSDC) and FMHRN.

Selected Resources

In the colloquium, Dr. JoLee recommended many resources. These resources are listed in her slides which were generously provided for distribution by Dr. JoLee -- which are provided from the highlighted link further up in the page.

With regard toTimelines of Canadian Colonialism & Indigenous Resistance, Dr. JoLee provided links to 
a) https://indigenoussolidarityottawa.wordpress.com/timeline/
b) https://leveller.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Leveller-12.1-Timeline-two-pages.pdf

Part of the timeline of Canadian Colonialism is The Pass System: The Pass System video: In addition to the the many references in the talk/slides, Dr. JoLee discussed the Pass System which was used by the Governments to control movements of Indigenous Peoples and mentioned an award-winning documentary on the topic; information on the documentary and where/how to view it is available at: http://thepasssystem.ca/

During the colloquium, Dr. JoLee made reference to a version of An of Umbrella of First Nations Resiliency by Little Drum Consulting ((c) 2015)  which makes powerful links to historical events in Timelines of Canadian Colonialism and consequences, where self, family, culture, and community provide foundations of resiliency against these historical events and impacts. Although an adapted colour version Umbrella-of-Indigenous-Resiliency-Poster.pdf (orcabook.com) is shared here, people are advised to look with care at the more detailed one for First Nations by Little Drum Consulting provided in Dr. JoLee's slides and discussed in the presentation video. There are many historical/colonial events/acts/policies, which many do not know about.

Dr. JoLee provided several citations and links regarding impacts, including:
a) https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2013/07/19/canada_must_admit_aboriginal_ maltreatment_to_start_anew_editorial.html
b) https://indigenous-tairp.com/community/lest-we-forget-the-starving-of-indigenous-children-in-canada-as-a

Dr. JoLee referenced many valuable materials/work. Some specific links that Dr. JoLee provided in her talk include:
a) https://trauma-informed.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Trauma-informed_Toolkit.pdf
b) http://www.resiliencyinitiatives.ca/cms/wp‐content/uploads/2013/03/STRENGTH_BASED_PERSPECTIVE‐Dec‐10‐2012.pdf

Some additional citations/resources at the end of her talk on the slide labelled "Additional Tools for your Toolkit"  include but are not limited to some of her own work.

Department of Justice Canada Exploring Indigenous Approaches to Evaluation and Research in the Context of Victim Services and Supports in Evans, J., Larkin J., Bremner, L., Johnston. A., Rowe, G., & Sasakamoose, J., (2020).

Sasakamoose, J., Summary: Exploring Indigenous Approaches to Evaluation and Research in the Context of Victim Services and Supports, Report prepared for the Department of Justice Canada, Government of Canada. Request at: rsd.drs@justice.gc.ca.

Sasakamoose, Bellegarde, T., Sutherland, W., Pete, S., McKay‐ McNabb, K., (2017). Miýo‐pimātisiwin Developing Indigenous Cultural Responsiveness Theory (ICRT): Improving Indigenous Health and Wellbeing.: International Indigenous Policy Journal, 8 (3) p. 1‐16.

LaVallie, C., & Sasakamoose, J. (2020). Reflexive Reflection co‐created with Kehte‐ayak (Old Ones) as an Indigenous qualitative methodological tool for data contemplation, First Nations Health Authority special issue of the International Journal of Indigenous Health, 16 (2) 208‐224.

Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN). (2013). Cultural Responsiveness Framework. Retrieved from http://allnationshope.ca/userdata/files/187/CRF%20‐ %20Final%20Copy.pdf

If you are interested in additional resources on topics around Reconciliation/Decolonization/EDI, you may also interested in visiting the SFU Psyc IRC Resources page and links. They are continually being updated: https://www.sfu.ca/psychology/indigenous-reconciliation/resources.html