Narrative Outsider Witnessing: Responding to Communities Struggling with Aboriginal Land Claims
There are many outstanding Aboriginal land claims in Canada. These land claim disputes have at times resulted in conflict between Aboriginal and Non-aboriginal communities. Traditional forms of conflict resolution and mediation have not been successful in resolving these concerns quickly. In the mean time, communities are left to struggle with the effects of the stress and tension assoicated with blockades and demonstrations. This workshop will describe the practice experience of using Narrative Outsider Witnessing to facilitate two community-wide gatherings in the Caledonia and Six Nations area of Southwestern Ontario in Canada. The process of working collaboratively with Aboriginal and Non-aboriginal social workers and community workers will be described, highlighting the interview process and preparation for the large meetings as well as the structuring of the community-wide gatherings. These community-wide gatherings, rather than focusing on the content of the dispute or conflict resolution, focused on what the wider membership of both communities most wished for. In particulalr, they were most concerned about re-building relationships across communities and the safety of their children.
Keywords: Narrative Therapy, Community Work, Aboriginal Land Claims, Outsider Witnessing
Dr. Laura Beres
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, King's University College at the University of Western Ontario
Affiliation not supplied