Narrative Outsider Witnessing: Responding to Communities Struggling with Aboriginal Land Claims

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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
Stream: Psychology, Cognitive Science and Behavioural Sciences
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Laura Beres

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, King's University College at the University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, Canada

Laura Beres teaches direct and reflective practice approaches within the BSW and MSW programmes at King's University College. She has examined the use of Narrative approaches in her work with women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and partner violence. Her earlier work focused on women's negotiation of the representation of the romanticization of abuse in popular culture, resulting in publications in Affilia and the European Journal of Cultural Studies. She also co-wrote a chapter with Jim Duvall regarding narrative practices with survivors of sexual abuse, in Narrative Therapy: Making Meaning, Making Lives (2007). Her current research is in regards Narrative Therapy with men who have used abuse in their relationships. She continues to be involved in community and clinical practices in which she is able to pursue further development of Narrative Therapy and the integration of mindfulness in Social Work.

James Duvall

Affiliation not supplied
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Ref: I08P0033