Indigenous Perpectives on the Mental Health of Children and Youth


Please note that there is a fee to attend this 2-part online training ($135.60 Members / $169.50 Non-Members).

We must consistently ask ourselves if our practices are appropriate for the Indigenous communities we work with. While strengths-based, anti-oppressive, and evidence-based models may appear to be beneficial, these are Western models based on world-views that may not be shared by Indigenous Peoples. Explore key issues pertaining to concepts of mental health and wellness in accordance with Indigenous world-views, as well as forms of resiliency and resistance.

  • How do Indigenous world-views describe positive mental health and conceptualize mental health challenges?
  • What are the underlying causes of mental health challenges for Indigenous children and youth and what does healing look like?
  • What are the tensions when differing perspectives look at defining positive mental health, as well as challenges to one’s mental health?
  • Under which conditions can Western treatment and Indigenous approaches work well together to support children and youth?

In this 2-part training (October 29th and November 4th, 1:00-4:00PM EST), participants will explore the current impacts of colonization specifically on Indigenous children and youth and how helpers with differing world-views can come together to consider values, ethics, and spiritual beliefs that shape their practice. Participants will identify and explore practices that focus on identity development, strength and culture-based initiatives, and active and intentional self-reflection in their roles as helpers.

The training will focus on taking actions in line with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations (2015), which highlight relationships and building trust between Indigenous and non-Indigenous service providers to foster understanding of the impacts of colonization on children, youth, and families, their ways of coping, and their numerous strengths. Finally, it will offer insight into how Indigenous values, ways of seeing the world, and helping practices may be of value to all children and youth.


  • Demonstrate an understanding of colonization and its current impacts on Indigenous Peoples and communities with an emphasis on children and youth
  • Understand the role of the child welfare and educational systems on the mental health of Indigenous children and youth and strategies for positive change
  • Examine holistic, community-based approaches to working with Indigenous children and youth in relationship to their communities
  • Explore ways that Indigenous and Western approaches can be integrated successfully in this helping work
  • Consider how Indigenous knowledges can inform the healing processes of non-Indigenous children and youth
Online October 29, 2020

1:00 pm

- 4:00 pm

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