Kinship Care Redesign in Alberta: ALIGN Agency Response (Revised October 2021)
Our team with ALIGN met with Elders Dr. Reg and Rose Crowshoe in October 2021 for a conversation about kinship care in Alberta. Discussion questions included: What principles should agencies adopt when supporting/delivering Kinship Care? What standards of practice should be built to ensure best practice? This is a summary of what we heard.
We heard that kinship care redesign should honour Indigenous world view and traditional practices, acknowledge natural law as equivalent to written laws, include Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and include provisions for ceremony (e.g., the right to smudge built into policies).
The transferred right to practice kinship, in the traditional way of bringing up children as one’s own family, should be protected as much as written kinship agreements. There is a transferred right to practice kinship through ceremony, oral practice, song, and natural law. There is kindness through the smudge. Oral practice is valued, not secondary to written documents. Song is equivalent to written policies (e.g., treaty song = written treaties, accountability to both).
We also heard about the importance of family, community and relationship. From an Indigenous perspective, there is…READ FULL