Skye’s Legacy

The Importance of Belonging

From longing to belonging: Attachment theory, connectedness, and indigenous children in Canada

This chapter examines attachment theory in relation to adoption versus Indigenous kinship, and the considerations of implementing such a framework within the practices of indigenous child welfare. Through a blend of both Western and Indigenous worldviews and values, a cross-cultural outlook is formed by the authors as they examine the eurocentric policies which restrict traditional holistic family practices and child dignity. Always emphasizing the cruciality of “connectedness”, the importance of sustaining an Indigenous child’s cultural ties and well-rounded identity in relation to themselves, their family, and their nation is made clear. Of central focus, is the desire to see more extended family or community members within a nation resume care for Indigenous children so that their sense of cultural belonging remains intact. The hope is that by “supporting connectedness and cultural identity for indigenous children and families, service providers may help turn longing into belonging.”

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