Giibinenimidizomin: Owning Ourselves - Critical Incidents in the Attainment of Aboriginal Identity

  • Alanaise O. Goodwill Brandon University School of Health Studies
  • Rod McCormick Associate Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education, University of British Columbia
Keywords: Aboriginal identity, multicultural counselling, critical incident technique, counsellor education, counselling research

Abstract

This research explored the facilitation and hindrance of Aboriginal identity attainment and developed a scheme of categories to describe what facilitates and hinders cultural identity among Canadian Aboriginal adults living in British Columbia. Twelve individuals, interviewed using the critical incident technique, were asked to describe observable events that they thought had significantly helped or hindered their Aboriginal identity. In total, 114 helping incidents and 24 hindering incidents were identified. Helping incidents were placed into 12 categories (Participating in a Cultural Gathering, Participating in a Group of Aboriginal People, Connecting with Family, Changing Self-Perception, Helping Other Aboriginal People, Verbalizing Experiences as an Aboriginal Person, Spiritual Experience, Getting Support from Parents, Attending a Cultural Gathering, Being Influenced by a Grandparent, Personal Accomplishment, and Experiencing Positive Representations of Aboriginals). Hindering incidents were placed into 3 categories (Living with Separation from Aboriginal Peoples/Culture, Experiencing Racism and Prejudice, and Experiencing Negative Portrayals of Aboriginals). Ad hoc analyses supported the trustworthiness of the proposed categorical system. The results support the perspective of the dominant literature, while suggesting future directions for research and practice in multicultural counselling with respect to Aboriginal cultural identity.

Author Biographies

Alanaise O. Goodwill, Brandon University School of Health Studies
Alanaise Goodwill is an assistant professor in the School of Health Studies, First Nations and Aboriginal Counselling Program. She is a member of the Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation in Manitoba.
Rod McCormick, Associate Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education, University of British Columbia
Rod McCormick is an Associate Professor with the University of British Columbia Counselling Psychology Program. He is a member of the Kahnawake Mohawk First Nation in Quebec.
Published
2011-10-11
How to Cite
Goodwill, A. O., & McCormick, R. (2011). Giibinenimidizomin: Owning Ourselves - Critical Incidents in the Attainment of Aboriginal Identity. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 46(1). Retrieved from https://cjc-rcc.ucalgary.ca/article/view/59415
Section
Articles/ Articles