Indigenous Well-being in Canada: Understanding Sustainability in the Context of Knowledge Networks, Community Cohesion and Interconnectedness

By Jacqueline M. Quinless.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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This paper uses a grounded theory method to explore the process through which Indigenous well-being knowledge experts in various social locations acquire their knowledge and understandings of Indigenous well-being and then use this knowledge to develop conceptual frameworks, measurement tools and indicators of Indigenous well-being for the specific purpose of developing effective programs and policies to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples. Qualitative interviews with fifteen knowledge experts from across Canada revealed that regardless of social location, Indigenous knowledge experts acquire their basic understandings and interpretations of Indigenous well-being from three main sources. The first are “knowledge networks” which are groups that are comprised of family members, friends and colleagues, secondly by working directly with Indigenous communities and thirdly by consulting existing tools and resources that are readily available. Most knowledge experts suggested that while Indigenous well-being is difficult to define, it is possible to identify core concepts and to establish indicators that can be used to track changes in well-being at both the individual and community level over time.

Keywords: Indigenous well-being, grounded theory, knowledge networks, interconnectedness, indicators

The Global Studies Journal, Volume 8, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.79-89. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 475.873KB).

Jacqueline M. Quinless

Lecturer, Ph.D Candidate, Department of Social Sciences, School of Arts and Science, Camosun College, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


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