Nurturing Identity Among Indigenous Youth in Care

Ashley Quinn - Child & Youth Services


Indigenous cultures have been under significant attack in Canada since first contact with Europeans. This has resulted in significant harm to Indigenous Peoples and particularly to youth in state care, who often struggle with their identity when they are placed in non-Indigenous out-of-home settings. Developing protective ways of countering this is compounded by the lack of understanding of identity development amongst Indigenous youth. This article reviews theories of Indigenous identity development and their implications for Indigenous children, particularly those caught in the nexus of two cultures, as is the case with those in state care.