Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Marilyn Evans

Abstract

This study explored the experience of Aboriginal Veterans adopted and/or fostered during the Sixties Scoop using critical narrative inquiry. The objectives were to: 1) understand the lived experience of Aboriginal veterans adopted and/or fostered during the Sixties Scoop, 2) explore any health needs expressed by Aboriginal veterans adopted and/or fostered during the Sixties Scoop, and 3) provide recommendations for the implementation of health services and programs to assist this group of Aboriginal veterans with their health needs. Eight individual interviews were conducted with participants in Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Vancouver. All interviews were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using the five stages of the holistic-content model (Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiach & Zilber, 1998). Three overarching themes were uncovered from the interviews: a) sense of belonging, b) racism: experienced and perceived, and c) resilience: not giving up in the face of adversity. Mental health care and support to fight substance abuse were the main health needs expressed by the participants. Increased awareness of the historical realities experienced by Aboriginal veterans and the influence these may have on their health is needed. A coordinated effort by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), Royal Canadian Legion (RCL), National Aboriginal Veterans Association (NAVA), Aboriginal Veteran Autochthones (AVA), and Aboriginal agencies is required to address the mental health needs faced by this population.