|dc.description.abstract||The Ph.D. dissertation encompasses an interdisciplinary study exploring qualitative, holistic strategies for individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in integrated areas of law, medicine, education, psychology and justice, through both inductive analysis of field research as well as through relevant documentary analysis, incorporating a global or comparative component. Compliance with Guidelines for Research Involving Aboriginal Peoples has been sustained through community partnerships with various First Nations and Métis Communities, Elders and Parents, as well as with an FASD Parental Advocacy Group, advised by a team of interdisciplinary researchers in the academy. Accordingly, emergent research protocols were co-constructed through ongoing collaboration with the various community partners. In Aboriginal research, it is essential not to parachute in and out of communities with the data, but rather to forge genuine, collaborative, long term partnerships, and to build capacity in those communities.
The dissertation format approved by the Student Advisory Committee is Manuscript Style, a format approved by the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Graduate Studies and Research (formerly referred to as X-Format) similar to a self-edited book or collection of articles with introduction, sub-text, intra-text and general discussion to link the manuscripts. The various manuscripts comprising the present thesis include:
1.Framing the Research Anthology: A Vision Quest, Ékehohksimoht Ke-kiss-see Muya
Section One situates the research style, process, approach, substance and rationale of the dissertation. It is largely situated within holistic Indigenous epistemologies, which may require a paradigm shift, in contrast to more bounded western world views.
Interdisciplinary, holistic, community-based research on the topic of FASD, including a search for solutions, extends globally, across the lifespan, and across sectors.
II. Indigenous Disadvantage and Despair, An Evaluation of Recent Strategies and Alternatives: Healing and Transformation, Pluralism and Reconciliation,
Ne wah kuma ka tik
Section Two explores historical and contextual factors leading to a high prevalence of FASD, as well as strategies to overcome disadvantage, including Reconciliation, Treaty Processes, and Research as Reconciliation. Local Narratives are privileged over Meta-narratives, to counter the power of global market forces usurping the sphere of family, community and culture.
III. Disjunctures and Discontinuities in the Law of Mental Intent: FASD as a Site of Resistance and Transformation, Esquiskuit
Section Three examines the disconnect between medical knowledge of FASD, on the one hand, and the Laws of Mental Intent, on the other, inspiring a search for a unified, integrated theory of mental disorder and criminal responsibility that takes into account modern neurocognitive conditions like FASD. Section Three further explores the present piecemeal and compartmentalized rules for fitness, responsibility, various levels of mental intent, and a resultant rationale, substance and process of law reform and systemic change.
IV. FASD and Holistic Literacies: A Talking or Sharing Circle, Wa-sa-cam-e-be-ke-skue
Section Four’s inductive themes comprise model practice guidelines for the gestalt of Literacy and FASD, derived from inductive analysis of qualitative data collected in the field research. The data was collected using Sharing Circles with Aboriginal Elders, Parents, and Mentors of Individuals with FASD; Conversational Interviews with Parents and Children with FASD; as well as Interviews and Focus Groups with various Professionals who support individuals with FASD and their Families. Special protocols were followed in creating and participating in the Indigenous Research, Sharing Circles and Conversational Interviews. Meta-paradigmatic analysis situates Indigenous Research Methodologies among emerging, multi-disciplinary, inductive methodologies suitable for understanding the infinite complexity of natural phenomena, such as FASD.
V. Epilogue: An Honour Song,
Circles of healing, transformation and reconciliation heal wounds, reconcile differences, and transform paradigms of justice, health, education and governance, through the incorporation of models of equitable, holistic relationships with one another and with Mother Earth. Multidisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives, dialogues between local and global, and particular and universal, become matrices to support new paradigms embodying broader reflections of reality.||en_US