For decades, Indigenous organizations in Canada have endeavored to make Indigenous knowledge, practices, and practitioners available for Indigenous peoples' health needs (Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 1999; Health Canada, 2015). But are these services readily available? Three Indigenous counselling practitioners were asked how they incorporated traditional healing or knowledge into their counselling service offerings. In semi-structured interviews counsellors discussed their life, education, and career experiences. These experiences were explored with narrative thematic analysis. Six primary themes of experience were identified: how a counsellor's background influenced their work; why Indigenous knowledge and practices are needed in counselling; what they did and how they did it; why they work the way they do; organizational experiences; and organizational change. Recommendations include increasing access to Indigenous specific counsellor training, providing anti-racism training for public agency staff, ensuring Indigenous staff are not overworked, and encouraging agencies to reach out to local land-based Indigenous nations for guidance.
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Thesis advisor: Ferguson, Alanaise
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