Critical Indigenous Psychologies of Nonviolence for Complex Trauma in First Nations Youth at Risk

Jeffrey P. Ansloos

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Indigenous youth in Canada are vulnerable, both in terms of their risk for violent victimization and incarceration within a colonialist criminal justice system. The experience of these youth is embedded in a broader context of intergenerational colonial violence at the hands of Canadian society. Neocolonialism embedded in the applied social sciences actively continues the historic degradation of Indigenous culture by creating an ever widening gap between Indigenous youth and the richness of their spiritual identity as First Nations people. The result of this colonial violence is interpreted by Indigenous scholarship as a crisis of spiritual identity. In this project, a critical-Indigenist discourse will be utilized to critique, deconstruct, and delegitimize the hegemony of Western social science, as well as advance an Indigenous peace psychology to promote the revitalization of spiritual identity for marginalized Indigenous youth. The project will explore how spiritual identity revitalization can emerge through interventions in culturally situated ceremony, as well as through an alignment with critical-Indigenous nonviolent resistance by actively promoting a sociocultural Indigenist agenda.