Building A Relationship: Perspectives From One First Nations Community
Community development and cultural safety models are helpful in describing services that developed in one First Nation. These models can guide professionals towards a place of shared learning and meaning in working with Aboriginal peoples. When professionals build genuine relationships, the open dialogue that emerges can lead to the development of services that are relevant and responsive to community needs. Eight community members in one British Columbia First Nation were interviewed and asked to identify information they felt was important and helpful for a non-Aboriginal professional to know before working with their people. Community members shared their personal experiences and suggestions to assist non-Aboriginal professionals wishing to develop connections in their community. In the process, interviewees also pointed to specific information that they wanted professionals to know about their community’s past and current situation to help them support and work with families and the broader community. Professionals who want to engage in a respectful and mutually beneficial collaborative learning process with Aboriginal people may wish to consider the ideas and insights provided.