Endorsements & Reviews

Community Engagement | Resilience | Compelling History
For Scholars | For Social Work Programs

A Model for Community Engagement

What is so inspiring about the story of Tikinagan is that this is a child welfare system guided by well defined values, beliefs and a vision for children developed by the Nishnawbe Aski peoples. This is not so much a story of how a First Nations child and family service agency is protecting First Nations children as it is about how a First Nations child and family service agency can act as an empowering agent for a community to reclaim its responsibility and ability to care for and protect children. It sets the right example of what community engagement in child welfare can look like.

The other right example that Tikinagan sets is its own commitment to learning - it understands achieving the vision set out by community means that everyone, including the child welfare system agency, must be prepared to learn and change. By sharing this story, Tikinagan embodies the value of generosity held by the Nishnawbe Aski peoples for generations - it is a chance for all of us to learn from their experience and to celebrate the resilience and strength of First Nations families and communities.

Cindy Blackstock
Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada

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The Resilience of First Nation People

Coming Home provides an accurate historical and current account of Tikinagan's work in our First Nation communities. It not only helps bring to light the challenges our First Nation people have endured in the past, and continue to endure, but it also illuminates the resilience of our people in continuing to strive for a better life, for our current and future generations, in the face of such hardship.

Chief Donny Morris
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug

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A Compelling History

Coming Home provides a compelling history of oppression, dislocation and broken promises, alongside the history of Aboriginal self-sufficiency and resilience from the perspective of the Elders. Tikinagan Child and Family Services reflects a growing renaissance within First Nations that is bringing new vision and hope for the future, for Aboriginal peoples and Canadian society as a whole.

Peter Dudding,
Executive Director, Child Welfare League of Canada

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New Information and Insights

These days it is unusual that I read a book about child and family welfare that so engages me that I put everything else aside to finish it. It is also rare that I read a child and family welfare book with information and insights that I've not encountered before. Coming Home is such a book.

In telling the story of the devastating exposure of the people of Tikinagan to residential schools and to child protection services, Coming Home tells a story relevant to First Nation history across North America and abroad. It does so in an easily accessible manner with compassion and power.

I think the most original and valuable contribution of Coming Home is its rich and careful description of the struggles and triumphs of the people of Tikinagan in creating their own First Nation Child and Family Services over several decades. This study provides ample documentation and many insights about the unique pressures faced when First Nations reclaim responsibility for the protection and well being of their children and families. Equally important is the beginning elaboration of a model of child and family welfare compatible with the people of Tikinagan's way of living, values and aspirations.

Coming Home will be a useful and appreciated contribution to any undergraduate or graduate course on child and family welfare or on issues of diversity and marginalization. The team of researchers at the Partnerships for Children and Families Project at Wilfrid Laurier University has invested much effort over the past few years searching for information about the experiences of First Nation child and family welfare organizations and the types of systems they wish to create. Very little information is available and almost no resource with the grounded detail of this investigation. I strongly recommend this book to scholars in Canada and elsewhere interested in these topics. The presentation differs from traditional academic formats but the product is credible and generative.

Gary Cameron
Professor and Lyle S. Hallman Chair in Child and Family Welfare,
Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University

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Needed Resource for Child and Family Service Agencies

The book provides a timely and very important contribution to the field of child welfare in Canada. The work effectively characterizes the struggles and the innovative work of the Tikinagan Child and Family Service agency. It clearly identified the needs of the First Nations children, families and communities of the area served by Tikinagan Child and Family Services.

However, it does not only identify problems and needs it, characterizes the remarkable strengths and resilience of the people and the communities. The book effectively illustrates the innovative programming and services that have developed building on the cultural teachings of the elders relating to children, families and parenting. It clearly identifies the areas where the culturally anchored programs and services have been effective in collaborating with the local communities on addressing difficult social problems.

This book represents a much needed resource for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal child and family service agencies across Canada. There is very little literature available on culturally anchored and directed programs service delivery models. This book provides a resource that can be most useful for practitioners and administrators in developing family friendly programs and services that are respectful of children, parents, culture and communities.

In addition, this book addresses the issues of providing child and family services in remote rural and northern communities. It provides some effective suggestions for engaging and mobilizing the community resources and cultural anchored practices to provide supports and resources to children and families.

Don Fuchs
Professor and Retired Dean,
Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba

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"Meegwetch for your book and the profound lessons it can teach all of us!"  Asta Dvorak   Field Practicum Coordinator, SSW & SSW-GER Programs, Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning


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