“How Western Psychology Can Rip Indigenous Families Apart: An Interview with Elisa Lacerda-Vandenborn”

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In “How Western Psychology Can Rip Indigenous Families Apart: An Interview with Elisa Lacerda-Vandenborn,” Lacerda-Vandenborn begins with the following acknowledgement:

I am currently in Calgary; the indigenous name is Mohkínstsis. I am working in the traditional territories of the people of Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy of the Siksika, Kainai, and Pikani first nations, also the Tsuutʼina first nations and the Stoney Nakoda, which includes the Chiniki, Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley first nations. Mohkínstsis is also the homeland of the Métis Nation of Alberta region three.

She notes that “Psychology is not a very reflective discipline” and that “we don’t recognize that our mainstream knowledge is oblivious to context.” She continues,

In the context of indigenous peoples, Psychology is not equipped or willing to admit that colonization continues in many ways — that our children and family are living in poverty, that every aspect of treaty rights are being violated, that we are dealing with the aftermath of assimilationist policy. All we are equipped to do is to describe, diagnose, and intervene with medication.

She suggests “We can challenge the single view that permeates our practices in mainstream psychology, such as the over-reliance on a biomedical model….”

You can read the full interview here.