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‘My granddaughter doesn’t know she has disabilities and we are not going to tell her’: Navigating intersections of indigenousness, disability and gender in Labrador

STIENSTRA, Deborah
BAIKIE, Gail
MANNING, Susan
2018

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Drawing from qualitative research and over five years of relationship-building with women in Labrador, Canada, this article explores the intersections of Indigenousness, disability and gender. Labrador offers a unique perspective with its three Indigenous nations, including one Indigenous self-government and settler populations; its remote and Northern location; and its long history as a site for resource exploitation, global military presence and colonial displacements. We explore how these features shape the experiences of women with disabilities, including in rejecting the label of ‘disability’ and finding spaces in their communities of both inclusion and exclusion. Understanding the experiences of women with disabilities in Labrador requires recognizing the disabling consequences of colonization and the fast-track urbanization that has accompanied resource development in the region. We highlight some Indigenous models of inclusion that are already working and can provide an opportunity for service providers, governments and those living in communities to learn from them.

 

Disability and the Global South, 2018, Vol.5, No. 2, 1385-1406 

Disabling bodies of/and land: Reframing disability justice in conversation with indigenous theory and activism

JAFFEE, Laura
JOHN, Kelsey
2018

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A central claim of this paper is that the destruction of Earth through practices of settler colonialism is inextricable from the disablement of Indigenous ontology, peoples, and communities. The disablement of land/body as a tactic of settler colonialism has persisted for centuries and takes multifarious forms. By highlighting Indigenous struggles to protect Mother Earth and her sacred resources, we suggest that Indigenous ontology, specifically relationships to land (Deloria, 1972), challenges Eurocentric/settler disability theory at the epistemological level by rejecting the taken-for-granted dualism between the environment and (disabled) humans within (settler) disability studies. Indigenous ontology, and Indigenous peoples’ experiences of settler colonialism, belie a clear bifurcation of humans and the environment, or bodies and space. Land appropriation, resource extraction, linguistic genocide, forced removal, erasure, and devastation by settlers invariably wreaks havoc on the land, spirit, livestock, and bodies of Indigenous peoples. Rejecting logics of elimination and imagining alternative futures- in opposition to the capitalist state’s projection of futures devoid of disability and Indigeneity- is essential for realizing national and bodily self-determination for non-Indigenous disabled and Indigenous peoples in the present and into the future.

 

Disability and the Global South, 2018, Vol.5, No. 2, 1407-1429

Challenges in global Indigenous–Disability comparative research, or, why nation-state political histories matter

SOLDATIC, Karen
MELBOE, Line
KERMIT, Patrick
SOMERS, Kelly
2018

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Globally, Indigenous people, also known as First Peoples, have the poorest health outcomes of all population groups, resulting in significantly higher rates of chronic disease, ill-health, and disability. Recent research strongly suggests that Australian First Peoples and the Sami peoples of the Nordic region are positioned at opposite ends of the disability–health spectrum. Australia’s First Peoples, now experience the highest rates of disability in the nation’s recorded history, despite the significant government investment over recent decades in national Indigenous policy. Yet, Nordic Indigenous populations appear to have similar health outcomes and living conditions as the rest of the population in the region. In this paper, we compare some of the global assumptions of the two leading countries of the United Nations Human Development Index– Norway (ranked first) and Australia (ranked second)– and examine the ways in which such rankings act to hide the disparities of life trajectories and outcomes for Indigenous persons living with disability compared to the rest of the population in each country. The findings of the comparative analysis illustrate core areas for consideration when undertaking in-depth comparative research with First Nation’s peoples. This includes issues surrounding the differentiated political significance of national population data systems for local Indigenous peoples in their struggles for recognition, and the nuanced processes of population data categorisation that are developed as a result of First Nation’s localised struggles for recognition, respect and rights under processes of European colonisation.

 

Disability and the Global South, 2018, Vol.5, No. 2, 1450-1471 

Inclusion of marginalised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with neurocognitive disability in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

TOWNSEND, Clare
McINTYRE, Michelle
LAKHANI, Ali
WRIGHT, Courtney
WHITE, Paul
BISHARA, Jason
CULLEN, Jennifer
2018

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Given the ambiguity surrounding the extent and experience of neurocognitive disability (NCD) among marginalised Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia, evidence regarding the level and nature of NCD is crucial to ensure equitable access and inclusion into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This paper reports the results of the implementation of The Guddi Protocol (a culturally informed and appropriate screening protocol for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples) at two locations in Queensland. Results indicated high levels of NCD, and additional qualitative data revealed a number of factors associated with the complex disablement of study participants, namely: i) intergenerational trauma; ii) a social context of disadvantage, marginalisation and exclusion; and iii) the nonidentification of disability. The results are linked to implications for NDIS inclusion for this population, and recommendations are made. Unless the extent and nature of complex disability and the issues surrounding culturally safe policy, and service design and engagement are addressed with and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including those who experience complex disablement, marginalised people will continue to be effectively excluded from the NDIS.

 

Disability and the Global South, 2018, Vol.5, No. 2, 1531-1552

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