Advocate for Indigenous healing noticed something was missing: a personal connection – UCalgary

UCalgary alum in Manitoba believes strongly that western systems need to change to accommodate Indigenous counselling practices. And she’s doing something about it

Tanya Dawn McDougall slowly walked through the corridors of the St. Theresa Early Years School, her hand curled softly around the tight fist of a small child. The school administrator in the remote community in central eastern Manitoba knew the boy had recently been through an extremely traumatic event in his home — news travels fast in small, rural communities — and so perhaps she was more clearly focused on the boy’s well-being and state of mind on this day.

She brought the boy into a room to meet with a visiting school psychologist for a psycho-educational assessment, and quietly explained to the assessor that while the child did have some learning challenges, his more immediate situation made him particularly vulnerable.

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