Date of Award
Master of Social Work (MSW)
This qualitative case study looks at a partnership between the Aboriginal Health Centre and Living Rock Ministries. I explore what makes for a humanizing partnership between two communities when one has historically been oppressed, and the other has historically held positions of dominance within the same context. It is crucial to this study that we understand the colonial culture and the ongoing collective trauma experienced by Aboriginal peoples. This will shape our understanding of the challenges faced in partnership between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples today. Healing and resistance are vital to the decolonization process that Aboriginal communities are focused on. Paulo Freire (1970) describes a false consciousness which both the oppressed and the oppressors internalize. Here I identify this consciousness as the colonial reality. I argue that dominant institutions, specifically the Christian church, are in serious need of critical reflection upon their roles in reproducing the colonial culture. Critical reflection is required in order to take action and experience liberation from the unjust social order which is largely reproduced through white hegemony and Eurocentric dominance. Both the Aboriginal Health Centre and Living Rock Ministries explain that they value and pursue individual and collective healing. Their partnership is characterized by equality, authentic dialogue, reciprocity, trust and love. Humanizing relationship can only be realized through an authentic collective commitment to critical reflection and action. This thesis explores how the partnership between the Aboriginal Health Centre and Living Rock Ministries became what it is today, and suggests some principles which have the potential to foster humanizing relationships in other contexts. III
Matheson, Gillian, "The Decolonizing Journey of the Aboriginal Health Centre and Living Rock Ministries: Partnering in Revolutionary Love" (2007). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6123.
McMaster University Library