Mamow Ki-ken-da-ma-win: A Partnership Approach to Child, Youth, Family and Community Wellbeing

  • Judy Finlay
  • Micheal Hardy
  • Donny Morris
  • Anna Nagy


Mamow-Sha-way-gi-kay-win: North-South Partnership for Children represents a coalition of individuals and organizations from southern Ontario who have partnered with First Nations Chiefs, community leaders, Elders, youth and community members from 30 remote northern communities. The collective goal of the Partnership is to learn from one another while addressing the needs of First Nations communities. Southern partners are dedicated to following the direction of northern First Nations in identifying issues, priorities and potential solutions. These issues stem from an imposed colonial history and loss of land, culture, and identity; and, from the abuse and trauma suffered by many survivors of the residential school system. First Nations have clear aspirations and plans for the rebuilding of their communities. This deep sense of hope, despite the adversities, motivates the work of Mamow Sha-way-gi-kay-win. The Partnership exemplifies the relationships needed to improve the conditions of First Nations communities. Change will only be effected through relationships that are enduring, trusting and respectful. Mamow Sha-way-gi-kay-win models a healing and enduring connection between First Nations and non-aboriginal peoples — one that facilitates resource exchange and development. This paper draws on the experiences of Mamow Sha-way-gi-kay-win in the development of a unique approach to improving the life conditions of Northern First Nations people in Ontario. This community assessment and mobilization process uses the social determinants of health in the context of northern First Nations realities as a framework for understanding community wellness. Children’s mental health, and specifically youth suicide, is viewed as a product of various interactions within and among these factors. It is proposed that through Mamow Ki-ken-da-ma-win, meaningful immediate and long-term outcomes to urgent conditions and challenges can be achieved.


First Nations Community based intervention Participatory action research Trauma Partnership Social determinants of health Children Youth Family 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judy Finlay
    • 1
  • Micheal Hardy
    • 2
  • Donny Morris
    • 3
  • Anna Nagy
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Child & Youth CareRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Tikinagan Child & Family ServicesSioux LookoutCanada
  3. 3.Kitchenuhmaykoosib InninuwugThunder BayCanada
  4. 4.Department of Psychology, University of Toronto at ScarboroughTorontoCanada

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