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Research helping to strengthen Mi’kmaq Communities

Ebony Larkin and her children, Bella and Elijah Larkin McInnis, settle into a comfortable chair to share a story at the Mi’kmaq Family Resource Centre.A research partnership between Holland College’s Applied Research department and the Mi’kmaq Family Resource Centre has led to the development of a booklet designed to support Mi’kmaq people when they are approaching parenthood.

The goal of the booklet, entitled Creation Stories: Creating Strong Families Through our Stories, is to help parents ground themselves in their creation story and to reframe and change their life, beliefs, and practices to create the best story for their families.

“The booklet promotes an appreciation of storytelling as a fundamental part of Aboriginal history and recognizes that stories play an important role in providing direction and insight in our lives,” said Neil Forbes, the project lead. “The primary goal is to help each Indigenous individual better understand their own story, how this relates to our traditional teachings, and the connection to parenting.”

Sharon O’Brien of the Mi’kmaq Family Resource Centre explained how the content was developed.

“Creation Stories was built from the narratives shared with us by those within the community. These were woven together with the Seven Sacred Gifts of Life and it is this combination of current life experiences with traditional teachings that make the resource so powerful,” she said.

The Seven Sacred Gifts of Life are love, honesty, humility, respect, truth, patience, and wisdom. The booklet challenges the reader to consider how the sacred gifts have influenced them and how they would like to use the gifts to improve their lives and the lives of their children.

Dr. Greg McKenna from Holland College’s Applied Research Department, who was a contributor to the project, said the project will help strengthen new families.

“Our lives begin within the context of our immediate family so it is of critical importance to support new parents. The final product of this research project contributes to that goal.”

The Creation Stories Project was funded by the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network Atlantic Research Centre (UAKN Atlantic) through a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant.

The booklet will be used in parenting workshops at the Mi’kmaq Family Resource Centre.
Download the booklet as a PDF 

In this picture: Ebony Larkin and her children, Bella and Elijah Larkin McInnis, settle into a comfortable chair to share a story at the Mi’kmaq Family Resource Centre.


For more information about this release, please contact:
Sara Underwood, Media and Communications Officer
Tel: 902-566-9695
Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2019