First Nations Child Poverty: A Literature Review and Analysis

THE PURPOSE OF THIS LITERATURE review and analysis is to determine how existing research on the structural drivers of First Nations child poverty can be effectively translated into pragmatic, community-based solutions. To answer this larger question, the review summarizes and analyses literature on the incidence and depth of poverty amongst First Nations children, and describes its causes and effects. To this end, Chapter 1 provides an overview of the historical and contemporary manifestations of First Nations child poverty, and a description of the two main streams of literature in this area. Chapter 2 goes more deeply into the literature, describing the impoverishment of First Nations communities through historical colonial policies and practices. Chapter 3 describes the current standard measures used to determine poverty in Canada, discusses why they are insufficient for measuring First Nations child poverty, and outlines existing efforts to provide more relevant measures. Chapter 4 outlines the multiple enduring legacies of historical impoverishment, and the continuation of colonial policies and practices that impoverish First Nations peoples today, describing the multiple and overlapping contemporary effects. Beginning with a description of the common priority First Nations place on the well-being of their children, Chapter 5 outlines the most widely accepted criteria for solution design and evaluation, then describes proposed and/or implemented intervention strategies. While not all interventions have yielded results, continued efforts and experimentation informed by evidence is absolutely essential to end poverty for First Nations children.

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