Webinar event date: 
Mar 23, 2021 9:00 am EDT
Webinar Presenters: 

Naiomi Metalic

Naiomi Walqwan Metallic is from the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation in Gespe’gewa’gi. She is an Assistant Professor at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, where she holds the Chancellor’s Chair in Aboriginal Law and Policy. She holds a BA (Dalhousie), an LLB (Dalhousie), an LLL (Ottawa), an LLM (Osgoode) and is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Alberta. She was also a law clerk to the Hon. Michel Bastarache of the Supreme Court of Canada in 2006-2007. Naiomi still continues to practice law with Burchells LLP in Halifax (where she practiced for nearly a decade before joining the law school, primarily in the firm’s Aboriginal law group). She has been named to the Best Lawyer in Canada® list in Aboriginal law since 2015 and was chosen for Canadian Lawyers’ Magazine 2018 Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in the area of Human Rights, Advocacy and Criminal law. As a legal scholar, she is most interested in writing about how the law can be harnessed to promote the well-being and self-determination of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Leah Carrier

Leah Carrier is an Indigenous registered nurse and doctoral student at Dalhousie University. She is also a research nurse at the IWK Health Centre. Her doctoral research uses Indigenous storywork methods to explore the experiences of Indigenous nurses in their nursing education, specifically focusing on how Indigenous nurses draw upon their identities and ways of knowing to inform their development as nurses.

Wenche Gausdal

Wenche Gausdal is the Director of Programs, Settlement, Community Integration & Support Services, at Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS). She emigrated from Norway to Canada in 1986. She holds a Master of Social Work and is registered with the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers. Wenche started her career with ISANS in 1996 and has spent the last 25 years working in various areas of immigrant and refugee resettlement supporting families on their settlement and integration journey. This has included the resettlement of over 8000 refugees including the resettlement of Kosovar refugees during Operation Parasol in 1999 and Syrian refugees since 2016. Wenche has been active on various committees and initiatives supporting immigrant and refugee settlement and integration including the current appointment to the National RAP/GAR Working Group and the research project “ Examining Protective Factors for Children’s Welfare: The Case of Indigenous, African Nova Scotian, and Immigrant and Refugee Children in the Halifax Regional Municipality”.

Dr. Sara Torres

Sara Torres is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work, Laurentian University. She has over 17 years of experience conducting research and outreach with multicultural and hard-to-reach populations. Her other research interests include the role of community health worker programs in addressing health inequities among immigrant and refugee women in Canada as well as protective factors for children’s welfare, and how to prevent the entry-or re-entry of children from newcomer families into provincial care. She is also Chair and Co-founder of the Community Health Workers Network of Canada.


Webinar Summary: 

Children from Indigenous, Black, and other racial minority groups in Canada have historically been overrepresented in child welfare settings and among children and youth in care. The inequities experienced by families whose children have been taken into state care are linked to intersecting factors, such as gender, race, colonialism, citizenship, immigration, and socio-economic status. Involvement in Child Protection Services has an effect on the health and wellbeing of children, families, and communities. However, we know relatively little about the informal and formal support systems that are available to these families and communities to prevent children from being taken into care in Nova Scotia. In this webinar we discuss findings from qualitative study conducted in the HRM that sought  to identify support systems and strategies to strengthen the capacity of families from urban Indigenous, African Nova Scotian, and immigrant and refugee populations in the Halifax Regional Municipality to mobilize communities to prevent the entry or re-entry of children into state care.

Webinar Objectives:

To discuss the role that informal and formal support systems play in building the capacity of the immigrant and refugee, African Nova Scotian, and Urban Indigenous communities in preventing the entry or re-entry of children into provincial care.