Spirit Bear Podcast

The Spirit Bear Podcast aims to help mobilize knowledge that promotes the wellbeing of First Nations children, young people, families and Nations.

 

Season 1: Learning with uOttawa Students

The Caring Society is very grateful for the students of Dr. Veldon Coburn’s “Indigenous Politics in Canada” course at the University of Ottawa, who produced Season 1. The students interviewed scholars, politicians, and activists who work on advancing justice for First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples.

 

You can find all of the episodes on all major podcast streaming apps, or by clicking the button. 

 

Season 2: "Ask an Expert" Series

Season 2 of the Spirit Bear Podcast - our "Ask an Expert" series - features interviews between Dr. Cindy Blackstock and various experts in the field of child wellbeing. The purpose of these episodes is to dig deeper into evidence-based solutions for supporting First Nations young people and their families by dispelling myths and examining what actually works. 

 

Each interview also features an accompanying information sheet written by the experts themselves. 

 

S2 E1: Sarah Clarke on Stopping the Discrimination and Preventing its Recurrence

On this episode of the Ask an Expert series, Dr. Cindy Blackstock and Sarah Clarke of Clarke Child & Family Law discuss the ongoing case for equity for First Nations children and families at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (Tribunal).

As per the Tribunal orders, Canada must stop the discrimination against First Nations children and families and prevent it from reoccurring. But what will that involve? What still needs to take place in order to remedy the harms Canada perpetrated against First Nations young people and their families?

S2 E2: Sarah Clarke on the Compensation for First Nations Children and Families

On this episode of the Ask an Expert series, Dr. Cindy Blackstock and Sarah Clarke of Clarke Child & Family Law discuss the human rights compensation available for certain children and families who have been impacted by Canada's discrimination.

On September 6, 2019, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordered Canada to pay the maximum compensation allowable under the Canadian Human Rights Act to children and families harmed by Canada's discrimination. However, as of March 2023, Canada has yet to pay any of the money ordered by the Tribunal, a further injustice to victims. 

Tune in to hear more about why compensation was ordered, where the dollar amount comes from, and how this is one step in remedying the hurt caused by Canada.

S2 E3: Parenting Capacity Assessments with Dr. Barbara Fallon, Dr. Ashley Vandermorris and Genevieve Sansone

On this episode of Spirit Bear's Ask an Expert podcast, Dr. Blackstock is joined by Dr. Barbara Fallon, Dr. Ashley Vandermorris, and Genevieve Sansone of the Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development Policy Bench to discuss parenting capacity assessments and their usefulness in supporting First Nations, Inuit, and Metis kids and families.

Tune into this episode to learn about what parenting capacity assessments are, why they are used, and whether or not they are a solid tool to be used to help support healthy, thriving First Nations, Metis, and Inuit families.

S2 E4: Funding and Measurement Reform for First Nations Child and Family Services with Dr. Helaina Gaspard

On this episode of Spirit Bear's Ask an Expert Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Helaina Gaspard of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Democracy, who discusses some of the exciting opportunities that lie ahead for First Nations and agencies in the long-term reform of First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS).

Ultimately, Dr. Gaspard shows how a reformed, bottom-up approach to funding can help support thriving First Nations children, families, and communities. 

S2 E5: Birth Alerts with Dr. Barbara Fallon, Dr. Ashley Vandermorris and Genevieve Sansone

On this episode of Spirit Bear's Ask an Expert series, we are joined once more by the wonderful team of Dr. Barbara Fallon, Dr. Ashley Vandermorris, and Genevieve Sansone to talk about birth alerts.

Tune in to find out more about what birth alerts are, how they impact First Nations communities, and how eliminating the practice - when done alongside other methods of keeping kids safe and healthy - could impact the number of First Nations kids in care.

S2 E6: Dr. Cindy Blackstock has an update on compensation for First Nations children & families!

We're thrilled to share this mini episode of the Ask an Expert Podcast, where Dr. Cindy Blackstock finds herself in the interviewee chair to discuss some important updates following the recent decision by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to endorse the revised Final Settlement Agreement on compensation put forward by the parties.

Tune in for more information about how compensation will be delivered and what to expect going forward.

Please note that this episode does not include a corresponding information sheet, but you can visit the I am a witness page for the latest information on the case. 

S2 E7: Gary Mavis unpacks the meaning of providing culturally relevant, trauma-informed care to First Nations youth

This episode features a conversation between long-time friends and colleagues, Dr. Cindy Blackstock and Gary Mavis, RSW. Gary has spent his entire career supporting children and youth in care, as well as providing caregivers, both Indigenous and non, with the resources and training they need to provide culturally relevant, trauma-informed care to First Nations youth.

Tune in to hear more about what these terms actually mean, through a discussion of Gary's experiences working with the former Federation of Aboriginal Foster Parents and now as a key member of Teddy's Homes in BC.

 

S2 E8: Are First Nations kids getting what they need through Jordan's Principle?

On this episode of the Ask an Expert podcast, Cindy welcomes back Dr. Helaina Gaspard of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD) to discuss Jordan's Principle, the child-first legal rule that ensures First Nations children can access the supports they need when they need them.

Tune in for a discussion on what we can learn from assessing the available data on Jordan’s Principle and what else is being done to help ensure First Nations kids are getting what they need. 

S2 E9: Culturally relevant substance use interventions for First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities

On this episode of Spirit Bear's Ask an Expert Podcast, we're joined once more by Drs. Barbara Fallon and Ashley Vandermorris, and Genevieve Sansone of the Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development Policy Bench as they discuss the importance of culturally appropriate, community-based substance use interventions in First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities.

S2 E10: Going "0-60" with Prevention Services

In light of some of the monies that are finally starting to reach First Nations communities, as well as within the overall context of Bill C-92, the delivery of effective prevention services is an important topic. While some First Nations have made great strides toward implementing prevention services, others will be starting from ground zero. 

On this episode of the Spirit Bear Podcast, hear from Laurence Allard, Child and Family Services Advisor with the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission, as she discusses how Nations can go from "0-60" when it comes to the delivery of community-based, holistic prevention services.