Pimatisiwin

Promoting from within the Community: Employing Local Residents in Culturebased Inner-city Family Services Organizations

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Abstract

Many culture-based family service organizations are operated by the community for the community. However, the ways in which residents become involved in these organizations has received little attention in the research literature. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 44 staff of community- based Aboriginal organizations providing nonmandated social services to families in high poverty urban neighborhoods. Individuals participated in an individual interview that included the question, “How did you get connected to the agency?” Responses were analyzed using multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis. Five themes emerged and included: cultural life path, job opening, volunteering, came for service, and through family and friends. An important difference between the experiences of participants in the current study and the existing literature was that participants described the importance of cultural values including sharing, family and community and the expression of these values through involvement with the organization.

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