Knowledge Resources & Publications

Webinar: Culturally Safe Children’s Rehabilitation

June 2018


In the spirit of Jordan’s Principle, there is no better time to explore and rethink how children’s rehabilitation/early intervention therapy services (occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physiotherapy) with Indigenous communities, families, and children can be provided in ways that are consistent with the principles of cultural safety.

The webinar will be based on Dr. Gerlach’s recent NCCAH publication on this topic and will draw on her 20-year history and extensive experience of providing occupational therapy with families and children in partnership with First Nations, and Indigenous early years programs and organizations in British Columbia.

Webinar goals

This webinar will provide participants with:

  • A critical analysis of the concept of ‘children’s rehabilitation’ in the context of Indigenous families and children in Canada.
  • An understanding of how children’s rehabilitation programs and practices with Indigenous communities, families and children can be responsive to the historical and ongoing effects of colonization in Canada.
  • A review of current practices that are aligned with the principles of cultural safety.


Dr. Alison Gerlach is currently a CIHR Banting Postdoctoral Fellow and MSFHR Research Trainee with Dr. Margo Greenwood at the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (NCCAH) at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). Alison’s research focuses on the development of inclusive and responsive knowledges, and early childhood and family policies and practices that address social justice and health equity issues for families and children who live with various structural forms of social disadvantage. Her work explores questions that are of interest to early childhood, child advocacy, child welfare, and health and social service organizations. Alison will be joining the University of Victoria in the summer of 2018 as an Assistant Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care.

Recommended readings

Gerlach, A. (2018). Exploring socially-responsive approaches to children’s rehabilitation with Indigenous communities, families, and children. Prince George, BC: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health.

Gerlach, A. J., Browne, A. J., & Greenwood, M. (2017). Engaging Indigenous families in a community-based early childhood program in British Columbia, Canada: A cultural safety perspective. . Health & Social Care in the Community, 25(6), 1763-1773. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12450

Gerlach, A. J., Browne, A. J., & Suto, M. J. (2018). Relational approaches to fostering health equity for Indigenous children through early childhood intervention.. Health Sociology Review, 27(1), 104-119. doi: 10.1080/14461242.2016.1231582

Webinar resources