The psychology of settler psychology: Stryker Calvez, Jorden A. Cummings, ‘Getting on the Path to Indigenization: Embracing (Re)conciliation in Canadian Psychology’, Canadian Psychology, 63, 4, 2022, pp. 569-575


Abstract: Canadian psychology is at a critical juncture. In 2018, the Canadian Psychological Association and Psychology Foundation of Canada acknowledged that psychology has violated its own ethics code in its treatment of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and provided multiple recommendations to take accountability for this harm and work toward (re)conciliation. Colonial violence and oppression still occur in Canada, and (reconcile)action is needed to translate these recommendations into our work as psychologists regardless of our subdiscipline or specific career. Yet, many psychologists, not knowing where to start or worried about making a misstep, avoid action. In this article, we conceptualize such avoidance as an expected reaction to fear of the unknown and uncertainty. Managing these reactions and pursuing (re)conciliation is an ethical responsibility for psychologists. We provide concrete recommendations for how psychologists can begin to walk the path of (re)conciliation, working to decolonize and Indigenize psychology. These include knowing our positionality and practicing self-reflection, knowing our space and being inclusive, prioritizing good relations, adopting psychological flexibility and patterns of committed action, and starting within our area of influence. Psychologists impact many Canadians via our diverse roles (e.g., educators, clinicians, researchers, public servants, and policymakers). Thus, walking the path of (re)conciliation as psychologists can make a substantial impact on Canadian society.

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