Friday, November 2, 2007

Aboriginal issues that are of interest to Social Work

Prof. Brenda Bacon of Social Work sent me a message that her students are having a hard time finding sources related to aboriginal issues that are of interest to Social Work. In her second message to me, she recommends a web resource: First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada. Thank you, Prof. Bacon, for directing me to this site. This web site is a treasure for students who are interested in aboriginal family services. Browse "Projects,""Publications,"Database," and "Resources," from the menu. It refers you, for example, to First Nations Research Site, "a partnership initiative of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada and the Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare" based in Winnipeg, among many other useful sources. The journal, First Nations Child & Family Review: A journal on Innovation and Best Practices in Aboriginal Child Welfare Administration, Research, Policy and Practice, provides all articles in pdf and you can download for viewing. Simply click the title of the article in the table of contents in each issue. With their Database, you can search two major annotated bibliographies, A Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography Focusing on Aspects of Aboriginal Child Welfare in Canada, and Annotated Bibliography on the Nature and Extent of Collaboration Between the Voluntary Sector and First Nations Child and Family Agencies in Canada . The Database interface provides a list of possible keywords to choose from in a pull-down menu. It's easy to search.

"I don't have any particular place to start this?!"

It seems so broad when you say "aboriginal welfare issues." If you are not sure where to start with the meaning of this phrase, and can't think anything concrete, Google Scholar might be a good starting point. The advantage of searching Google Scholar is that you will be able to explore some possibly relevant terms to further focus your research topic, area or issue by browsing some of the sources harvested by Google. As you browse the results, look for where all the resources are coming from: which journal, which book, which author, what topics, or what concepts. These will give you some cues to further focus and continue your research.

Here is a quick search I did with Google Scholar: Search Examples.

Important Note: When you are searching Google Scholar, be sure to configure Scholar Preferences so that you will be able to integrate University of Manitoba Libraries resources into your results. Your options are as follows:

1. Under Library Links, type in "University of Manitoba" (without quotation marks), and click the box in front of "University of Manitoba (UM Links)";
2. Again under Library Links, type in "Worldcat," and click the box, similarly; and
3. If you wish to use a bibliographic manager for managing your citations and compiling a bibliography, select RefWorks from the pull-down menu under Bibliographic Manager.

I will post more Google or Google Scholar instructions next week.


Asako Yoshida said...

"We have the journal from that Society, First Nations Child and Family Services Journal. You can find material about aboriginal issues in Bibliography of Native North Americans, one of the databases in our E-Library. It includes some Canadian publications like Windspeaker which would have a fair amount about social work issues and programs." As posted by Jim Blanchard, Bibliographer for Native Studies, Elizabeth Dafoe Library.

Asako Yoshida said...

I tried the Bibliography myself and it retrieves many contemporary issues that are of concerns to native and aboriginal communities in North America. The Libraries offers it on EbscoHost platform which is the same as Social Work Abstracts. This makes very easy for us to search between two databases.