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Athabasca University

Kathy Bent




Self-identity for an Aboriginal person living in Canada can be a difficult cognitive process because of a complex array of inter-related factors. Some of these factors are common to the non-Aboriginal population when it comes to self-conception but some factors relate only to Aboriginal people because of circumstances related to the effects colonization has left on their cultural traditions and other discriminatory practices (i.e., racism) they face as a result of being members of a minority group.

I have completed an honours thesis on Aboriginal single female parent's self-esteem and a M.A. on Aboriginal women's health and wellness issues through Athabasca University. Both studies found significant effects of culture on self-esteem and overall health and wellness which warrants further investigation into the role of Aboriginal culture enrichment on self-identity, self-esteem and of course health and wellness. For my doctoral work at the University of Manitoba, I am exploring the factors that contribute to the conception of Aboriginal people's identities and self-esteem from an Aboriginal and multi-disciplinary perspective.

In addition to this work, I am a Research Associate with the Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence and the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg where I have had the privilege of carrying out more research relating to women's health and other Aboriginal issues. I have been a tutor for AU's WMST 304 course since January 2009. I have also taught courses in the departments of Psychology, Human Ecology and the Aboriginal Focus program at the University of Manitoba. Perhaps my biggest joy however, has come from the many community research projects I have worked on these past few years including projects for the Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence, the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry's Child Welfare Initiative, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, the Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare, the Native Women's Association of Canada and most recently the Government of Manitoba's Healthy Child Office. I am currently a member of the Canadian Indigenous and Native Studies Association, Canadian Mental Health Association, Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg Inc. and Mother of Red Nations Women's Council Inc. I most recently began working with Aboriginal seniors in Winnipeg and carrying out research on topics related to Aboriginal senior issues in Winnipeg and Canada.

On a personal note, I am an Anishnaabe woman who was born in Manigotogan Manitoba and a member of the Black River First Nation. I also have Irish heritage through my paternal grandfather and French heritage through my material grandfather. I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba and I have two grown daughters and one granddaughter.

Updated February 25 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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