Te Mauri - Pimatisiwin

Disenfranchised Spirit: A Theory and a Model

Abstract

It has been well over twenty-five years since the 1985 amendment to the Indian Act provided individuals, once denied the right to Indian status registration due to the sex discrimination provisions, their entitlement. Despite this length of time there is a gap in the research and the literature that focuses on the transformational wellness potential of becoming entitled to Indian status registration. Through collaboration and case study analysis, this article argues that the abuse of colonial power gave Indian status registration concrete meaning for one Indigenous person and consequently held a role in their ability to live a good life. Disenfranchised spirit theory and the accompanying model, through the synthesis of identity theory, Anishinaabe understandings of the human spirit, and Indigenous scholarship on the effects of colonial power on identity and the human spirit, reveals the emotional and therefore spiritual wellness potentialof having one’s identity affirmed through Indianstatus registration. In offering disenfranchised spirit theory this article begins to fill a gap in the research.

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