The Inclusive Early Childhood Service System Project (IECSS) is a qualitative longitudinal study of families’ experiences of accessing services for their children who have disabilities or developmental delays in early childhood. This article presents findings and analysis of data from Indigenous participantsin the IECSS study. The study found that Indigenous families were often very engaged in culturally specific services for their children and families, in addition to accessing mainstream disability support services. Further, the study found that the system operates from a colonial framework that does not align with Indigenous ways of child-rearing and knowledge of human diversity. Consequently, the underlying ideological differences often lead to conflict for Indigenous families as they seek to maintain their cultural understandings of development while accessing supports for their children. These findings suggest that Indigenous concepts of disability and childhood need to be integrated into the current disability support system to increase access and efficacy.
-reprinted from the Indigenous Policy Journal