A Community of Practice: O.T. & Indigenous Health

Are you interested in Aboriginal health in Canada? Do you have practice, educational or research experience in Aboriginal health? Do you have thoughts, ideas, perspectives related to Aboriginal health?

‘Partnerships for Change’ is an emerging international community of practice focused on occupational therapy and indigenous health. It is a virtual gathering place for practitioners, educators and researchers involved or interested in  issues related to the significant health disparities that continue to be experienced by many indigenous peoples in Canada and worldwide.

‘Partnerships for Change’ utilizes a wikispace platform. Currently there are two ‘Hot Topics’ as starting points for generating a sharing of viewpoints. Here is our first ‘hot topic’ –

Occupational therapy purports to have a holistic core to services provision, yet is historically grounded in western notions and mainly provided through western health care systems. What does occupational therapy have to offer indigenous peoples? How meaningful is occupational therapy for indigenous peoples who may have an alternative worldview of health and wellbeing?

Maintaining the silence is an effective way of maintaining the status quo. This community of practice provides an opportunity for occupational therapists internationally to have a voice. Join or visit by going to:


The creation for this community of practice was a collaborative one between myself, and a Maori O.T., and non-Maori O.T. in New Zealand. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions at agerlach@hawaii.rr.com

Alison Gerlach, MSc, OT(C)

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