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Charles R. Menzies
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Research: North Coast

Dmsayt ‘nmoomdm: Facing Poverty and Homelessness through Customary Ts’msyeen Practices

Dmsayt ‘nmoomdm, a Ts’msyeen expression that can be translated into English as “We will all help each other,” is a newly funded Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada research project.

This project will examine family poverty and women’s homelessness in the Ts’msyeen Territories of north coast British Columbia with the specific goal of locating solutions based upon Ts’msyeen customary practice. Drawing inspiration from the Ts’msyeen expression Dmsayt ‘nmoomdm / We will all help each other, our central focus in this study is to explore the ways in which Ts’msyeen and other First Nations families with dependent children develop strategies and support networks to cope with conditions of extreme material poverty (i.e., conditions of chronic un/underemployment, insufficient social assistance, and cramped or inadequate housing).

The research will examine the different poverty/homelessness outcomes for single/lone parent headed families versus two parent families. As described in the Aboriginal Profile produced by Stats Canada in 2001 a disproportionate number of female-headed Aboriginal families currently live in conditions of extreme poverty. A key aspect of this study will be an examination of the extent to which these conditions of extreme poverty are mitigated by access to subsistence gathering, hunting, or fishing conducted on Ts’msyeen Territory. These research objectives are motivated by a concern to identify and develop policy frameworks that are consistent with local First Nations protocols and that are designed to build upon Ts’msyeen social and cultural values.


Last reviewed 23-Sep-2006

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Charles R. Menzies, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Department of Anthropology
University of British Columbia
6303 NW Marine Drive
Vancouver, BC. V6T 1Z1
tel 604-822-2240 | fax 604-822-6161 | e-mail cmenzies@interchange.ubc.ca

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