Findings of the national study and related studies about father involvement in Canada have been captured in an edited volume (Ball & Daly, 2013). With regards to Indigenous fathers, this path-seeking project highlighted challenges for many Indigenous fathers to maintain connections to their children and to feel confident in a fathering role. While expressing a desire for more involvement with their children, many First Nations and Métis fathers identified several barriers: perceived role ambiguity; perceived bias toward mothers' involvement in infant, childcare, and parenting programs and services; interruptions in contact with children due to fathers' participation in work on trap lines or fishing boats far from home; residential treatment programs or incarceration that disrupt connections with children; and their own doubts about being suitable role models for their children. Residential school attendance and secondary residential school effects, combined with ongoing colonial policies and social discrimination, figured prominently in many Indigenous men's accounts of their experiences of being fathers.
This project area has brought attention to the needs and goals of Indigenous fathers in the partnering communities, in the fields of early childhood education, and child and youth care in Canada as well as internationally.
Impacts of completed and ongoing research and knowledge mobilization in this project area include:
By increasing understanding of fathers' involvement and their potentially positive contributions to the wellness of their children and families, this project area is achieving the mission of Early Childhood Development Intercultural Partnerships to effect social change and increase equitable opportunities for children's development, education, and wellness.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Community-University Research Alliance Program
British Columbia Ministry for Children and Family Development through the Human Early Learning Partnership