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Being well attached to life: road safety among Anicinabek families

Stéphane Grenier, Laurence Hamel-Charest, Suzanne McMurphy, G. Brent Angell

The underutilization of child car seats among Canadian Aboriginals could let us think that Aboriginal parents care little for the safety of their children. We unpack this hypothesis through analysing the establishment of intervention programs aimed at improving road safety in two Anicinabek communities of Quebec, Lac-Simon and Kitcisakik. The concerns of these communities’ members and the types of actions they wish to prioritize in order to reduce the harm caused by motorized vehicle accidents show that children hold an important symbolic space. Rather than the result of parental negligence, the underutilization of child car seats appears in great part due to the poverty in which a number of Aboriginal families live. Furthermore, youth safety seems to be a motivation leading communities and their members on the path of change. This article also informs us on the type of education and the concept of family that are most frequent among the Anicinabek. Taking these cultural elements into account in the development of intervention programs allows for the adaptation of action to the local context.