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Exploring Child Savings Accounts in Indigenous Communities

Principal Investigator:  David Rothwell

Ives, N., Loft, M., Bonner, A.

Funding Source: McGill Internal Social Sciences and Humanities Development Grant Subcommittee


Working with community liaisons and community members, the aim of this research project is to understand how members of the Kahnawake community (Mohawk Territory) perceive educational savings. The project will seek to identify the challenges to increasing educational savings and the factors that promote savings in the community.  This research project builds on an existing partnership between the Centre for Research on Children and Families, the School of Social Work and the Kahnawake community. Specifically, our study partners with Step-by-Step (SBS) Child and Family Centre. Located in the Iroquois Mohawk community of Kahnawake, SBS is an early intervention agency that serves children aged 12 months to 6 years. Data will be collected in three focus groups of parents recruited from a sampling frame of families with children enrolled at SBS.  The focus groups will follow the methodological guidelines outlined by Krueger & Casey (2009). Questions to be asked during the focus groups relate to directly to the project’s goals. Example questions include: (1) How do families view savings for their children’s education? (2) Are there barriers to saving for postsecondary education, and if so, what are they? (3) What do families know about current resources available to encourage savings? (4) How could a parent-child savings program best match the community’s resources, traditions, culture and strengths?

Activities: Student training. Ethics review. Planning data collection.