Could Assistance Dogs Improve Well-Being for Aboriginal Peoples Living With Disability?

Bindi Bennett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


Aboriginal Peoples with a disability experience greater intersectional discrimination and social inequality that impacts their social health and well-being. Research has shown that interactions with animals can greatly improve human physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Rates of disability continue to be much higher in Aboriginal communities than among the general Australian population. The reasons for this overrepresentation may be due to racial discrimination, the use of a deficit model in Western interventions and systems, and the social construction of disability in Western understandings. This chapter explores how dogs may be utilized for Aboriginal Peoples with a disability to improve their health and well-being. Dogs have been proven to be effective in many fields of practice, including disability, and may be pivotal for Aboriginal Peoples in providing social and emotional support that has the capacity to circumvent the systemic racism present in (human) institutional practices of care.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Sociology
EditorsMaggie Walter, Tahu Kukutai, Angela A Gonzales, Robert Henry
ISBN (Print)9780197528778
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


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