First Nations PEOPLE Ways to evaluate, engage, intervene, and assess
Cultural Competence • Cultural competence with First Nations people requires a basic understanding of sovereignty issues and policies, such as the Indian Child Welfare Act (1978) and Indian Health Service (Weaver, 1999). • Sovereignty is an inherent characteristic, and cannot be conferred.
Important values 1. Helper Wellness • In recent years Native values and spirituality has been exploited, and BH workers must take care of their own needs and not try to meet them through interaction with clients. 2. Humility/Modesty • It is important that BH workers have humility and a willingness to learn. 3. Respect, open mindedness, non-judgmental • BH workers must be knowledgeable about and respectful of non-Christian values and beliefs. For many years the ceremony of the Sun Dance was outlawed, and indigenous practices were seen as pagan and anti-Christian, rather than a different and equal spirituality. 4. Social justice • Striving for social justice is inherent in culturally competent practice. Beware of biases which could influence decisions against homes of Native peoples with limited income, space limitations, and several children already in the home. Helpers must focus on the Macro as well as the Micro.
Intervention • Should fit with the particular culture of the clients being served. • Should be based on the needs and level of cultural connection. • The best source of information on whether an intervention or program is a good cultural fit will come from the client. • Some culturally based interventions (e.g.. faith healing) will likely fall outside of social work and this should be explored and supported.
Knowledge Acquisition • Culture, history and contemporary reality will vary with each individual. • “7 Generations” are important, either stretching forwards or linking before and after. There is a clear connection between generations (Storm, 1985). • Family and community are important (Red Horse, 1978). • Native peoples are reluctant to impose on others, or to interfere. Discipline of children is very liberal (Good Tracks, 1973). • Responsibility and generosity influence interactions between people (Good Tracks, 1973). Such as “giveaways”.
Challenges • First Nations people experience: • Homelessness • High incidents of poverty • Less consistent employment • Higher misuse of alcohol • Substance Abuse can be historical unresolved grief (Brave Heart-Jordan and DeBruyn, 1995) • Lower use of mental health services • However, they receive a higher level of support from their families and communities (Westerfelt and Yellowbird, 1999).
Ohio • Shawnee • Miami • Ottawa • Wyandotte • Mingo • Delaware • Other
Ohio: Classification Nations are categorized into cultural, geographic, and environmental areas • Ohio Native Americans belong to two language groups • Iroquois • Speakers were the Wyandotte and the Mingo • Algonquian • Speakers were the Shawnee, Delaware, Miami and Ottawa. • Geographically • Iroquoian people lived in north central, northeastern, and south central Ohio. • Algonquian people were mostly in the southern and western areas. • Ohio Indians are considered part of the Northeast section and are also known as Woodland people.
Practice skills development • Good communication skills and problem solving skills. BH workers must learn to take time to form relationships before attempting interventions. Respecting silence will be important in engaging clients. • Approach First Nations Peoples from the strengths perspective (Saleebey, 2008). • Native Americans are the poorest people in the country, have many health problems, and have comparatively short life spans. • Native Americans have a strong sense of community, values placed on tradition and cultural continuity, and respect for all people and parts of creation. • Good containment skills require less activity on the part of the BH worker, and more patience. • Experiential learning is important, through internships or visiting First Nations ceremonies.
Resources • One State-Many Nations of Ohio: Native Americans of Ohio http://westernreservepublicmedia.org/onestate/overview.htm A community-based Treatment for Native American Historical Trauma: Prospects for Evidence-Based Practice http://saokioheritage.com/AcrobatFiles/JPGHistTraumaTx.pdf
Articles/Readings • Bachman, R., (1992)Death and Violence on the Reservation. New York, Auburn House. • Brave Heart-Jordan, M., and DeBruyn, L. (1995) So she may walk in balance. In Racism in the lives of Women. New York, Haworth. • Claymore and Taylor, (1989). AIDS Tribal Nations Face the Newest Communicable Disease. American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 13 (3/4), 21-31. • Good Tracks, J.G. (1973). Native American Non-Interference. Social Work, 30-35. • Red Horse, J. (1978). Family Behavior of Urban American Indians. Social Casework, 59 (2), 67-72. • Stiffarm, L.A., and Lane, P. (1992). The Demography of Native North America. In M.A. Jaimes (Ed.), The state of Native America: Genocide, colonization, and resistance (pp23-25). Boston: South End Press. • Storm, H., (2008). Seven Arrows. New York, Ballantine Books.
Articles • Weaver, H. N. (1999).Assessing the Needs of Native American Communities. Evaluation and Program Planning: An International Journal, 22 (2), 155-161. • Weaver, 2007. Cultural Competence with First Nations People, in Culturally Competent Practice, A Framework for Understanding Diverse Groups and Justice Issues, 2007. Doman Lum, Editor, Thomson, Brooks and Cole, Belmont, Ca. • Westerfelt, A., and Yellow Bird, M., (1999). Homeless and Indigenous in Minneapolis. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 2 (1/2), 145-162.