PPT - Academy for Professional Excellence

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Transcript PPT - Academy for Professional Excellence

Considerations for Social
Work Practice with
American Indians
mission is to
ENSURE that Tribal foster youth
are connected to CULTURE,
community and resources
throughout their transition to adulthood
thereby increasing POSITIVE outcomes
for Tribal Foster YOUTH.
Tribal STAR is a program of the Academy for Professional Excellence at
San Diego State University School of Social Work
History & Purpose of Tribal STAR
• Who we are & where we are from
Landscape of California
• CA has the largest Native American
population in the nation
(333,511 / 2000 Census, US Census Bureau /
• CA is the State with the largest number of
foster youth
• 35% of Tribal youth experience out of
home placement (more than any other
racial group)
1 a: the integrated pattern of human
knowledge, belief, and behavior that
depends upon the capacity for learning
and transmitting knowledge to succeeding
b: the customary beliefs, social forms, and
material traits of a racial, religious, or social
group; also: the characteristic features of
everyday existence
c: the set of shared attitudes, values, goals,
and practices that characterizes an
institution or organization
What cultures are in the room?
Adaptive Behavior
When did you know you were an outsider?
-what was your culture and what was theirs?
-how did it feel?
-how did you adapt yourself?
-how do we adapt ourselves when working
with people from other cultures?
Traditional Indian Values vs.
All American
Mainstream Values
Clan/communal emphasis
Present-time orientation
Time non-awareness
Harmony with nature
Appreciates/honors silence
Respect of other religions
Individual Emphasis
Future Orientation
Time awareness
Conquest of nature
Avoids silence
(Source: The Indian Child Welfare Act, Handbook by Rose-Margaret
Orrantia; Cultural Awareness; the Indian Perspective, Marilyn
Resiliency Factors
Events to consider as important
-naming ceremonies
-sweat lodge & other purification
-sundance & other renewal ceremonies
-end of life services, wakes, burials
-end of cycle after death ceremonies
The Importance of
• Creativity –unique welfare and Social issues combined with a
distinct lack of precedent in collaboration demand a high
amount of creativity in each stage of relationship
• Patience- introduction is extremely important. It is also
important to allow time for broad introductions of many Tribal
• Preparation and Planning – research the particular Tribes and
Tribal cultures in a respectful way, knowing Tribal leaders
names, governing structures.
• Respect – sincere respect. It is crucial to be aware of the
“Head of State” status that the Chief or Governor of the Tribe
has. Native American women, people, and Tribes are the
experts on their own lives.
The goal is “to listen, understand, and learn to help.”
Who to Contact First?
Personal phone call – then a letter and email to the nearest ICWA rep or
Tribal contact.
• Is there anyone in the community that has a special interest in the needs
of tribal foster youth?
• Who do people go to for advice in working with tribal foster youth and
young adults?
• Who at the health center is working with ICWA and can assist
identifying tribal youth eligible for IL services?
• Who should I contact at the tribal council about our project and what is
the best way to approach them?
Develop contacts and become familiar with your local tribe. You may
give a presentation at the local tribal council meeting. Be brief and
keep tribal youth at the center of your presentation.
Solicit support, input and guidance.
What If I’m NOT Native?
• Learn as much as you can about the local tribe(s),
especially their history and relationship with federal
and state programs.
• Take the time to learn about the key tribal
• Show that you are committed to being part of the
community: attend community functions (fiestas,
pow wows, cultural gatherings, health fairs, etc.).
“Humankind has not woven
the Web of Life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to
All things are bound together.
All things connect.”
-Chief Seattle-