on Wellness: Journeys on the Red Road
Hilary N. Weaver
a topic currently receiving considerable attention in Native American
communities and among service providers who work with indigenous people.
Through many professional programs and grassroots efforts strides have
been made in shifting from a deficit focus to one of resilience and
strength. However, substantially less has been written from a strengths
or wellness perspective. Much of the positive work that has been conducted
for years has never been reported in the literature and goes unnoticed
by all but those directly involved. The literature on Native Americans
includes primarily discussions of social and health problems including
poverty, violence and alcoholism. This volume reports the efforts of
professionals and Native American communities to restore balance and
wellness in indigenous nations, thus, giving readers an opportunity
to learn about Native issues from a perspective not often reflected
in the literature, that of resilience. Even issues commonly thought
of as only approachable from a deficit perspective such as suicide and
gambling can have wellness dimensions, as explored by the authors of
the articles contained here. We invite the reader to consider the topics
in this volume from a fresh angle.
for the New Millennium: the Impact of Gaming
The challenges confronting Native people have been studied over the
years. Their plight in dealing with alcoholism, colonization, poverty
and health and mental health problems still exists outnumbering all
other minority groups in the United States. For decades, Native people
have relied upon the federal government to provide services, which were
often not sensitive to Native values. During the last decade, gaming
has given Native people have an avenue to enter higher education, develop
tribal enterprises, tribal courts and health and mental health programs
that meet the needs of their communities. Most importantly, Native people
have reclaimed their independence. Since gaming is new to tribal life
there are drawbacks and limitations. Nevertheless, the benefits seem
to outweigh the limitations. This article will focus on how Native gaming
has contributed to restoring balance and wellness in Native communities.
as a Source of Strength and Wellness Among the Tohono O'odham of Southern
Arizona and Northern Sonora, Mexico
Teri Knutson Woods, Karen Blaine, and Lauri Francisco
The Tohono O'odham are fostering strength and wellness in their community
by translating increased economic self-sufficiency and resources derived
from gaming into social, health, and educational services which maintain
their tribal traditions, thereby providing an effective path toward
the maintenance of cultural identity, or O'odham Himdag. Cultural identity
serves as a source of client strength and as a protective factor contributing
to client wellness. O'odham Himdag describes a way of life, encompassing
Tohono O'odham culture. This article is a theoretical exploration of
O'odham Himdag as a path toward cultural identity among the Tohono O'odham
of Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora, Mexico. It addresses the importance
of tribes developing their own services within tribal values and describes
O'odham Himdag as a path to health and wellness, with practice examples
drawn from the literature and interviews with mental health, health,
and lay practitioners belonging to and serving the Tohono O'odham.
for Living to Connect to American Indian Healing Traditions
Thomas L. Crofoot Graham
Responding to high rates of suicide for American Indian youth, helping
professionals often struggle to connect healing traditions from American
Indian cultures to tools from European psychology. The differences between
American Indian healing and European therapy can be vast. Finding connections
or building bridges between these two perspectives may be more difficult
than it appears (Duran&Duran, 1995). One method to bring together these
worldviews is to use the Reasons for Living Questionnaire (RFL, Linehan,
Goldstein, Nielsen,&Chiles, 1983); the Reasons for Living Inventory
for Adolescents (RFL-A, Osman, Downs, Kopper, Barios, Besett, Linehan,
Baker, & Osman, 1998), or other psychological assessments developed
using the RFL as a foundation.
Reasons for Living (RFL) assessments have emerged as powerful strength
based tools for assessing suicide risk (Range & Knott, 1997). RFL and
RFL-A factors link to a relational worldview common to most American
Indian people. A relational worldview considers a balance between forces
often identified as spirit, context, mind, and body (Cross, 1998).
Using RFL or RFL-A in suicide assessments allows practitioners to assess
where youth may be out of balance in one or more of the four traditional
areas: spirit, context, mind, and body. This may assist specific referrals
to culturally appropriate healing. RFL and RFL-A assessments could be
augmented to improve their correspondence to the relational worldview.
a Healthy Future: A Re-becoming of Native American Men
Paul Rock Krech
Native American men have historically been important to their communities,
each having a specific function in the perpetuation of cultural norms
and practices. Oral tradition and communal experiential activity were
pathways of maintaining a connection with others and in regenerating
culture. In contrast, the modern dominant culture values and emphasizes
individuation as an indicator of psychosocial growth. This influence
seems to have hindered Indigenous people/men in maintaining a sense
of connection with the community. Survival for Indigenous men during
the establishment of encroaching nations has often occurred through
relinquishment of a part of 'self' psychically. Aboriginal men report
experiencing hopelessness living in a self-imposed isolation, without
a sense of tradition or direction. Healing may focus on use of normative
and narrative efforts that rebuild the 'self' as a part of others and
the community, which fosters a sense of interconnectedness. Ceremony
is an adjunct to developing linkages between heritage, roles, and a
of Learning: A Holistic, Multisystemic Model for Facilitating Educational
Resilience among Indigenous Students
Margaret A.Waller, Scott K. Okamoto, Audrey A. Hankerson, Ted Hibbeler,
Patricia Hibbeler, Patricia McIntyre, Roland McAllen-Walker
Indigenous communities in the United States have a wealth of cultural
and social resources that can facilitate educational resilience among
Native students. This article reviews the historical context, contemporary
trends, and current challenges related to education of Indigenous students.
The authors present an innovative middle school-to-high school-to-college
bridge program as one example of many positive educational initiatives
currently developing across the country.
Gathering for Native American Youth: Continuing Native American Traditions
and Curbing Substance Abuse in Native American Youth
E.L.D.E.R.S. Gathering for Native American youth: continuing Native
American traditions and curbing substance abuse in Native American youth
describes the efforts of Native American Elders, traditionalists, and
non-native volunteers interested in preserving the culture and traditions
of the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse), also known as the Iroquois.
This event is held every summer at the Ganondagan Historical site located
near Victor, in upstate New York. The purpose of this week long gathering
is to bring together Native American youth who are interested in learning
more about their traditional ways with Native American Elders who practice
these traditions. Much of the program's efforts focus on developing
the "good mind" of the youth participants so that the youth and Elders
are more likely to refrain from substance abuse. Youth participants
begin to learn how to incorporate traditional values and beliefs into
their lives while also developing leadership skills for use when each
returns to their home environment hence, the acronym E.L.D.E.R.S. (Encouraging
Leaders Dedicated to Enriching Respect and Spirituality). Many participants
make the annual visit from reservations and urban areas in the New York
state area while some have come from as far away as California. In addition
to describing this program, a literature review that highlights some
of the issues facing Native American youth in contemporary society accompanies
this report. Insight and suggestions for developing similar programs
are presented as well.
and Public Policy: Changing the Societal Discourse on "Welfare"
Much of the public discourse on welfare reform is subjective and value
laden, a composite of socially constructed stories and myths that support
the dominant ideology. This article reports on a study that examines
the language used by government officials, poverty experts, advocates
and others to discuss welfare reform. Statements made about welfare
reform were extracted from the Washington Post and the New York Times
and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Dissecting the public
language of welfare provides insight into how prevailing ideologies
are communicated and reinforced, and how they can be changed.
Reform, and Nonprofit Organizations
Michael Reisch and David Sommerfeld
This article presents research on the impact of welfare reform on 90
nonprofit organizations in Southeast Michigan. Utilizing a refined survey
instrument, in-depth interviews and focus groups with agency executives
and staff, and the analysis of agency documents, it assesses how the
racial characteristics of agencies' client populations affected the
organizational consequences of welfare reform. The study confirmed that
welfare reform has affected the ability of nonprofit organizations to
meet the increased expectations generated by recent legislation. These
effects have been particularly pronounced among agencies serving a high
proportion of racial minority clients.
The Living Legacy
of Marx, Durkheim and Weber. Richard Altschuler (Ed.). Reviewed by Shana
Cohen. Social Work Practice with Immigrants and Refugees. Pallssana
R. Balgopal (ed.). Reviewed by Frederick L. Ahearn Jr.
One Third of
a Nation: Lorena Hickok Reports on the Great Depression. Richard Lowitt
and Maurine Beasley (Eds.). Reviewed by John M. Herrick.
A Prelude to
the Welfare State: The Origins of Workers' Compensation. Price V. Fishback
and Everett Kantor. Reviewed by Christopher R. Larrison.
Security for Ourselves and Our Prosperity. Charles P. Blahous III. Reviewed
by Martin B. Tracy.
and Medicare: Individual vs. Collective Risk and Responsibility. Sheila
Burke, Eric Kingson, and Uwe Reinhart (Eds.). Reviewed by Rick Hoefer.
Tripping on the Color Line: Black-White Families in a Racially
Divided World. Heather M. Dalmage.
Social Work: Professional Action in an Independent World. Lynne M. Healy.
Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation. Doris Zames
Fleisher and Frieda Zames.
Sociology. Joe R. Feegin and Hernan Vera.