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Center for American Indian Resilience Conference Plenary A: What Does Academia Tell Us About American Indian Resilience? Manley A. Begay, Jr. Desert Diamond.

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Presentation on theme: "Center for American Indian Resilience Conference Plenary A: What Does Academia Tell Us About American Indian Resilience? Manley A. Begay, Jr. Desert Diamond."— Presentation transcript:

1 Center for American Indian Resilience Conference Plenary A: What Does Academia Tell Us About American Indian Resilience? Manley A. Begay, Jr. Desert Diamond Conference Center Tucson, Arizona August 7 – 8, 2013

2 What is Resiliency? Most Common Definition: Successful and positive adaptation and transformation despite life stress, risk and adversity Common Misconceptions:   Resilience is a trait   Healthy families don’t have problems   Resilient people are immune to stress and negative emotions

3 SOME RESEARCH I   Bergstrom, Amy; Cleary, Linda Miller; Peacock, Thomas D. The Seventh Generation: Native Students Speak about Finding the Good Path, ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.   Strand, J.A. & Peacock, R. (2003). Resource Guide for Cultural Resilience. Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education, 14 (4).   Strand, J.A. & Peacock, T.D. (2002). Nurturing Resilience and School Success in American Indian and Alaska Native students. ERIC Digest. Charleston, WV: ERIC Clearing house on Rural Education and Small Schools (EDO- RC-02-11).   Michael J. Chandler Christopher E. Lalonde,, Cultural Continuity as a Moderator of Suicide Risk among Canada’s First Nations in Kirmayer, L. & Valaskakis, G. (Eds.). The Mental Health of Canadian Aboriginal Peoples: Transformations, Identity, and Community. University of British Columbia Press.   William G. Demmert, Jr., Improving Academic Performance among Native American Students, A Review of the Research Literature, (December 2001) ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools Charleston, WV.   John Fleming and Robert J. Ledogar, Resilience, an Evolving Concept: A Review of Literature Relevant to Aboriginal Research, PubMed Central CANADA, Pimatisiwin. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2010 October 18. Published in final edited form as: Pimatisiwin. 2008 ; 6(2): 7–23.

4   Jackson, Aaron P., Smith, Steven A. Hill, Curtis L. Academic Persistence Among Native American College Students, Journal of College Student Development, Volume 44, Number 4, July/August 2003.   Heavy Runner, Iris, and Marshall, Kathy, Miracle Survivors: Promoting Resilience in Indian Students. Tribal College Journal, v14 n4 p14-18 Sum 2003.   Jan-Richard C Cummins, M.D., Marjorie Ireland,, Ph.D., Michael D Resnick, Ph.D., Robert Wm Blum, M.D., Ph.D., Correlates of Physical and Emotional Health among Native American Adolescents, Journal of Adolescent Health, Volume 24, Issue 1, Pages 38-44, January 1999.   Teresa D. LaFromboise, Dan R. Hoyt, Lisa Oliver, Les B. Whitbeck, Family, Community, and School Influences on Resilience among American Indian Adolescents in the Upper Midwest, Special Issue: Addressing Mental Health Disparities Through Culturally Competent Research and Community-Based Practice, Journal of Community Psychology, Volume 34, Issue 2, pages 193– 209, March 2006. SOME RESEARCH II

5 Some Recurring Themes Risk Factors:   Perceived Discrimination   Racism   Colonialization   Economic Disparities   Poverty   Native Language and Culture Loss   Loss of Native Identity   Low Sense of Self and Self-Esteem   Lack of Goal Setting  

6 Some Recurring Themes Protective Factors:   Supportive family, community, and culture   Knowledge of Native spirituality   Family strength   Respect for Elders   Participating in ceremonial rituals   Knowing oral traditions   Having a strong cultural identity   Caring and supportive relationships   Positive and high personal expectations   Opportunities for meaningful participation   Early identification with a goal or profession and participation in student activities  High parental expectations  Structured social support and networks  Faculty/staff warmth  Exposure to college and vocations  Developing independence and assertiveness  Reliance on spiritual resources  Having body pride  Knowing traditional Native ways  Dealing with racism  Personal determination, confidence and goal setting  Bicultural school curriculum

7 Some Ways to Develop Well-Adjusted, Resilient People I   Provide a safe, challenging, and enriched environment early in the life of children   Support the importance of Native language and cultural programs in schools   Promote a positive sense of identity and self   Stimulate positive attitudes about school and others   Support improved academic performance   Promote levels of congruency between the culture of the school and the culture of the community   Encourage school attendance,   Encourage early goal settings and sense of purpose

8   Reinforce positive life experiences   Increase social and economic circumstances of families and communities   Know Native traditional values and practices   Clearly define community and tribal political or traditional roles – assertion of sovereignty   Develop family support   Encourage a sense of identity and self   Promote language development and competence Some Ways to Develop Well-Adjusted, Resilient People II

9 Areas of Future Research I   Studies to understand Native traditional ways of developing, strengthening and maintaining resilience   More studies about cultural factors promoting resilience   Research into factors that enhance resiliency of entire communities and groups   Studies understanding the resilience process among Native people   More research into how protective factors interact with risk factors to support resilience   Studies to determine traditional Native definitions of resilience

10 Others have suggested:   Studies to improve understanding of what makes some Native youth respond positively to risk and adversity and others not   Case studies providing empirical confirmation of the theory of resilient reintegration among Native youth   Studies to improve understanding of how Native youth, especially urban youth, who do not live in self- governed communities with strong cultural continuity can be helped to become, or remain, resilient   Greater involvement of Native researchers who can bring a nonlinear world view to resilience research Areas of Future Research II

11 Traditional Navajo Perspective of Resiliency Wellness:   Live a Healthy Lifestyle   Be Physically Healthy   Have Mental Strength   Have Emotional Strength

12 Navajo Wellness Model   Concern for Self – Getting up early in the morning and running   Revere the Self – Having respect for your body, mind and spirit   Care for Self – Personal hygiene, exercise, organizing, confidence and pride, attaining knowledge, learning from others   Knowing Limits and Boundaries – Knowing safe and unsafe places, not to be misled, body ages, elders and their teachings, high quality work in work and life   Respecting and Valuing Home – Knowing songs and prayers   Knowing and Respecting What You Live By – Corn, meat, care of livestock, arts and crafts   Ceremonies – Means of wellness


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