Presentation on theme: "Tribal STAR is a program of the Academy for Professional Excellence at San Diego State University School of Social Work."— Presentation transcript:
Tribal STAR is a program of the Academy for Professional Excellence at San Diego State University School of Social Work
Landscape of California CA has the largest Native American population in the nation (333,511 / 2000 Census, US Census Bureau / www.nahc.ca.gov) 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)
In recent years both the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) and the Child Welfare League of American made public apologies for participating in the removal and assimilation of Indian children from their families and homes.
What are the possible effects of unresolved grief and loss that affect social workers in the field who serve American Indians? What are the possible effects of unresolved grief and loss upon other cultures which experienced slavery, war, and other traumas?
Purpose of the ICWA The purpose of the ICWA is to protect the best interests of the Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families by establishing minimum federal standards for the removal of Indian children from their parents or Indian custodians. The ICWA also sets the priority for the placement of such children in foster or adoptive homes that reflect the unique values of Indian culture. The ICWA also provides some assistance to Indian tribes in the operation of child and family service programs (ICWA, 1978).
The Intent of the ICWA The intent of the ICWA is to prevent the unwarranted breakup of American Indian families and to recognize Tribal jurisdiction when making custody decisions involving the removal of Indian children from their homes. It also involves the establishment of minimum federal standards that county and/or state courts must follow when Indian children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care or adoptive homes (Orrantia, 1991).
Traditional Indian Values vs. All American Mainstream Values Clan/communal emphasisIndividual Emphasis SharingWinning Present-time orientationFuture Orientation SpiritualisticMaterialistic Time non-awarenessTime awareness Harmony with natureConquest of nature PassiveAggressive Giving/spendingAcquiring/saving Appreciates/honors silenceAvoids silence Respect of other religionsConverting/proselytizing (Source: The Indian Child Welfare Act, Handbook by Rose-Margaret Orrantia; Cultural Awareness; the Indian Perspective, Marilyn Robinson).
Recommendations for Workers Build on young peoples’ connection to all living entities Encourage and openly discuss their spiritual development Make use of the outdoors. Recognize the vital role played by elders, aunts, uncles, and other extended family, blood-clan-moiety involvement and encourage their participation in these groups’ activities.
Continued… Encourage generosity of spirit. Incorporate more cooperative learning activities. Respect their individualism. Allow for a longer response time. Be more flexible with timelines. Respect that learning can also occur through listening and in silence. (Source: Munsell, G. 2004 Tribal Approaches to Transition: The John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, NRCYS).
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DEVELOPING AND MAINTAINING TRIBAL RELATIONSHIPS 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 development Patience- introduction is extremely important. It is also important to allow time for broad introductions of many Tribal members 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. Questions: 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 organizations. 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 ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” -Chief Seattle-
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