Planning for the Seventh Generation: What does it take to raise a healthy Anishinaabe child?

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Planning for the Seventh Generation: What does it take to raise a healthy Anishinaabe child?. Creating Connections to Enhance Tribal Child Welfare Systems: Regional Tribal Child Welfare Gathering March 18, 2009 Lac du Flambeau, WI Priscilla Day, MSW, Ed.D. University of Minnesota Duluth - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Planning for the Seventh Generation: What does it take to raise a healthy Anishinaabe child?

    Creating Connections to Enhance Tribal Child Welfare Systems: Regional Tribal Child Welfare GatheringMarch 18, 2009Lac du Flambeau, WI

    Priscilla Day, MSW, Ed.D.University of Minnesota DuluthDepartment of Social WorkContact:

  • The importance of identity

    My Spirit nameMy ClanWhere I am fromTells you if we are related Provides instant connectionsAccesses helping systems

  • Historical Context

    Missions, boarding schools and out of home placement that targeted Indian children and families through removal of children from our families and communities = destruction of our culturesImpact on identity and culture: individual, family and community levels

  • Leech LakeThey are American Pagans whose degradation and helplessness must appeal to every Christian heart. From their past history they have peculiar claims upon the benevolence and protection of a Christian nation. The only hope for the Indians is in civilization and Christianization. Right Rev. Henry Whipple (Missionary at Leech Lake)

    Photographs are courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society Photograph Collection ca. 1900

  • My Family History Maternal Great, Great, Great, Great Grandmother: Tay-Dah-Quah-Be-Kwe (early 1800s)Spotted Feathers Woman SittingMaternal Great, Great, Great Grandmother: Nay-Anah-Kwe-Oke-Kwe Pointed Cloud Woman (1830)Maternal Great, Great Grandmother: O-Maa-Maa-Ge-Gwon Thunderbirds Moving Their Feathers Woman (1850s)Great Grandmother: O-Bim-Way-We-Dum-Oke-KweRoaring Thunderbird Woman (1882)Grandmother: Sha-Won-O-Sa-Kwe Lady Going South (1904-2003)Mother: Waaboos Rabbit (1927-2002)

  • Leech Lake Reservation

  • Background and MethodologyTopic-What does it take to raise a healthy Anishinaabe child?

    Focus on N. Minnesota Anishinaabeg

    Conducted focus groups with elders Interviewed key informants

    Summarized data to develop an adapted version of Search Institutes Developmental Assets

  • Search Institute Developmental Assets:External Assets: Things that surround children to help them feel positive about themselves (mediating factors)Internal Assets: Values, behaviors, and beliefs children develop that assist them in making life choices (resistance and resiliency skills)Domains: Areas in a childs life that impact their interaction with their world

    For more information:

  • Assets are:key building blocks in childrens lives that help them grow up strong, capable and caring. Like a dream catcher, assets are the supporting threads in a young persons life that can keep away harm and invite goodness

    (AlaskaICE, 2002)

  • Definitions of a healthy Anishinaabe child Elders spoke about both what a healthy Anishinaabe child looked like and what kind of parenting and support is needed to raise a healthy child. A healthy child is:One that makes good decisions on his/her own and applies values to their lifeHas a positive self identificationIs comfortable with who they areHas spiritual connectednessPart of a family unit/extended family, cultural community

  • Extended Family and Community Connections

  • Adapted Domains for Anishinaabeg FamiliesExternal Assets:SupportEmpowermentBoundaries and expectationsConstructive use of time

    Internal Assets:Commitment to learningPositive valuesSocial competenciesPositive identity

  • Adapted Domains for Anishinaabeg Families External Assets:Support:Family, extended family, other adultsPositive communicationCaring community/schoolParents/adults involved with education

  • Extended Family Support

  • External Assets:Empowerment:Child feels important and safe in communityChild learns importance of service to othersChild is involved in cultural activities

  • Cultural Activities

  • Adapted Domains for Anishinaabeg Families External Assets:

    Boundaries and Expectations:Family, school, and community expectations clearHas positive adult role modelsHas high expectations for self

  • Boundaries and Expectations

  • Adapted Domains for Anishinaabeg Families External Assets:

    Constructive Use of Time:Engages in creative and useful activities (cultural, organized youth activities, school)Engages in spiritual/religious activitiesHas roles at home/family/community

  • Use of Time

  • Adapted Domains for Anishinaabeg Families Internal Assets:Commitment to Learning Wants to achieve-believes in self Engaged with school (activities, school work, sports, positive school relationship)Enjoys readingCultural activities are integrated into life (language, ceremonies, crafts)

  • Engaged in School

  • Adapted Domains for Anishinaabeg Families Internal Assets:Positive ValuesConcern for othersBig picture (social justice, interconnectedness of all life)Exhibits honesty, integrity, humility, humor, responsibility, respect, truth, love

  • Interconnectedness of Life

  • Adapted Domains for Anishinaabeg Families Internal Assets:Social CompetenciesAble to plan and make good decisions (resistance skills)Gets along with othersUnderstands and appreciates culture (own and others)Demonstrates leadershipEngages in and facilitates conflict resolution

  • Social Competencies

  • Adapted Domains for Anishinaabeg Families Internal Assets:Positive IdentityFeels good about selfHas a positive view of future (hopeful)Believes they can make a difference in the world (When I grow up I want to be)Feels connected to family/culture/tribe

  • Positive Identity

  • FindingsThe basic tenants of what it takes to raise a healthy child are the same across cultures (food, shelter, security) the order of importance or prominence with native children is different.

    For example, the importance of culture, spirituality, extended family and tribal connections play a central role.

  • The Importance of Extended Family

  • Elders sayInvolve children in daily activities like house keeping, and take them along when hunting, fishing and berry picking.Involve them in cultural activities, ceremonies, arts, pow-wows, which allows them to take pride in their culture by participating in it. Feeling a part of the group culture reinforces identity

  • Involving Children in Daily Activities

  • Traditional beliefsRespect for the autonomy, worth, and self-determination of each person - every persons contribution is important to the well-being of the community. Healthy children mean a healthy community.

    Individuals are expected to respect, understand and contribute to the well-being of their family, clan, band and tribe.

    Consistent with seven traditional teachings: humility, love, honesty, wisdom, truth, bravery, and respect.

    Raising healthy Indian children is planning for the seventh generation.

  • Wisdom of our EldersThe kinship unit is very powerful. I want my descendants to have a strong sense of who their ancestors were and to understand who they are in the larger Lakota cultural base. I want them to understand that they have a responsibility to be a conduit for our culture. That is the only hope we have of ensuring the essence of our culture will continue-Beatrice Medicine, Lakota (2004)

  • Tribal Organizations: Promoting healthy tribal identities through culturally restorative practices

    Two Case Studies-Lakota Oyate Wakanyeja Owicakiyapi (LOWO)Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota

    -Weechi-it-te-win Family ServiceFort Frances, Ontario, Canada

  • LOWOLakota Oyate Wakanyeja Owicakiyapi, Inc. (LOWO) - Oglala Lakota Integrated Tribal Child and Family Services Agency is a tribally chartered child welfare agency on the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota. administers child and family services with an emphasis on abused and neglected childrenservices foster care placement, foster parent training and retention, support and maintenance, parenting education, family preservation and reunification services.Developing a Lakota practice model.

  • Oglala Lakota Practice Model

    Integration of Lakota based model of practice in service delivery.Traditional Children's RightsTraditional Family RightsLakota Code of EthicsMedicine Wheels Search for Relatives

  • Weechi-it-te-win Family ServiceWork with the child, family, and community in a culturally sensitive and culturally appropriate manner using the strengths inherent in Anishinaabe culture.Utilizing the wisdom of their chiefs and councils, elders, boards, staff, and community people, have incorporated Anishinaabe traditional laws into their practice model.

  • Weechi-it-te-win Practice ModelCultural attachment: Defined by Weechi-it-te-win, it is how one bonds with the Anishinaabe culture through the use of the language, ceremonies, and teachings. Included is the commitment to securing the knowledge of family, extended family, community, nation, and our relationship to each other and the world (Simard, E., 2008).Administrative harmonization: This is the process of bridging distinct yet equally important laws Traditional Law and Federal, Provincial or State Laws (Simard, E., 2008). Bi-Cultural practice: Ability to provide both mainstream services and cultural service options to clientele. Traditional law: Our ancestors governed themselves since time immemorial according to laws and a constitution given to them by the Creator. Traditional law for all matter Anishinaabe, especially the care and protection of the child, derives only from these sources (Kelly, P., 2007).

  • Common Culturally Restorative PracticesOrgan