Current Issue JISD Volume 2 Issue 1, September 2013
Cultural Sensitivity in Delivery of Social Services
A paper presented at the Pan Pacific Civil Rights Conference, Honolulu, Hawai'i, March 2001.
Including Decolonization in Social Work Education and Practice
Social service providers must support the recovery of Indigenous peoples from the effects of colonization. Therefore, social work educators must help decolonize our profession. Indigenous North Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians have experienced colonization and its multigenerational impact. Without an understanding of the effects of colonization, social workers, many of whom will work with Indigenous clients, will be less prepared to encourage positive change. A description of decolonizing Social Work practice and education through the application of post-colonial theory and approaches is provided. This approach can also inform Social Work with African-American and Indigenous Hispanic peoples since these groups have also been negatively affected by the oppression of colonization. The focus of this discussion is the application of post-colonial approaches to Social Work. The decolonization of Social Work practice, through the incorporation of Indigenous worldviews into Social Work curriculum including knowledge, skills, and values, which are needed for effective provision of social services, is demonstrated through reforms to Indigenous child welfare services.
American Indians & Bullying in School
Evelyn M. Campbell & Susan E. Smalling
Recent studies show the frequency of school bullying has been on the rise (National Center for Education Statistics, 2011) and poses serious health threats to youth development (Nansel, et al., 2001). This study reviews the literature on the definition of bullying and examines the 2010 Minnesota Student Satisfactionsurvey on the victimization of American Indian students in public schools. The authors examined the extent of victimization by race/ethnicity, particularly for American Indian students, and how it correlates with gender and grade. Findings reveal that American Indian students are disproportionately victims of victimization and potential bullying. Suggestions for future research and implications for social work practitioners are described.
"Money talks. And the society we live in is very harsh."
Cancer Care-Seeking from the Perspectives of Guam's Chamorros
Cancer mortality is rising at an astonishing rate on the island of Guam compared to the US. The indigenous people of Guam, the Chamorro, suffer from the highest rates of cancer death compared to other ethnic groups. To better understand some of the factors underlying these mortality rates, in-depth interviews were conducted with 11 self-identified Chamorros of Guam to explore their experiences seeking screening and treatment for cancer. Respondent's care-seeking was significantly influenced by their family's wealth and their health insurance coverage. Informants who did not seek regular cancer screening reported financial barriers along with a lack of awareness of cancer screening. Immediate family members facilitated increased access to cancer care, but extended family members sometimes caused increased stress for participants with cancer. Public awareness campaigns promoting cancer screening need to be tied to structural changes to the health care system to make cancer care financially accessible for care-seekers.
Indigenous Knowledge System & Local Adaptation Strategies to Flooding in Coastal Rural Communities in Nigeria
Oluseyi Olubunmi Fabiyi & Joseph Oloukoi
The paper examines the nature and types of traditional and Indigenous knowledge systems used in the management of ocean (cold) and river (warm) flooding in some selected coastal rural communities in Nigeria. The study further identifies certain traditional and local engineering approaches to manage flood disasters at the community and household levels. Focus group discussion, participant observation methods, and anecdotal sources were used to collect data from the selected rural coastal communities in Nigeria. The data collected were context analyzed to provide information for the discussion. It was observed that the communities have undocumented knowledge of local meteorologies which are based on observation and traditional practices and belief systems. The Ilajes, Itshekiris and Ijaws who live in the study area have specific local meteorology that enable them to predict flooding in real time, and on a seasonal and long term basis. The lifestyle, tradition and religious belief systems of the rural coastal dwellers revolve around excess water management from the distributaries of river Niger and the Atlantic Ocean. The paper posited that a sustainable adaptation mechanism should take into considerations the local adaptation strategies with the view to modernizing them in the rural coastal communities in Nigeria and other areas.
Reclaiming Our Indigenous Voices: The Problem with Postcolonial Sub-Saharan African School Curriculum
The school curriculum in postcolonial Sub-Saharan Africa experiences challenges that are a legacy of colonial education that remained in place decades after political decolonization. The case for African school curriculum is contentious in contemporary Africa because it negates the voices of African indigenous populations. Despite the advent of decolonization that started in the 1960s, African education systems mirror colonial education paradigms inherited from former colonial governments. Colonial education was hegemonic and disruptive to African cultural practices, indigenous knowledges (IKs) and ways of knowing. Prior to colonization, Africans were socialized and educated within African indigenous cultural contexts. With the advent of colonization, traditional institutions of knowledge started disappearing due to cultural repression, misrepresentations, misinterpretations and devaluation. Postcolonial educations systems in Sub-Saharan Africa should reclaim Indigenous voices through curriculum reforms. This paper explores the possibilities of reclaiming IKs in postcolonial Sub-Saharan African schools and the challenges in revisiting indigenous discourses on school knowledge. The paper argues that it is through the implementation and integration of IKs in schools that students, parents and communities can reclaim their voices in the process of educating the African child.
Perceived Impact of IDA Participation Among Hawaiians
David W. Rothwell, Rashida Bhaiji, & Anne Blumenthal
Indigenous peoples face many challenges in terms of social development and the lingering effects of colonization. Asset-based social welfare interventions have shown positive effects in both the long- and short-terms. Some Indigenous communities are now exploring how asset-based interventions might promote social development. This qualitative descriptive study explores the perceived impact of a large asset-building intervention—the Individual Development Account (IDA)