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In this book, the authors highlight the importance of eliminating health disparities and increasing the access of Native Americans to critical substance abuse and mental health services. While most chapters are framed in scientific terms, they are concerned with promoting healing through changes in the way we treat our sick-spiritually, traditionally, ceremonially, and scientifically-whether in rural areas, on reservations, and in cities. The book will be a valuable resource for medical and mental health professionals, medical anthropologists, and the Native health community. Visit our website for sample chapters!
Mental Health Care for Urban Indians: Cultural Insights from Native Practitioners is the first clinical book written by American Indian scholars working in Indian communities. This groundbreaking volume provides the reader with a basic understanding of the historical impact of colonization, the ensuing results of urban migration and boarding schools, and the effects that these events have had on the Native community. These lingering effects include a lack of cultural identity, a loss of tradition, and a sense of isolation that leads to violence, alcoholism, and often-risky behaviors. Chapter authors acknowledge this history while developing culturally sensitive practice recommendations that incorporate traditional healing methods. This will be an invaluable resource for psychologists with Native clients.
Drawing on two years of ethnographic field research among the Navajos, this book explores a controversial Native American ritual and healthcare practice: ceremonial consumption of the psychedelic Peyote cactus in the context of an indigenous postcolonial healing movement called the Native American Church (NAC), which arose in the 19th century in response to the creation of the reservations system and increasing societal ills, including alcoholism. The movement is the locus of cultural conflict with a long history in North America, and stirs very strong and often opposed emotions and moral interpretations. Joseph Calabrese describes the Peyote Ceremony as it is used in family contexts and federally funded clinical programs for Native American patients. He uses an interdisciplinary methodology that he calls clinical ethnography: an approach to research that involves clinically informed and self-reflective immersion in local worlds of suffering, healing, and normality. Calabrese combined immersive fieldwork among NAC members in their communities with a year of clinical work at a Navajo-run treatment program for adolescents with severe substance abuse and associated mental health problems. There he had the unique opportunity to provide conventional therapeutic intervention alongside Native American therapists who were treating the very problems that the NAC often addresses through ritual. Calabrese argues that if people respond better to clinical interventions that are relevant to their society's unique cultural adaptations and ideologies (as seems to be the case with the NAC), then preventing ethnic minorities from accessing traditional ritual forms of healing may actually constitute a human rights violation.
"This book presents a theoretical discussion of problems and issues encountered in the Native American community from a perspective that accepts Native knowledge as legitimate. Native American cosmology and metaphor are used extensively in order to deal with specific problems such as alcoholism, suicide, family, and community problems. The authors discuss what it means to present material from the perspective of a people who have legitimate ways of knowing and conceptualizing reality and show that it is imperative to understand intergenerational trauma and internalized oppression in order to understand the issues facing Native Americans today."--pub. website.
Aboriginal peoples in Canada have diverse cultures but share common social and political challenges that have contributed to their experiences of health and illness. This collection addresses the origins of mental health and social problems and the emergence of culturally responsive approaches to services and health promotion. Healing Traditions is not a handbook of practice but a resource for thinking critically about current issues in the mental health of indigenous peoples. Cross-cutting themes include: the impact of colonialism, sedentarization, and forced assimilation; the importance of land for indigenous identity and an ecocentric self; and processes of healing and spirituality as sources of resilience.
A rare and inspiring guide to the health and well-being of Aboriginal women and their communities.The process of “digging up medicines” - of rediscovering the stories of the past - serves as a powerful healing force in the decolonization and recovery of Aboriginal communities. In Life Stages and Native Women, Kim Anderson shares the teachings of fourteen elders from the Canadian prairies and Ontario to illustrate how different life stages were experienced by Metis, Cree, and Anishinaabe girls and women during the mid-twentieth century. These elders relate stories about their own lives, the experiences of girls and women of their childhood communities, and customs related to pregnancy, birth, post-natal care, infant and child care, puberty rites, gender and age-specific work roles, the distinct roles of post-menopausal women, and women’s roles in managing death. Through these teachings, we learn how evolving responsibilities from infancy to adulthood shaped women’s identities and place within Indigenous society, and were integral to the health and well-being of their communities. By understanding how healthy communities were created in the past, Anderson explains how this traditional knowledge can be applied toward rebuilding healthy Indigenous communities today.
Modern American Indian life is urban, rural, and everything in-between. Lobo and Peters have compiled an unprecedented collection of innovative scholarship, poetry, prose, and stunning art—from photography and graffiti to rap and songs—that documents American Indian experiences of urban life. A pervasive rural/urban dichotomy still shapes the popular and scholarly perceptions of Native Americans, but this is a false expression of a complex and constantly changing reality. When viewed from the Native perspectives, our concepts of urbanity and approaches to American Indian studies are necessarily transformed. Courses in Native American studies, ethnic studies, anthropology, and urban studies must be in step with contemporary Indian realities. This powerful combination of pathbreaking scholarship and visual and literary arts will be enjoyed by students, scholars, and a general audience.

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