Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Felicia Sy

Abstract

This study focuses on Native American spirituality and healing in a Euro-American world. Six interviews were conducted, two each at three different rural tribes in northern Minnesota. The people interviewed were leaders or teachers in local tribes and also elders who are respected in the communities. Some of the common themes that emerged were (a) a change in the communities, viewed as overtaken by drugs and alcohol and feeling unsafe; (b) changes in traditional spirituality; (c) changes in language; (d) honoring true American war heroes; (e) changes in values and views of the ways of living; and (f) the prevalence of humor in the Indian community, which is significant for understanding worldviews and perspectives. An overwhelming response was that all the participants had unquestioning love for their immediate family, extended family, and the whole community. The words and passion spoken clearly by all the elders were about wanting their community to be a better place for future generations, for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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