The Health and Wealth of Native Nations
A Canoe Family
"Many Indian people throughout the Americas say that a rich person is one who has many relatives. This philosophy epitomizes the Indian world: An Indigenous person always positions himself or herself in a nexus of kin relations."
What are the relationships between American Indian, Alaska Native and Canadian First Nations peoples, their families, their lands and their traditional economies? How were/are these holistic economies related to their cultural, physical/mental, and economic health even today? How have Native peoples perceived their own definitions of family, of community and of health? Today many of these life ways are considered models for humans sustainably living with "place," rather than just "off the land." Native individuals and families articulate and seek revitalized cultural and political nationhood in North America.
In this class we seek insight into the experiences of North American Indian families from several different perspectives, and foremost, those of American Indian families themselves. The instructor takes a socio-historical approach in presenting the traditional and future strengths of tribal families to protect and nourish their children. The class focuses on their challenges but is also focused on the solutions that American Indian peoples have sought. Topics include: 20th-21st century American Indian family demographics, studies of traditional family structures, western nation-state interventions such as boarding school and social science and social welfare management. It also discusses in particular Indian Child Welfare practices in the United States and some comparison of programs and issues in Canada.