Native American Resilience

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Alcoholism and the Native American: A Risk and Resilience Analysis Toya M. Gildart Indiana University Northwest The population and problem area that I have chose to focus on for this paper on risk and resilience is the problem of alcoholism among Native Americans in our country. My interest in this population was initially sparked by the revelation that my maternal great-grandmother was 50 percent Native American. This information was completely new to me and was revealed during a recent family reunion. So when I was presented with the opportunity to explore the barriers that exist in the treatment of any problem within a population while enrolled in a Professional Practice Skills course this past spring; the…show more content…
This can be seen through the practice of retraditionalization. Retraditionalization can be described as the current phase within Native American community and its purpose is to strengthen the traditional spiritual practices that were once hidden. This is done by bringing the traditional spiritual practices of the past Native American culture into modern ceremonies that will expose the young Native American population to the traditions of their ancestors (Weaver & Bearse, 2008). The last resilience factor that I observed while completing my research on the Native American population is the ability of Native Americans to act as sovereign nations (Weaver & Bearse, 2008). Native American tribes can operate as a government within itself in that the laws within each respective tribe are determined by that tribe’s traditions (Weaver & Bearse, 2008). These protective factors have resulted in the development of treatment programs for alcoholism and other disorders in the Native American communities that blend “mainstream mental health services and the traditional health and healing services from the Native American culture” (Weaver & Bearse, 2008, p.…show more content…
The Native American’s status as an oppressed population relates to the problem of alcohol abuse in that Native Americans have experienced stressors that are the result of being marginalized population. These stressors have greatly influenced this population’s documented dependence on alcohol as a coping mechanism. As with many minorities in America these stressors come in three primary forms; acculturation- forced acculturation has been experienced by Native Americans as they have attempted to adapt to a new dominant society; socioeconomic stressors- which are the result of being a population that is stricken by inadequate financial resources; and minority stressed factors- which have resulted from being victims of racism (Caetano, Clark & Tam,
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