Conversation With Indigenous Social Worker His Assignment Essay

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Conversation With Indigenous Social Worker

his assignment consists meeting a person aboriginal community Canada. I chose meet social worker Kahnawake reserve, I time. I've included part assignment I submitted teacher's comments, idea required, rest invented story I'm running ideas,'s reason I request services.

Conversation with indigenous social worker on Kahnawake reserve

For my conversation, I decided to speak with a social worker on the Kahnawake reserve, an area traditionally inhabited by the Mohawk people. I chose this subject for several critical reasons. First, I felt that a social worker would be able to provide a unique insider/outsider perspective on the problems of the Mohawk. On one hand, as a member of the tribe, he would still be 'of the people' and able to offer an insider's point-of-view, on the other hand he would also have the distanced perspective of someone who had studied some of the social problems faced by the Mohawk as part of his academic training. He would have listened to complaints about many of the problems and challenges of residents of the reserve, and although he could not break confidentiality, he could offer me a perspective larger than that of a single individual, based upon his knowledge of his clients. Finally, regarding the issue of informed consent, I believed that a social worker who had experience in reading research studies would be able to fully appreciate what constituted informed consent for an interview, given his experiences and training in objective, Western, scientific methodology. One article on the need for more indigenous social workers that I read reflected a "common thread" which was "the urgent need for professionally educated social work practitioners from Native communities working in Native communities. Underscored was the need to have Native approaches to learning and Native instructors" (Ives et al. 2007: 16).

I prepared for the interview by researching the tribe, mainly online, including information about some of the legal disputes the tribe is involved with, issues pertaining to reservation gambling, and general issues pertaining to indigenous persons rights in Canada and abroad.
When I met with the social worker, I still needed to ask him some basic questions, such as where he had received his education and why he had decided to work on the reserve. Although he had obtained his degree in social work off of the reservation, he had returned partially to be a personal example to his people and also because of what he regarded as the desperate need of his people for assistance. I learned as part of my research that "currently, there are 4 programs offering an adapted Aboriginal Bachelor of Social Work degree across the country (Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in association with Thomson River University, University of Manitoba, First Nations University of Canada -- School of Indian Social Work, and Dalhousie University)" (Ives et al. 2007: 13).

Native Americans have a higher rate of drug and alcohol abuse than the rest of the population, and providing substance abuse counseling is a critical part of the social worker's efforts. The tribe makes efforts to host drug and alcohol-free events to foster more healthy habits amongst tribe members. The majority of the revenue of the tribe is derived from proceeds from gambling, and another challenge for the social worker is encouraging young people to make a personal investment in their educations and look for work outside of the immediate, apparent venues to make money.

Fighting obesity and fostering healthy habits is a challenge for all Canadians, but it is a particularly difficult one for First Peoples. Poverty means there is less money to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats low in sugar and salt. Also, there are taste preferences for higher-fat foods that have become part of indigenous cultures that are difficult to alter. Improving the health of the community is a vital component to improving the overall vitality of the tribe, the social worker stressed.

In terms of my own self-perception, at first I was struck by how 'normal' the social worker seemed,….....

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