Event Title

Native American Traditional Culture Impact Study

Location

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

Start Date

15-4-2015 3:30 PM

Description

PURPOSE: To develop a richer understanding of the impact of urban cultural isolation for Native Americans, possible meaning of the cultural connection, to consider cultural revival/culture-as-therapy, and to increase Indigenous knowledge. SUBJECTS: Four tribally diverse Native adults in the Grand Rapids area. Two participants were female, two were male. Two were elders, two were non-elders. Two were college graduates, two were non-college graduates. All of the subjects live in an urban environment, 3:4 identified as culturally disconnected in their youth, and 3:4 identified as having culturally connected as an older teenager or adult. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Participants were recruited via phone calls, social networks, or in person. The sample was purposive. The research design employed an exploratory mixed approach. The interview method was individual, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews conducted with each Native participant by a team of two social work graduate students. All interviews were video and audio recorded. ANALYSES: All video recordings were transcribed, then manually noted frequent words, e.g., mother, elder, Odawa. Then a word search was conducted to identify frequent words, also noting through the tally mark method. Themes were then identified, e.g., family, tribal affiliation. Mixed methods, both qualitative and quantitative, were utilized. RESULTS: All four participants referred to Family an average of more than one time per minute of conversation. Cultural/Spiritual/Traditional and Community/Elder had similar findings with three of four participants. The mean per hour for Tribal Identification was 51 times. Validity and generalizability of the study are low. However we believe it may be transferable when added to the existing knowledge base. CONCLUSIONS: Participants which had grown up in an urban environment experienced a significant loss of identification through acculturation. All participants had a life event which drew them to strongly identify as Native. They then became involved in the Native community, its’ cultural practices, and empowered others to do the same. They all found fulfillment and balance which altered their mindsets to “being” Native and not just labeled as such. Further studies may promote policy changes in fields such as schools/education and government to increase protective factors from past or current acculturation policies and to effect change.

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Apr 15th, 3:30 PM

Native American Traditional Culture Impact Study

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

PURPOSE: To develop a richer understanding of the impact of urban cultural isolation for Native Americans, possible meaning of the cultural connection, to consider cultural revival/culture-as-therapy, and to increase Indigenous knowledge. SUBJECTS: Four tribally diverse Native adults in the Grand Rapids area. Two participants were female, two were male. Two were elders, two were non-elders. Two were college graduates, two were non-college graduates. All of the subjects live in an urban environment, 3:4 identified as culturally disconnected in their youth, and 3:4 identified as having culturally connected as an older teenager or adult. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Participants were recruited via phone calls, social networks, or in person. The sample was purposive. The research design employed an exploratory mixed approach. The interview method was individual, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews conducted with each Native participant by a team of two social work graduate students. All interviews were video and audio recorded. ANALYSES: All video recordings were transcribed, then manually noted frequent words, e.g., mother, elder, Odawa. Then a word search was conducted to identify frequent words, also noting through the tally mark method. Themes were then identified, e.g., family, tribal affiliation. Mixed methods, both qualitative and quantitative, were utilized. RESULTS: All four participants referred to Family an average of more than one time per minute of conversation. Cultural/Spiritual/Traditional and Community/Elder had similar findings with three of four participants. The mean per hour for Tribal Identification was 51 times. Validity and generalizability of the study are low. However we believe it may be transferable when added to the existing knowledge base. CONCLUSIONS: Participants which had grown up in an urban environment experienced a significant loss of identification through acculturation. All participants had a life event which drew them to strongly identify as Native. They then became involved in the Native community, its’ cultural practices, and empowered others to do the same. They all found fulfillment and balance which altered their mindsets to “being” Native and not just labeled as such. Further studies may promote policy changes in fields such as schools/education and government to increase protective factors from past or current acculturation policies and to effect change.