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2006 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 11, No. 2
February 2006

Key Points from this Issue

Success with Indian families will depend in large part on your cultural competence. This means you must learn about the history, customs, and world view of the families you serve. It is especially important to understand:

  • That to comply with ICWA and to effectively serve Indian families, you must ask every child and family you work with whether they are American Indian

  • The broad definition of “family” in many Indian communities, and the implications this has for practice

  • Communication styles and help-seeking and child-rearing traditions of Native peoples

  • Native people’s history of oppression and the impact this has on their well-being and attitude toward mainstream society

  • Not only ICWA’s requirements but its intent, which is to protect the interests of Indian children and their tribes

  • The challenges Indian families face today, including poverty, alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and untimely death

  • The many strengths that Indians are drawing on to solve problems and to grow and continue as unique cultures and tribes.

References for this and other articles in this issue