query: indigenous communities and families

colist-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu colist-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu
Sun Nov 17 21:42:00 CST 2002

[ed:  thanks to Mark for responding to Kay's query (reprinted at the 
end of this message).]

From: mark george <mpgeorge777 at yahoo.com>

hi, i would suggest getting in touch with the people's
institute for survival and beyond.  the PI does a
great job helping both service
provides/educators/academics and grassroots folks
understand why children are "de-tached" from
self/community. it has multiple offices in
various regions but the main office is in new orleans
(504) 241-7472

mark george

> .
> [ed:  please feel welcomed to copy COMM-ORG with your 
> responses to Kay's query.  A quick response from me below]
> From:    Kay Hannan <kayhan at northnet.com.au
> Hi, I am an Australian adult educator and I plan programs to be 
> offered to an indigenous community which is experiencing 
> problems with alcohol and drugs mental health, domestic violence, 
> and problems with a breakdown of respect for Elders. I work closely 
> with the local Health Services and local medical personnel. 
> In  our role as educators, we can implement educational programs 
> which attract extra financial assistance for participants from the 
> federal government. Programs I have offered this year have 
> addressed problems with diet which has been negatively impacting 
> on the community especially in the areas of diabetes and 
> hypertension. Also, we have been able to encourage some of the 
> young girls to pursue careers in nursing. Always ready for a new 
> task, I asked  what else we could do to combat problems affecting 
> the community. The  list included drug and alcohol abuse, 
> tolerance of violence in relationships, gambling, sexual abuse, 
> incest, and allowing children to find "their" place in the family and 
> the
> community. All the problems are related really, and I think the issue 
> is
> bigger than Ben Hur. This does not mean that I am not equal to the 
> task of
> trying to address the issue however. While I am now an adult 
> educator, my
> background was that of an elementary teacher, so I am cognisant 
> of the
> problems for young children. I am looking at the areas of children 
> just
> entering toddler stage through to pre-teens. It could be said that the
> immedite family has always looked after babies until they were 
> toddlers,
> and then allowed the general community to assist in their 
> upbringing.
> However. other indigenous parents say this is a copout, and people 
> are
> just not taking up thier responsibilities. Last night, I  found that a
> very experienced Social Worker is available to help with some of 
> the
> issues raised, and this heartens me. We are a small community 
> with very
> few qualified allied health personnel available especially to give up 
> time
> regularly to come into classes. 
> I have only just found your pages, and am working against time to 
> get submissions prepared prior to December guidelines. I will be 
> exploring your papers today, but hope you can lead me somewhere 
> specific to investigate. I am planning to visit US, Canada and 
> Alaska next year to try to learn from any successful programs 
> which may be operating. Any assistance you might offer would be 
> most appreciated. Kay Hannan  
> ******************************
> [ed:  Ernest Stringer, also Australian, has a very nice book on 
> Action Research, which is informed by years of experience working 
> with indigenous communities and may offer a process for program 
> building.]
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