Recognize the distinction of each group
Determine dreams, wishes, goals and abilities.
Be sensitive to the human process of healing.
"Sleeping Elders" (those elders who have not undergone their own healing and, therefore, are unable to help their people) may be caught between the Traditionalist, New Tradition alists or Lost Identities.
The Traditionalists are a healthy society. In essence, they are almost the same as Interna tional Human Beings. The one difference that makes Traditionalists unhealthy is their in ability to adapt to the environment of the 20th century. Traditionalists and New Tradition alists view Assimilated Indians as having betrayed their own culture; however, while Tra ditionalists view Assimilated Indians with compassion, new Traditionalists more often view them with contempt.
Assimilated Indians will often view Traditionalists and New Traditionalists as "lost in the past", while at the same time may envy International Human Beings for the traditional knowledge that they possess. They will often work for Indian people in an administrative capacity but remain very insulated from the real problems of the people. Assimilated Indi ans are often more comfortable in non-Indian settings.
The problem for Indian families is that their membership may consist of several of the above categories which contributes to the family's inability to interrelate or communicate.
An individual may have experienced more than one of the five categories, or a combination of two or three of the categories, in the search for self; since change is characteristic of growth, this may not be unhealthy - as long as the individual does not get stuck.
-Adapted from the United Council of Governments, First Nations, Ontario, Canada
|Table of Contents||A Model for Understanding Cultural Group Identity & Behavior Patterns||Cultural Concepts and Lessons|