Special Edition

Special Edition for the National Indigenous Social Work Conference

JISD Volume 6, Issue 2

An Offering: Lakota Elders Contributions to the Future of Food Security
Joseph Paul Brewer II & Mary Kate Dennis

Food security in American Indian communities is an understudied and often viewed through a deficiency model when the narrative is shaped by non-Indigenous voices, examining the food system and diet through the lens of poverty or through a historic lens narrowly focused on the dwindling traditional food source. To address this gap in scholarship, a qualitative study explored the narratives related to food and food production with 25 Lakota elders living on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. Findings derived via thematic analysis illustrate the experiences of the elders across their lifespans including their early beginnings on the family homestead, gardening and food preservation throughout their adulthoods. Implications include programing that would transmit the cultural and traditional knowledge of gardening between generations which leads to learning skills, cultural lifeways and community health implications.

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Decolonization through collaborative filmmaking: Sharing stories from the heart
Elizabeth Carlson, Gladys Rowe, Teddy Zegeye-Gebrehiwot & Sarah Story

Utilizing a conversational style, this article describes the collaborative, consensus based filmmaking process of a diverse group with Indigenous and settler identities who are engaged in creating the Stories of Decolonization film project. Although it has morphed in purpose and composition, the project has remained true to its core vision of providing a basic and accessible understanding of colonization and its continued impacts on those residing on lands occupied by Canada, and of inspiring greater participation in decolonization movements. The first short film of the project, Land Dispossession and Settlement shares personal and ancestral stories and features a diverse group of Winnipeg- and Canada-based persons who have come to understand themselves in relation to colonization and have engaged in decolonization work. In completing this first short film, the filmmakers have experienced a transformative journey through which they have engaged in critical dialogue and built strong relationships.

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Traditional Healing Practices in an Urban Indigenous Setting: An Autoethnography
Natalie St-Denis & Christine A. Walsh

A growing number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous social workers are actively working towards the decolonization of their practice. However, incorporating traditional healing practices within an urban Indigenous setting requires commitment and dedication to understanding these practices.  Relationships with Elders and access to traditional healing practices have been advanced as critical in this process.

Frameworks on how to do this work have been proposed, yet few have included stories of how these approaches are interwoven into daily practice in an urban Indigenous context. The goal of this autoethnography is to share experiences and reflections of frontline work and to further the dialogue to improve services for urban Indigenous peoples accessing social services. It is through the process of decolonization that social workers, not only fulfill their ethical professional obligations, but also contribute to reconciliation and the healing journey of Indigenous peoples.

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