Who we are Search Resources Submit a resource Links to sites Discussion Board Contact Us Return to Home
Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Tribal and shamanic-based social work practice: a Lakota perspective.

Author: Voss, R.W; Douville, V; Little Soldier, A; Twiss, G.
Author Background:
Date 5/1/99
Type Journal
Journal Title: Social-Work.
Volume/Pages 44(3) p. 228-241
Subject Matter Native Americans
Abstract This article takes a critical look at the social work literature that views Indian people as a social problem group and fails to recognize the unique contributions that American Indian tribal and shamanic-based traditions of helpand healing can make in shaping social work theory, practice, and social policy at a foundational level. The article examines the centrality of tribalism, which emphasizes the importance of kinship bonds or interconnectedness of allreality in Lakota thought and philosophy, and shamanism, which emphasizes the role and dimensions of spirits as powerful resources in the helping and healing processes for individual and for community health and well-being. Thearticle looks at how the older, traditional ways of the Lakota resonate with Jungian psychology, Kohut s self-object theory, and Saleebey s strengths perspective in social work practice. The authors conclude that Lakotaphilosophy can reshape social work practice, theory, and policy by offering a fresh perspective based on very old American Indian ideas from the Great Sioux Nation. (Journal abstract.)