• Explorations of intergenerational healing, resilience, and post-traumatic growth by helpers and healers on the Blackfeet Nation

      Hoyt, Tyler J.; Gifford, Valerie M.; Whipple, Jason; Topkok, Sean; David, Eric John (2019-12)
      This project explored intergenerational healing, resilience, and post-traumatic growth within the context of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana, the roles of helpers and healers in this setting, and community experiences of familial trauma and the idiosyncratic healing and resilience processes according to their worldview. The central goal of this study was to provide a contemporary public narrative surrounding healing and resilience as these topics related to historical and intergenerational trauma in this specific community. This exploratory study was composed of the narratives of 14 co-participants working as helpers and healers on the Blackfeet Nation. Indigenous narrative and a cosmic relationality were honored and a phenomenological method of Gadamerian hermeneutics was utilized. Seven central themes arose in the process of data analysis including Spirituality, Trauma, Healing, Resilience, Helping Role, Community, and Blackfeet Worldview. Co-participants explored contemporary experiences of collective intergenerational trauma of those they served as well as personal and familial processes of healing and resilience. The centrality of spirituality, cultural immersion and personal cultural identity were discussed as aspects of intergenerational healing and resilience. A holistic and culturally idiosyncratic understanding of personal and intergenerational healing was emphasized including spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical modes of healing. Patterns of healing experienced collectively and synergistically within family systems and between community members were also identified.
    • Teaching through culture in the K-12 classroom

      Littlebear, Janice DeVore; John, Theresa; Adams, Barbara; Barnhardt, Ray; Webster, Joan Parker (2018-05)
      This study explores how quality experienced teachers use culture to successfully deliver K-12 classroom instruction. Additionally, it develops and tests the effectiveness of a resource designed to instruct early career teachers on the use of culture to deliver classroom instruction. Research was conducted in two phases over a four-year time frame (2014-2017). The study followed a mixed methods exploratory sequential design, using a participatory action research approach. Phase 1 gathered qualitative data from 20 experienced teachers located in two states, which were analyzed using constructed grounded theory. The results of this analysis, accompanied by a literature review, resulted in the development of a Chapter about Culture (CAC), an instructional resource on teaching through culture for early career teachers. Phase 2 gathered quantitative data using a Checklist of Classroom Inventory (CCI) from eight Alaska early career teachers and one Montana experienced teacher, and were analyzed by averaging the pre/post CAC scores and comparing the differences. In addition, one open-ended question after use of CAC provided additional qualitative data about the resourcefulness of CAC, as well as the process for implementing the lessons. Phase 1 results revealed five common themes when teaching through culture: Relationships, Communication, Connections, Respect, and Multicultural Resources. These themes contributed to the construction of a value-added theory of practice for teaching through culture, and served as the basis of the CAC. Phase 2 results demonstrated growth by early career teachers after using the newly created CAC in all five themes of teaching through culture.