Reviews

Episode 129 - Agnes Williams: Native Americans and a Human Rights and Trauma-Informed Perspective

Monday, October 14, 2013, 9:56:42 AM

Image of Agnes Williams, LMSW

In this episode, Ms. Agnes Williams, a member of the Seneca Nation, uses her Nation's experience as a context to discuss cultural appreciation. She also explores the concept of historical trauma as well as the ideals of human rights and social justice, and how those ideals have been compromised. Additionally, she reflects on her work with social work student interns and the need to take affirmative steps to provide support for Native American social work students.

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Average Rating: 4 stars (2 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 4stars  great discussion, Saturday, February 01, 2014

By Jen VK :

I really enjoyed this podcast. Ms. Williams illustrates how multifaceted trauma can be. Everything from psychology, biology, ecology, to history play a part in a person's current state. I think the macro work she talks about is great, and it shows the importance of looking at our clients' systems and everything that influences their lives. For the Native American culture in particular, I can see where this kind of social work practice would have a strong impact. Taking into consideration that this involves people from a heritage who's history unfortunately involves the stripping of a rich culture and separation of strong bonds within tribes, a sense of community could mean a lot. Not only would these types of events bring attention to the culture, but I think even advertising an event like that makes an impact outside of the Native American community as it brings awareness to others that these events exist, and exist for a reason. I would be interested in seeing how community outreach events such as the ones Ms. Williams discussed have an impact on the Native American community and if it has in fact helped bring awareness to the issues this community faces.

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Average Rating: 4stars  a history of trauma, Thursday, January 30, 2014

By Jocie B :

This was a wonderful podcast that explained the plight of the Native American population in a short amount of time and was able to get to the heart of many issues of institutional discrimination and human rights issues with this indigenous population. Ms. Agnes Williams highlighted the importance of understanding human rights infringements and the importance of utilizing a trauma-informed approach with this population. It is interesting to consider that American, a country so determined to help promote change, can still have such an underrepresented and discriminated against population right within its borders. Historical trauma is still affecting the Native Americans on reservations. There are higher rates of suicide and physical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and the average life expectancy is only 54 years. This population is still recovering from a history of trauma. It is important for social workers to understand that entire generations were stripped of their culture and identity and how this understanding can help working with this population.

There was also an interesting discussion regarding the Ecological Model and how this relates to this population’s philosophy and can interrelate to the practice of social work. The “one dish one spoon” philosophy of Native Americans, that we are all connected in some way to each other and the earth, is very in tune with some social work ideals and can give guidance towards macro, mezzo, and micro practice.

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