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Native American caregiving

Overview

Provides information to assist you and native families with providing the highest possible level of caregiving services to their elders.

American Indian/Alaskan Native caregivers

Opening prayer

  • Native Philosophy – Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa) Santee Sioux "It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to overcome.
  • Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one’s spiritual balance. Therefore, children must learn early the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving.
  • If a child is inclined to be grasping, or cling to any of his or her possessions, legends are related about the contempt and disgrace falling upon the ungenerous and mean person…..
  • The Indians in their simplicity literally gave away all that they had…..to relatives, guests, to other tribes and clans, but above all to the poor and aged, from whom they can hope for no return.
"There are 2.1 million American Indians and Alaskan Natives in our country today, and that number is projected to double by the year 2050. There are 545 federally recognized tribes and 100 more that do not have federal recognition. The rural native population has a higher concentration of children and elders that does the urban population. Many in the age 18 to 55 group migrate to cities or other areas in search of employment only to return when they become an elder.

It is important that everyone understand the native philosophy……that caregiving is one of the highest duties that one can perform or be expected to perform. The rewards of providing care to elders are many, but do not typically or traditionally involve any type of compensation.

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