Native Americans are always struggling with identification with their tribes traditions compared to Euro-American traditions. Counselors need to recognize that many Native Americans feel uncomfortable when talking about things outside of their context. Rather than interpret behaviors of the Native Americans counselors understand what greatly impacts American Indians in social issues. Native Americans are greatly impacted with Major Health Issues, Employment Issues, Economic Issues, and Family Dynamics.
American Indian Multicultural Counseling
Human behavior is explained by the definition of culture. Each individual has a cultural group of values. Ethnocentrism is what makes up the American Euro-American culture. The Americans take pride in thinking their culture is superior to other cultures. Because so many think the American culture is superior we tend to forget, ignore, and discriminate those cultures like American Indian culture that is subordinate. American Indian Background.
When working with Native Americans a counselor must understand and remember that their culture and history is very deep with the dominant white culture. The Native Americans have dealt with dishonesty, oppressive, and manipulative messages since white settlers came to this country. The Native Americans continue to experience racism and discriminations. Long before the pilgrims and pioneers landed in American there were the Native Americans with their culture. The Native Americans were viewed as Red Man with a Spear. Without the aid of Native Americans the settlers would have not survived because they knew very little about the land. While the new colonization began in American the Native Americans began contracting crippling diseases and horrible prejudice. Bryan (2007) stated that, “A large percentage of the decreased in population can be attributed to the European introduction of diseases such as diphtheria, smallpox, measles, chickenpox, influenza, scarlet fever, malaria, typhus, and typhoid fever. Many American Indians had no immunity to these diseases. The death toll from theses diseases and other was so great that it was labeled as one of the greatest natural catastrophes of all time”( p.27).
The Native American population drastically diminished and annihilated entire villages (All about history.org 2002). By the end of the eighteenth century, the American Indian population had been decreased by at least 10 percent of the numbers that existed at the time of first contact (Bryan, 2007). American Indian population is now increasing since the eighteenth century. In a 2004 census report placed the American Indian population at almost three million (Bryan, 2007). Over time more settlers came to the new land these Native Americans valued so much. These settlers displayed greed and arrogance. The settlers were hare to conquer with brutal attacks and invasions. The new euro-Americans wanted to seize the American land for farming and used the resources of the land wasting the land that the Native Americans worshiped. The Native Americans culture is centered on family and spirituality of the land.
Bryan (2007) stated that, “The process of taking Indian land not only impacted the number of American Indians, but also had an impact on their entire way of life. Despite numerous treaties and promises that assured Indians that their lands were safe from the encroachment of Euro-Americans, their land base has been significantly reduced. Their land was taken and generally they were forced to relocate to land which the United States government considered as unsuitable for Euro-Americans inhabitation (p. 218).
Relocation of American Indians was a very shameful process that Euro-Americans placed up them. American Indians went from familiar surroundings to unfamiliar environments and surroundings. These American Indians were no doubt shamed and required to adopt a new way of living. These Euro-Americans went against what the...