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International Social Work and Social Content as a Springboard to a Mission Statement: A Discussion Paper (PDF)

International Social Work and Social Content as a Springboard to a Mission Statement: A Discussion Paper

Pam Colorado


Issues, implications, contradictions, and possibilities abound in considerations of an international program in social welfare. Foremost among these elements of discussion are culture and politics; the quintessence of the term “nation”.

In order to articulate a mission statement, this paper analyses the social context of international social work issues. Drawing on the political, scientific and ethical components of social science reality helps ground discussion on local and global levels.

Political Context of Social Welfare.

  1. Social Welfare as Political Neutrality;

Withorn argues that social welfare has protected itself by riding the fence on its position in capitalism. The results of this retreat – from engaging directly in ideological debate/from working behind the scenes – are that social workers often present themselves as faceless bureaucrats without a social vision; workers are profoundly confused as to what they should do, and have an enormous sense of isolation and frustration from other workers and clients.

Withorn suggests that the 1980’s are the time to;

“alter our perspectives and begin to see service delivery and political quest for basic social change as unalterably intertwined not irrevocably separate.”

The author purports that open political debate that results from links with personal and political concerns will provide the base for a new strategy, which will demand services without compromising quality; and, which will see workers as people within a critical industry for social change efforts.

2. Social Welfare as “Political Beast”

Good social work practice has faced fundamental challenges in the international arena. The locus of social work activities and the agent of publication and research has often been large, powerful agencies such as UNESCO and CIDA. Thus, social work has been subject to highly charged international politics. Moreover, the international bureaucracies that house international social work activities have clutched the safety of western scientific, positivistic objectivity. The results of this retreat into unbridled positivism have often been disastrous for third world and minority peoples, and have done great damage to the reputation of our profession and its relationship to global humanity.

The Scientific Context of International Social Work

  1. Atoms and Alienation

Bohm, theoretical physicist (University of London) points out the problems inherent in western, positivistic science:

“Fragmentation and wholeness are especially important to consider today. Fragmentation is widespread, not only throughout society, but also in individuals, in science, and in all human activities. It is creating a general confusion of the mind, leading to an endless series of problems that have no solution.

Science has become a very important source and sustainer of fragmentation in modern times, through its aim is unity. Physics has become the pattern or paradigm aimed for by all sciences. … (I)n physics around the time of Newton, they developed a mechanistic approach by which the world was effectively regarded as made up of atoms – separate fragments, each with its own existence. Each one moving mechanically, interacting according to predetermined laws of force. The parts were the ultimate reality. They were fixed in their relationships. Any whole was only the convenient way of looking at the parts collectively because it had no independent reality. Now this fragmentation introduced a certain unity, for all the world was made of similar atoms with certain universal relations between them. So from the beginning it was a step towards unity.”

The problems resulting from this paradigm include;

“Humans have attempted to live according to the notion that the fragments are separate, when in fact, they are not. Humans have lost an awareness of what they are doing. They just keep on dividing automatically. This process of division is the result mainly of a way of thinking. In order to divide things we must think of them as separate. This thought process was extended to cover man’s notion of himself and the whole world; to say everything is divided up, including man. People are divided from each other. If you cross the border from one country to another there is very little difference in nature, but there is a tremendous difference in the way people think about it. This has produced big differences in the way people are living in the two countries, though they may come from the same background. Humans, therefore obtain an apparent proof of the correctness of this fragmentary thought. They say, ‘look! It is really all broken up.’ They haven’t noticed that they have broken it up.”

Bohm goes on to argue that relativity and quantum mechanics both imply some individed wholeness of the universe. Thus physics is no longer supporting a fragmentary analytical point yet this fact is not commonly recognized.

“There is no very good non-mathematical way of thinking about these things that is easily available to most people, and thus they don’t know what quantum mechanics means. Very few know what relativity means. The prevailing impression even among most physicists is that quantum mechanics and relativity are still supporting a mechanistic fragmentary point of view. There is no imaginative understanding. Instead of using Newton’s equations to calculate, they are simply using these more complicated equations such as Schrodinger’s equation or Einstein’s equation. Then it looks as if no fundamental change has occurred, when in fact a very fundamental change has taken place.

What this means is that our present knowledge of nature does not support this fragmentary view, but the opposite view. Nature is an undivided whole. Therefore if we are thinking in fragmentary terms we are trying to break up things that should not be broken up. That is what fragmentation is.

2. Social Work and the Tyranny of Science.

Karger, Rosen, Fischer, Saleeby, and other social work researchers link the ascent of empiricism and quantitative research with the creation of hierarchical structures that bind social work to an undemocratic fabric.

“It is not that social work researchers consciously attempt through collusion to establish hegemony over knowledge in the profession; rather, through adhering to specific constructs and implicit ideologies, status and power hierarchies are enforced.

A striking feature for the hierarchical relationship between research and practice is the enforced division of labor. In the organizational structure of social work, the researcher-academicians sit on top of the status pyramid…

Rein and white cite the existence of the division of labor between a group made up of social workers, teachers, planners, and administrators – the people who make things happen – as opposed to the group designated as people of knowledge.

The lower rungs of the division of labor are occupied by the practitioners who, paradoxically, constitute the bulk of the profession and the raison d’etre for the activities of the elite researchers. Conflicts between researchers and practitioners are often reflected in the literature.”

The authors’ concede that the rise in impiricism reflects the profession’s need to establish greater legitimacy (in the ascendency of the physical science); the desire for more effective service and the belief in the reality of empirical observation as the only legitimate method of examination. But the new empiricism also produced unanticipated outcomes, including;

a. Context Stripping.

“By this Mishler means that quantifying removes any social or subjective context from a phenomenon and objectifies it. Any interconnectedness with other events is necessarily minimized. This ‘context stripping’ that permeates so much of social work research is also political and ideological. Quantitative research’s masking of the complex web of causes obfuscates social reality and hides the true nature of phenomena.

b. Control over Knowledge Production.

The role given to researchers is even more significant than it appears on the surface – it is the power to define the reality of the profession. Those who define the questions to be asked define the parameters of the answers, and it is the parameters of the questions and the ensuing answers that function as the lens by which people view reality.

c. Scientific Imperialism

“All research is political and ideological: by the choice of the subject and design of methodology, the researcher creates a context for understanding social phenomena. Conversely, the refusal fo the researcher to create a context for understanding social phenomenon is also political…

All research attempts or should attempt to clarify or interpret an event or problem . The meaning research gives to an event is shaded by the social and political climate in which the event is interpreted. As such, research functions as storytelling in modern societies, and the research is analogous to the stories that were used in nonindustrial or tribal societies to explain incomprehensible phenomena. The earlier stories were shrouded in religion and today’s are scientific, but both make claims to legitimacy. The function of both stories is to reinforce the existing social paradigm in a society. Rein and White observe.

‘On the one hand, the stories are classical in function in that they strive to bring meaning to human action in the way that stories always have in human societies. On the other hand, they are scientific in their constitution. Their empirical foundation serves to make the stories corrigible and falsifiable.’

The perpetuation of “stories” that are functional in reinforcing the existing social paradigm is political. It is the ability to perpetuate ‘stories of reality’ that is the prize of the ruling paradigm and the group that supports it.” (Karger)

3. The Feminist Critique of Science.

Overfield provides a well developed critique of western science. She notes that the assumptions of science are the assumptions of our daily lives with the control of science concentrated in male hands. She argues:

“… that science is men’s studies and cannot be modified and that a ‘woman-centred-science’ would be so radically different that it would no longer be invested with the meaning of ‘science’ as we understand it. It would not be ‘science’ and therefore, in a society where science is the frame of reference, would be without validity.

Despite the fact that it is possible to perceive science as a dogma and no less open to challenge and enquiry as, for example, the religious dogma which preceded it, science itself permits few heretics. Its system of beliefs must be accepted and rather than taking the challenge of non-believers, science denigrates them with labels such as spiritualist, mystic or telepath. While much of substance may come from sources outside science, such is the hold of the scientific dogma or ethic over our minds, we are capable of dismissing it, as superstition or mythology, of trivializing it, of spurning its non-rational nature.

Women as well as men have been impressed by the scientific ethic and have acquiesced to its values. yet, argues Overfield, the scientific ethic is the male ethic; it is the ethic of dominance and control, it is the ethic which encodes a dichotomous and unequal division of the objects and events of the world into man/woman, norm/deviant, dominant/subordinate, rational/emotional. To enter science is to accept this scientific ethic, to accept these unequal dichotomies, and for the reason Overfield urges women to eliminate, not modify, the basic constructs of science.”

4. Indigenous Reactions to the Monoscientific Paradigm.

The untoward consequences of applying empiricism transculturally are aptly summarized by Pauolo Freire;

“Research is a cultural action, if it has a humanist character, it is eminently dialogical and dialectical. In culture based research, Men do not act on other men as objects. Freire concluded that research should not be ‘our research on you, but rather a research project in which, together, in dialogue, we will come to know each other better and the reality in which we find ourselves so that we can more effectively transform that reality.”

Social work education is also perceived as a powerfully alienating experience for Native people. Deloria notes:

“One of the most painful experiences for American Indian students is to come into conflict with the teachings of science which purport to explain phenomena already explained by tribal knowledge and tradition. The assumption of the western educational system is that the information dispensed  by colleges is always correct, and the beliefs or teachings of the tribe are always wrong. Rarely is this the case. The teachings of the tribe are almost always more complete, but they are oriented toward a far greater understanding of reality than is scientific knowledge. And precise tribal knowledge almost always has a better predictability factor than does modern science, which generally operates in sophisticated tautologies that seek only to confirm preexisting identities.”

Ethics and International Social Work.

United Nations University scholar, Boulding, reminds us that a program in international social welfare involves moral choices:

“A program for social change is not a neutral institution. Moral choices will be involved. The program could try to repair the failed Western model of development or any one of its variants, or ti could try to enter into the emerging transnational sharing society reflected in concepts of the new international order.

In the realm of the sociosphere, that sum total of interacting social entities, structures, and cultures of the planet, there is a world public interest which stands beyond national interests. Trying to discern what that public interest might be is one of our major challenges. It will not be easy. We are all citizens of nation states, and nation states have conflicting interests with regard to the inter-nation order. One indicator of the maturity of the new international order will be when scientists, planners and community development workers have been able to develop a variant of the Hippocratic Oath which will declare that they will practice their respective crafts in such a way as to do no harm to any nation state, and to be of service to all. It will be difficult to apply such an oath in practice, but its formulation will be a great step forward for science, building logically on the values set forth in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.”

Resources and Tools for Developing an International Social Work Program

  1. Conceptual Tools.

a. Acknowledge the limitations as well as the benefits of the western, positivistic science:

“People thought for hundreds of years that classical physics was the final view of the world – the truth, not just a way of looking. atoms were not taken as convenient divisions, but as ‘the way it is’ ….

Of course, breaking and dividing things up should not be condemned. It is necessary to divide things up for practical purposes. For example, we divide up fields according to what can be grown; we divide up all sorts of things. But this ability to divide things up has been carried too far because it has led us to divide things which should not be divided. This is an essential point. We attempt to divide things which are one an d united.” (Bohm).

b. Learn about and from nonwestern traditions.

“It is the special task of learning centers in the West to break out of the shell of western technology, to begin the overdue learning process about nonwestern traditions, and to identify the features and resources of the emergent new order and the skills at its disposal, so a collegial process of social construction can begin.” (Boulding).

c. Change begins with each of us;

“Global transformation is a major theme of Third World planning these days, and it is a major theme of the work of the U.N. University with which I am associated. It is a term, however, that makes first worlders very uneasy. Transformation implies the emergence of wholly new forms; with all the uncertainty and unpredictability of the new, the untried. What the first world wants is equilibrium, stability. Change is perceived as a re-equilberating process. Yet new theories of change, such as Ilya Prigogine’s, are theories of dissipative structures, theories that direct us to look at the points of maximum disorder in the old system, a new order. We in the first world have to be willing to be part of the raw materials for the new order, rather than imposing our old molds on the rest of the world. From the perspective of creation we are all, individuals and societies, prima materia for that which is to come.” (Boulding).

2. Methods, recommended by U.N.U. and U.N.E.S.C.O.


Indian Association of Alberta Child Welfare Needs: Assessment and Recommendations (PDF)

Indian Association of Alberta Child Welfare Needs: Assessment and Recommendations


The extension of child welfare services to Indian people following World War II has had serious effects upon Indian children, families and communities. In the past decade, several theories have been extended in an attempt to explain the causal factors of the high proportion of Native children in care; however, these theories generally propose solutions based on the assimilation of Indian people into “mainstream society”. Assimilation of a people has often been described in the context of a colonial model. It is within the scope of this paper to examine the principles and practices of child welfare from a colonial perspective. Using the colonial model as a theoretical orientation is useful for two reasons. This model not only offers an historical description of Euro-Indian relations, but it also offers solutions which promote the cultural preservation of Indian nations.

Present Day Orientation

The Native Community’s concern for their childrens’ welfare was brought to critical point by the tragic, untimely death of a 17 year old Native child by his own hand. Once the facts surrounding this tragedy were revealed an awareness was created from which White and Native communities can now act; for Indian Child Welfare is now on the agendas of the respective Native and White governments.

Among the Native Child Welfare issues brought to light resulted from data indicating that Native children in Alberta represent a disproportionately high percentage of children in the Child Welfare programs. In fact, Alberta government statistics indicate that Native children are more likely to come into contact with child protection services at a frequency six and one-half times greater than do other children of the Province.

In response, the Indian Association of Alberta initiated this project; designed to provide a basic structure with principles from which First Nations can begin negotiations for the control of Child Welfare programs. It is our intent to establish a picture of the issues concerning Native Child Welfare. The assessment will then determine the severity of the issues; identify gaps and strengths of the present system and describe alternative models and approaches.

Present statistics indicate the inadequacies associated with services to Native families and communities. The questions that need asking are: Why has the Native community allowed this to go on? What is happening for the child and the family as children are removed from their communities? Whose needs are being met? Native people have argued that, historically, the services provided to them contain little recognition of Native culture and provide only meagre support for the socio-economic conditions plaguing their communities.

In addition to these inadequacies, the other factors precipitating this study are; Alberta Social Services recently implemented campaign for the privatization of Child Welfare programs, and the enactment of a new Child Welfare services to the First Nations. However, the pivotal force of these concerns is Native peoples’ feelings of powerlessness over the control of their own lives, symptomatic in the lives of their children. As a result, in Part 1 the research begins a dialogue in its examination of these issues and the dynamics of the relationships among Indians and between Indians and Whites. Then, it examines the dynamics of the types of relationships which gave rise to the tragedy of Richard Cardinal’s life and death.

Although statistics is an important western scientific research tool, inherent in it are many feelings of inadequacy. Ideally, the best one can hope for when attempting to use quantitative means to determine the depth and degree of human social dysfunctions, is an indication of dysfunction.

Part 2 will discuss problems with, not only analyzing data, but also the question of how to gather, and insure the accuracy of the information gathered. A large part of the problem has to do with previous research concerning Native behaviour, those studies assume some standard of behaviour for the Non-Native community then applies that standard to research involving Natives. Further, Part 2 discusses the need for knowledge of human history.

Part 3 looks at accepted western scientific paradigms, research models and attendant research methodologies, and discusses their limitations and failings in terms of the study of Native behaviour. The discussion then presents a new paradigm, research model and methodologies, explaining the advantage to these approaches.

Part 4 presents “Indian Science”, the process through which Native peoples come to knowledge. This part also includes a discussion of “Western Science” from a Native point of view and, the discussion includes the concerns of its own practitioners. Western Science is both ethnocentric and imperialistic; it recognizes no other science save its own, then uses that same science as the justification for the denial as the existence of any other science. However, many western scientists are searching for a new paradigm, fro they have come to realize what Albert Einstein stated fifty years ago. “The system of Newtonian thought does not work.”

Part 5 is a presentation of analysis and findings which will be presented differently from “standard” research. Rather than presenting statistics, this section presents a profile of four generations; Greatgrandparents, Grandparents, Parents, and Children. The findings and recommendations come from the people themselves.

Part 6 is a presentation of specific recommendations on management principles which go beyond programatic concern; will deal with specific tasks which can begin immediately and some fundamental principles for approaches and development.

The objective of the assessment is to identify a basic structure with principles from which First Nations can approach the issue of Child Welfare programs.

Fire & Ice: Natives, Alcohol and Spirituality, a Northern Health Paradigm (PDF)

Fire & Ice: Natives, Alcohol and Spirituality, a Northern Health Paradigm

Pamela Colorado, Ph.D.
Faculty of Social Welfare
University of Calgary
4401 University Drive
Lethbridge, Alberta

The Language Between the Cultures
Native and non-native interaction is powerfully and intricately interwoven with western science. Native alcoholism and the way it has been addressed provides insight to this complex phenomena and illuminates the possibility of global sobriety. From initial contact to contemporary times, the scientific view of the Indian has evolved through stages. Each stage has dramatically impacted the lives of both peoples.
Stage One, Scientific Racism
Scientific inquiry and literature on American Indians was born in the scientific racism of the nineteenth century. This doctrine replaced the word, “nation” with the word, “race” and assumed that moral qualities of people were positively correlated with physical characteristics; further, that all humanity could be divided into superior and inferior stocks (Berkhofer, 1978).
Typical of his time, Leslie Scott (1891) wrote an article entitled, “Indian” Diseases as Aids to Pacific Northwest Settlement” in which he States:

…Wherever went the white man’s appetites and wares went also his afflications which multiplied manifold in the savage habitat. Indians in the white man’s clothing, in his houses, in his liquor drinking, were like the cultures of malignant germs which the scientist multiplies in his laboratory…. throughout the entire West the Indians were victims, but perhaps nowhere else so badly as in the Pacific Northwest; and nowhere else were the results so good for the whites….

Thus, scientific arguments provided a rationale and a justification for the genocide and ruthless appropriation of Indian lands. Political rhetoric of the early 1800’s which was filled with optimism for the human race and the improvability of humankind gave way in 1850 to a strident “pessimism for inferior races and a belief in ineradicable racial weakness” (Horsman, 1975). In a popular work of the mid 1800’s phrenologist Combe argued that comparison of the heads of American Indians and Blacks demonstrated that Indian intellect was weaker but pride stronger therefore Blacks…

…were able to appreciate the superior moral and intellectual powers of the European race, and are content in some measure to live under their guidance.
The Indian on the contrary has refused to profit, to any great extent by the arts of literature of the Europeans and has always preferred death to servitude.

Bailey, who wrote as late as 1922, codified the scientific racist paradigm when he stated:

“From the statistics which relate to the two so-called primitive races, the African and the American Indian, it appears that the primitive could not under any present circumstances attain the average intelligence of cultured races. This appears to be so, not because there is any detailed information as to the potentiality of the primitive mind but because mental deficiency is so profuse that their average intelligence must be inferior to that of average European intelligence.”

Because Native alcoholism was understood to be a function of inferior biological stock, the treatment was death or near death. This view, turned on Native medicine and healers was examplified in a letter written in 1892 by Mrs. Willard, Christian Missionary who wrote:

It is here….I would speak of the Kling-get (Tlingit) fiend, the medicine man, and beg of those in authority to cause his extermination. His incantations should be held a crime and his uncut hair, his touch of power, should be shaved clean to his head; the whipping post and work under guard on public improvements would be better than a prison….(Dauenhauer, 1980)

These scientific “proofs” continued to assert innate Indian inferiority and establish complete confidence in ultimate Indian disappearance. In fact, scientific racism marched hand in hand with expansionists who at the close of the 19th century had exterminated more than twenty-five million Indian people!

Survivors of this “paradigm” became subject to the emerging cultural anthropological paradigm – at its worse a covert form of scientific racism and at its best, a harbinger of the golden age in Indian policy.

Cultural Anthropology, the Second View
In the birth of ethnography and cultural anthropology (beginning in the last part of the 19th century) the raciology and the evolutionism of scientific racism was repudiated. Boasian scholars such as Swanton, and later, Kroeber, espoused the idea of culture to explain the diversity of lifestyles of humankind. The cultural anthropological school separated biological heredity from the social transmission of culture, challenging previous work in the field.

Using empirical methodology, Boasian scholars stressed the import of replacing evolutionary history of Natives with actual history. They were convinced that tribal change, including alcoholism, happened more as a result of diffusion among tribes from a unilinear sequence of modifications in cultural perceptions and practices presumed by evolutionists.

This shift in thought produced dramatically different research. Radin (1972) wrote:

“the relationship of conquered to conqueror is important to both. Up to the present, all attempts that have been made to understand them, or to come to any reasonable adjustments with them have met with signal failure, and this failure is in most instances due to the scientific accredited theories of the innate inferiority of primitive man…”

Drawing on this earlier thinking, Lemert (1954) studied Haida and other Northwest tribes. His research indicated that alcoholism was not a function of race; that greatest drunkeness occurred when tribes were intensely involved in fur trade. Lemert argued that anomie, interclan rivalry and cultural conservatism were the most appropriate way to view Northwest Native alcoholism.

Lemert’s findings were typical of those in the flowering of cultural anthropology in the 1950’s. From this time forward, any discussion of Native alcoholism would include “culture”. The word “primitive” was no longer used to refer to Alaska Natives; empiricism became the method and major theories of deviance and social control became the philosophical underpinnings of future research.

The Sociocultural Model – A Third View of Native Alcoholism
The activism of American Indians, the Civil Rights Movement and the growth of the human sciences brought national attention and funds to the problem of alcoholism among Native people. The field exploded, producing more studies in a single decade than in the preceding fifty years. (Bates, 1980) More than half the literature continued to be anthropological (Leland, 1970) but the sociocultural model was emerging. This model,

derives from the view…that human behavior is the complex resultant of any interplay of biological and historical factors including interactions among systems that can be distinguished as those of the culture, the society and the individual…” (Berkhofer, 1970)

The contribution of the sociocultural model include: freeing Natives from the “ethnographic present” of anthropological research. No longer were Native people frozen in time. The model led to awareness that the effects of ethanol include social, economic, historical and cultural factors as well as chemical, physical and biological factors. Using history as a methodological tool, socio-cultural theorists have shown how attitudes, values and ways of drinking have changed in various ways and at different rates in many cultures. (Heath, 1980) Finally, this multi-disciplinary approach of the sociocultural model showed a propensity to get within the society being studied, to see history and life from the view of the people being studied.

The application of this science looked different from previous models. Psychiatrists and physicians including Bergman (1971) and Pascarosa (1976) participated in traditional Indian ceremonies and reported that Native science or way of coming to knowledge was efficacious, rigorous and humane. Native alcoholism and health sciences united. Alcoholism was viewed as a medical problem properly treated with technology. Publicly funded community programs struggled to integrate Western and Native healing techniques.

A second significant event that occurred was the emergence of the first generation of college educated Native scientists. This small group used the sociocultural model to talk with non-Native people about Native issues. Their work looked to external forces – historical, economic and political, as causative agents of Indian problems. The work was concerned with continuity, tended to be highly descriptive and combined realistic and spiritual themes.

The New Empiricism, a Fourth Model
Early sociocultural research produced a wealth of descriptive and explanatory studies but few claims were made for scientific rigor (Heath, 1980) and the need for definitive studies pushed empiricism to the fore (Nobel, 1976). The nascent cross-cultural scientific exchange was effectively halted as the study of “Native People” moved toward the harder sciences.

As a result of the new more rigorous and robust scientific empiricism, fundamental issues were raised regarding previous work. First scientists recognized that Native social problems are a complex phenomenon about which little is known; second, data collection and interpretation problems presented manifold problems and finally, the appropriateness of theoretical models was called into question.

“…it is not clear that the disease we call alcoholism is the same in both white and Indian societies or even that there is one unified pathology we call alcoholism. Those indicators, both behavioral and physiological, which have been used to diagnose alcoholism in the White society have been found to be determined in part by sociocultural factors. The behavioral indicators have been most frequently used to diagnose the presence of alcoholism in Indian populations. Since the association between these behaviors and either a physiological predispositions to drink has not been demonstrated, there must be an effort on the part of clinically oriented researchers to observe and measure the causative agents of alcoholism more directly if, in fact, this is possible…” (Nobel, 1976)

Lacking a precise definition or clear understanding of the variety of Native cultures meant that the new empiricism was confounded in its earliest efforts. And the increasing reliance on sophisticated analysis produced a new set of problems:

“There is a growing concern about where quantitative techniques are carrying us…our data manipulation techniques are carrying us…our data manipulation techniques have become increasingly complete mathematically sophisticated and governed by strict assumption, but, paradoxically, our interpretive frameworks which make such data meaningful have grown looser, more open ended, fluid and contingent…there seems to be rather widespread skepticism surrounding the ability of conventional data collection techniques to produce data that do not distort, do violence to, otherwise falsely portray the phenomena such methods seek to reveal…” (Van Mannen, 1979).

Thus, in the early 1980’s alcohol research and the science that guided the research were again in search of a paradigm that would work. Van Mannen observed:

“…there is something of a quiet reconstruction going on in the social sciences…There has come of age that significant realization that the people we study (and often seek to assist) have a form of life, a culture that is their own and if we wish to understand…we must first be able to both appreciate and describe their culture…”

Toward a New Paradigm
The sterility that characterized the findings of much of the “New Empiricism”, triggered a movement back towards holistic and qualitative research in Native alcoholism. Theories of Paulo Freire, South American educator, and research by UNESCO prompted researchers to look at culture in a very different way. Freire observed:

Research is a cultural action, if it has a humanist character, it is eminently dialogical and dialectical. In culture based research, “MEN DO NOT ACT ON OTHER MEN AS OBJECTS”.

Freire concluded that research should not be

“our research on you, but rather a research project in which, together, in dialogue, we will come to know each other better and the reality in which we find ourselves so that we can more effectively transform that reality”.

For the first time scientists began to recognize that Native people have a voice, and by extension, a way of knowing or science. Methodologies and approaches have evolved from this recognition. Popular writer, Milam, typifies the movement towards synthesis. While arguing for medical dominance of the filed he nevertheless recognizes that the “ism” in alcoholism necessarily involves a human or family system not merely the alcoholic. Participatory research, systems theory and family therapy all focus on relationships, development and the strengths of an existing system.

In Canada application of Native science has sparked a fire in Indian alcohol treatment. Tache a small reserve in British Columbia has used its mobile treatment model to move from 100% alcoholism to 95% sobriety. According to Maggie Hogson, Director of Nechi Training Institute, the spark has now jumped over to Alberta and other parts of Canada. The key to this phenomenal success lies in a careful integration of western treatment methodology and Native traditional ways.

These methods complement, native science and offer the possibility of intercultural scientific exchange. Native Alcohol work, usually the unwelcome relative to “harder” science, may draw on its theoretical underpinnings of wholism to assume leadership in the new pardigmatic shift. The firs step is to ask Native People, what is Indian science?


“…This is what Raven did for us…The shelter is the tree…”

Indian science, often understood through the tree, is holistic. Through spiritual processes it synthesizes or gathers information from the mental, physical, social and cultural/historical realms. Like a tree the roots of Native science go deep into the history, body and blood of the land. The tree collects, stores and exchanges energy. It breathes with the winds, which tumble and churn through greenery exquisitely fashioned to purify, codify and imprint life in successive concentric rings – the generations. Why and how the tree does this is a mystery but the Indian observes the tree to emulate, complement and understand his/her relationship to this beautiful, life-enhancing process.

The Meaning of Science
To the Indian, the tree is the first spirit or person on Earth. Indeed, the tree which oxygenated Earth’s atmosphere, is the precursor to our human existence. Because of its antiquity it is a respected Elder but the greatest power of Native Science lies in the reasons behind the trees existence.

When discussing the origins of the tree Chief Donawaak, Tlinget Elder says:

“This is where stories begin, there is no story before this…When Raven spirit and Black Raven are working on this land, they put coves in it where you can come in when it’s blowing – a place where you can come ashore.

My Great Grandfather who told this story to me said – the cove is where you’re going to be safe. If you pass that harbour you’re not going to go very far…you will tip over or drown. But if you come to the cove you will be safe. This is what Raven did for us. The shelter is the tree. You could get under the tree and stay there overnight. All this is what the Raven did…(Colorado, 1985)

From these words we see that Native science has a sacral basis and that its teachings are grounded in the natural world. The Navajo and the Natural World are one; he expresses that unity this way:

The foundation, you have to know your roots, where you are coming from. It is understood that we all come from God, God created us. But you have to understand in your own Indian way, where your roots are. You see a tree that is weak, about to give up. Sometimes you find people like that. Why is that tree just barely making it. Because the roots are not strong. If the roots are solid and strong, then you see the tree is strong and pretty. It can withstand cold, hot weather and winds. The human, has to have those roots because we are growing too. The Great Spirit put us here with nature. We have to understand the nature. That is why we understand how an animal behaves. That is why we have to talk to them. We don’t pray to them, we talk to them because they breathe the same air we do. We are put here with them. We are also a part of the plant life. We are always growing, we have to have strong roots. (Colorado, 1985)

Indeed all of life can be understood from the tree.

…just after the earths crust was formed Raven (the Creator) made the tree. Why did he make this tree? He made it to shelter us. Even before Raven broke light on the World, people took shelter from the tree. And after he broke light, look what your sitting on, what’s above you, it comes from the tree.

And that’s where the Tlingit gets his canoe, his house, his clothes – everything. The Raven put it there for him (the people).

And look, what’s growing under that tree? The grass. In the spring the Bear comes down to eat that grass and the wolf, the moose and the mountain goat. All these things, they come. And the berries, growing there – salal, salmonberry, huckleberry and beneath them, the plants, the medicine. All that, it comes from the tree… (Colorado, 1985)

So the roots and their functions form the basis of Native scientific methodology. Seeking truth and coming to knowledge necessitates studying the cycles, relationships and connections between things. Indeed a law of Native science requires that we look ahead seven generations when making decisions!

Principles of Native Science

Laws and standards govern Native science just as they do western science. In an Indian way, Bear who is the North, represents knowledge, healing and comfort. The Bear is also fierce, his claims are non-negotiable. Western Science understands Bear in terms of rigor, reliability, and validity.

In the spring Bear marks his territory on the tree. Stretching as far as possible, Bear uses his claws to score the tree. Other bears, passing by are challenged to meet this standard. If they cannot reach the mark they leave the territory. For the Native scientist the tree is not merely science but science interwoven inseparably with life. We meet the mark or die. Like the Bear passing through, no one watches us; the science relies on utmost integrity.

Native science assumes its character through power and peace. Vine Deloria (1986) noted Lakota scholar discusses its principles:

Here power and place are dominant concepts–power being the living energy that inhabits and/or composes the universe, and place being the relationship of things to each other…put into a simple equation: Power and place produce personality. This equation simply means that the universe is alive, but it also contains within it the very important suggestion that the universe is personal and, therefore, must be approached in a personal manner…The personal nature of the universe demands that each and every entity in it seek and sustain personal relationships. Here, the Indian theory of relativity is much more comprehensive than the corresponding theory articulated by Einstein and his fellow scientists. The broader Indian idea of relationship, in a universe very personal and particular, suggests that all relationships have a moral content. For that reason, Indian knowledge of the universe was never separated from other sacred knowledge about ultimate spiritual realities. The spiritual aspect of knowledge about the world taught the people that relationships must not be left incomplete. There are many stories about how the world came to be, and the common themes running through them are the completion of relationships and the determination of how this world should function.

Deloria notes that there is no single Native science, each tribe or Nation follows ways specific to a locale. However, the tree and the Bear are nearly universal. From South America to the Arctic, the tree and all that it implies has been guiding and shaping the thought of Native people since the dawn of humanity. Those who follow this natural science do so in search of balance, harmony or peace with all living relations. Iroquois call this SKANAGOAH.

The Goal of Indian Science
Skanagoah, literally interpreted as “great peace”, is the term used to describe the still, electrifying awareness one experiences in the deep woods. This feeling or state of balance is at the heart of the universe and is the spirit of Native science. For the western educated audience, the notion of a tree with spirit is a difficult concept to grasp. The English language classifies reality into animate and inanimate objects, with most things falling into the inanimate classification. Native languages do not make the same distinction. As Deloria says, the universe is alive. Therefore, to see a Native speaking with a tree does not carry the message of mental instability, on the contrary, this is a scientist engaged in research!

Put another way, western thought may accede that all natural things are imbued with energy. Much like the electromotive force in a capacitor, the force of the energy is transmitted without there being a direct flow of energy. If you had a piece of wire, electricity would travel from one end to the other uninterrupted. But if you put a capacitor in the line, the force is transmitted from one side to the other without there being a direct flow of electricity form one side to the other. This is how energy is transferred from tree to tree to tree to person without there being a direct flow of energy. The spiritual energy of a tree isn’t transmitted directly but rather its life force is felt. Like a capacitor, the thickness of the dielectric, the physical distance between the person and the tree, is not important; the exchange still occurs.

This exchange suggest that human beings play a vital part in Skanagoah. Western thought teaches the value of the specialist, especially to the masses who are mostly generalists. In an Indian way, we may think of the Bear as a specialist, indeed, if I compete with the Bear in his own environment and on his terms, there is no way I can match his proficiency. But the generalist, in this case, human beings determine the continuance of Bear’s habitat. We are related, we are all one, life and death, good and bad, we are all one. The Indian acknowledges this and so discovers the most liberating aspect of Native science; LIFE RENEWS and all things which support life are renewable.

The struggle through Native alcoholism has repeatedly brought two peoples together. Let us hope that the fire of sobriety sparked in northern communities, spreads south and our sciences lead the way.

The Bear Has Made His Mark…
Can you Reach It?

In the Company of Women: Complementary Ways of Organizing Work (PDF)

Struggling down the cellar stairs with a forty-pound laundry basket at the end of a long day in the 1970’s I said to myself “I wonder where the laundry would be located if a woman had designed this house?” This laundry epiphany prompted a later observation in graduate school, “How come there aren’t any women in these research populations defining leadership?” My next thought was “How would these organizations look if they were designed by women?” These questions illustrate the threshold of perception a woman crosses in recognizing hte existence of a pervasive paradigm that does not include her. Once awakened, a casual scan of the nightly news will confirm the fact that the viewpoints of her half of the human population are rarely included in the crucial debates and decisions being made on the global stage.
Models are representations of key concepts and operating principles. When applied to organizations, they indicate what we pay attention to when we gather to do work. The predominant organization models that we use today were historically designed by men, in the West, by white men. As a consequence, they reflect male values and favor rewarding masculine behaviors. This fact has generally been overlooked in discussions of organizations. To seek answers to these questions I spent two decades applying a gender lens to the structure and dynamics, the look and feel of organizations through sponsored research which I conducted from 1981 to 1997 with over 1500 women leaders in public and private sector organizations on four continents. The forms of organizing studied were formal and informal, since women’t work transcends the standard definition of workplaces. The structures studied ranged from the predominating male-defined ones, through women-owned businesses with mixed management, to women-only businesses. It was in the latter group that the clearest manifestation of women’s unique modes of work emerged. The field study concentrated on twelve women-owned and women-only work structures. From the research findings and field applications I conclude that:
Women’s ways of conceptualizing and organizing to do work are essentially different than men’s;
Those ways are complementary, not competitive. By combining the best of both men’s and women’s models, an entirely new paradigm can be created, one that holds the promise of creating wholeness and balance for organizations struggling to adapt to the challenges of change;
To transform traditional models will require examination of the core beliefs we bring to, and find reflected in, the design and operation of our organizations.

Exploring Women and Men’s Ways of Organizing to do Work
This research explores the emerging models of the other half and views them as complementing existing models. Since we are familiar with the historically male-derived organization, we will primarily focus on the emerging female form.
Women’s Ways of Organizing
The work environments conceived and developed by women were found to reflect a preference for organic structure and collaborative operation where the flow of the work defines the form of the organization and information is shared freely among members, without attachmento to functional position. Context and processes are characterized by a strong commitment to values, with particular attention to building relationships in order to establish the trust needed to accomplish complex tasks. When women design and operate the organization, they pay attention to process as well as outcomes and describe operations in unique language, symbols and metaphors
The Embryonic Model: An Organic Design
Let us enter this new territory through the experience of a national woman’s service organization that successfully transformed their purpose, structure and operation using a consciously feminine model. Their challenge was to reinvent an eighty-year old, hierarchically structured institution that had lost focus, commitment and participation while retaining a nationwide membership, dedicated staff and generous endowment. They successfully met the challenge by using the organization design process to transform the energy as well as the focus of the organization from a static hierarchy to a dynamic embryonic form.
They began by envisioning the new organization as a success in a weekend process that gave form to what it would take to get to that state. Next they aligned their personal values with the organization’s to determine three principles that guided the redesign process:
question all existing organizational standards and structures, processes and procedures, language and symbols for congruence with women-centered values which were defined as cooperation, interdependence, inclusiveness, and process-orientation.
adopt “a level glance” in all deliberations acknowledging a female preference for status-level vs. status-enhancing interactions. This approach posited webs of connection that viewed staff and board members as peers rather than hierarchies that rank people by function, or what Dr. Deborah Tannen would call the female desire for “symmetrical connection”.
use a collaborative model where system-wide inputs would be sought and aired, a collaborative approach to decision-making would be utilized, experimentation and learning from errors would be encouraged and attention would be given to process as well as task.

Flow Determines Form
The critical point in restructuring was committing to the design, a point where many organization redesigns flounder. To do this the women employed a manifestation of the mind-body connection in which intuition is employed to support feelings in a process of “being with” a situation or event. This is a process natural to women which I call “female embodiment.” In this case the planners immersed themselves in the imagined flow of both an ordinary day and a crisis situation to test the functionality of the restructured design. They described this process as getting a feel for the dynamics of how the work flowed through the proposed structure. Joanna Macy, an environmental educator, writes of this capability as female internalization of external events. In her workshops, women repeatedly described environmental degradation not as an intellectual concept but as a physical experience which some called the rape of the planet. After the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, several of my female coaching clients spoke of their inability to watch the televised replay as the impact of the plane on the Twin Tower evoked a physical reaction described by one as a blow to her body.
By sensing relationship of the functions of the organization in this way, the roles needed to operationalize the design became clear to the planners. It also became clear that two functions, finance and communication, were pivotal the success of the reinvented organization because they enable and define the system where it interfaces with the ooutside world. These functions were repositioned to surround the operational core with a permeable membrane marking this critical boundary. By intuiting alterations to the structure in this organic way, buy-in is incremental and on-going and continues today.
The Role of Female-Referent Language
Another unique outcome of applying a feminine consciousness to organization design was the use of nature-based language to describe the dynamic they wanted to achieve using metaphors drawn mainly from botany and biology. From the beginning, the board and staff wanted to reframe the impersonal, analytical language traditionally used in strategic planning. They saw it as creating a distance between the planners and the system. Instead they called the strategic planning process “midwifing the new organization”. Surveying stakeholder inpputs was “tilling the soil.” Actions to improve effectiveness were named “nurturing” and increases in funding were “watering” the system. Marketing was renamed “seeding”, new programs were called “buds” established programs, “flower”, new initiatives, “petals.” The reinvented organization came into being.
Collaboration in Action: Relationship-based Decision-Making
Findings suggest that women with a history of being an intact group do some amazing problem-solving. One group studied was six women who wanted to travel at personal expense to Santa Fe for an important meeting. They were of varying economic means and did not want cost to be a reason to exclude anyone’s participation. The women had built trust over seven years by periodically engaging in a process of sharing and listening to the details of one another’s lives and careers, devoid of judgement or unsolicited advice. Based on this established relationship, they devised a collaborative decision-making process that they had used on five subsequent journeys.
First they determined what they needed for the trip, including food, lodging, transportation and a “wish list” of activities. Next, priorities were determined by consensus. Then, a cost was determined for each aspect of the trip. The total cost was announced. Seated in a circle, members reflected silently on their commitment to making the journey and their individual economic situation. Each member then wrote on a piece of paper what she could afford to contribute and put the paper in the center of the table. Some of the anonymous contributions were hundreds of dollars, some thousands. Each was based on an honest assessment of the individual’s ability to pay. The total was fifty dollars in excess of the required amount.
Key aspects of this collaborative approach show up in all of the women’s groups studied in my research.They are: 1) the high value given to inclusion, 2) building relationships before addressing complex tasks, 3) sharing personal as well as professional information, 4) relating as peers and 5) encouraging a continuous and open flow of information.
The Spiral: A Diffuse Idea Incubator
Women in the groups I studied pursue ideas in an expansive way. Conceptualized as a spiral, an ancient symbol for the female creative life force, the process women use moves from idea generation to attracting interest and involvement by sharing the ideas freely with the goal of attracting others. As Carol Frenier noted men use a focused consciousness, notice content and seek a finite solution. Women use a diffuse lens, notice context and remain open to multiple potential resolutions. The aim is not to settle on one idea and focus on one outcome, but to allow a multiplicity of ideas to emerge and expand, providing space for viable ideas to embed and grow.
Once attracted, members move in and out of these collaborative efforts over time based on situational responsibilities, which may include family care. Periodic detachment did not appear to negatively influence subsequent participation in the project. The spiral model is distinguished by and relies on collaboration, an open flow of information, experimentation and a willingness to both tolerate and learn from errors. This is accomplished by observing and sharing information on what’s working and what isn’t that result in adaptations to the flow and outcome of the process.

Men’s Ways of Organizing
The work environments originated and developed by men can be seen to reflect a preference for hierarchical structures, with orders coming down from the top and reports moving up from the bottom. The leader is located at the top and access to information is stratified according to functional position or an informal network. Highly focused on results, this model can miss emerging factors critical to operations.

The Arrow: A Focused Dynamic
The arrow model, suggested by Bill Page, futurist, represents the linear, sequential progression of a concept from inception to completion. Direct, quantifiable and outcome focused, this is the standard applied in our society to accomplish work. This basic model suggests the focused instrumentality of an arrow.

A Natural Connection: The Models Mimic Nature
Quantum physics and folk wisdom tells us that “The whole is reflected in the parts” or “As above, so below.” I suggest that the distinctive designs of men’s and women’s organizations reflect a hologram of their distinctive essence, including their reproductive function. Complementarity denotes a functional fit with the other half. It is why the male of the species is physiologically designed to fit the female in the act of creating neew life. In the Asian understanding of yin and yang the two halves create a whole, not a polarity; they represent completion, not opposition.
Brain structure also differs in the male and the female. There is more connective tissue (corpus callosum) linking the left and right hemispheres of the female brain, increasing her capacity to switch from the left, linear, abstract hemisphere to the the right, holistic, concrete hemisphere. The male brain has a preference for dealing with discrete events, sequentially. This primordial difference in brain structure leads to a facility for multi-tasking and whole pattern thinking in females and for focused, sequential thinking ind males. The arrow model reflects the linear thinker, as does the standard organization chart. The spiral suggests the generative flow of the creative process, providing time and space for ideas to grow.
Complementarity is reflected in the biological make-up of men and women. For example, in the construction of the visual mechanism of the eye, female rods have a capacity to see diffuse patterns and wholes and male cones have a capacity to focus discretely with specificity and acuity. (Ramsey, Shlain) These biological tendencies when applied to organizing to do work could result in an organization primed to scan for emerging trends while paying attention to bottom line results.
If the arrow represents a direct route to effect an idea, the spiral represents a diffuse process of generating and refining a multiplicity of ideas. If the spiral is the incubator where ideas are conceived, nurtured and developed and the arrow is the vehicle that transforms ideas into products and services, then combining the two would insure that great ideas are successfully grown and launched into the system. New ideas need a safe container where they can be tested and improved., where they can attract key support before being introduced into the organization, the society. Further, if we consider the spiral as a idea incubator it becomes a dynamic metaphor for the womb after conception. Here only viable ideas would embed and grow; since the womb rejects a conception that is seriously flawed. Therefore, ideas that emerge from such incubators are biased for quality and strength. To combine the spiral and the arrow is to capitalize on the strength of both.
Conversly, to encourage imbalance by encouraging one and discouraging the other is to court dysfunction. Most of us can recall efforts dominated by female ways of organizing that were so inclusive and emergent that they couldn’t reach a decision and efforts doinated by male ways of organizing that were so focused on results that they missed important emerging factors.

The Challenge to Change Agents
If the organizations we serve are to achieve resilient, strong cultures able to capitalize on change they, and we, need to consider these challenges:
Transform our organizations and institutions by acknowledging that they are constructed on a base that capitalizes on only half of our human potential.
The fact that the basic model for our organizations is male-defined goes all but unnoticed by today’s organization design and development community. As a result, we do our work in a construct whose very invisibility threatens our ability to influence it, to improve its operation. In its many manifestations, whether public or private, business or bureaucracy, for profit or not, our organizations still reflect the thinking of the men who conceptualized and built them. The myth has been that the basic model is inclusive. If the numbers of senior women bailing out of corporations to start their own business is to be believed, one size does not fit all.
Balance our systems by including the authentic feminine voice in arenas of decision-making.
The authentic feminine voice is developed at the individual level through introspection on living life as a female and reflection on how that experience has affected ones impact on her world. This includes engaging at a physical, emotional and intellectual level with the impact of internalized cultural scripts for gender and external institutional sexism on her life choices. THe goal of tilling this soil, which is not without suffering, is expanded consciousness. From the ground of her being comes the courage to speak the truth of a woman’s knowing. A writer describes her efforts to access her feminine voice: “Gradually it dawned on me that I was unconsciously used to a masculine mentality and writing style. I was approaching the task through my head. I had to drop into my body…to balance masculine discrimination, rational, analytical, with feminine sensibility, empathy, feelings.” (Simkinson)
Go forward in wholeness by addressing and moving beyond ancient and global beliefs, deeply embedded in men and women, that regards the female as “less than” and essentially flawed.
The original act of discrimination into “better than” and “less than” groups occurred between males and females thousands of years ago. It occurred on a global scale. This opinion about the relative value of humans by sex was conveyed primarily through religious tradition. The belief that males took precedence over females was later reinforced by the family and society. Over time, negative attributes were ascribed to being “less than”. Females were considered to have less intelligence, less strength, less ability to complete any number of tasks from studying in school to leading nations. These views resulted in girls and women not being accorded equal status with boys and men, being considered essentially flawed. This opinion prevailed in societies all over the world until late in the 20th Century. Ancient beliefs are deeply embedded and operating primarily below the level of consciousness in people. These beliefs do not go away at the office door.

Embracing Complementarity
Energy is gathering among people active in the important work of social justice and organization effectiveness. These are people who envision a world where a multiplicity of ideas are valued, where no single point of view dominates. These people are beginning to understand that the input of females is needed at top levels of public and private sector organizations and institutions. This is movement toward complementarity.
Key to the development of complementarity is the understanding that until girls and women are honored and valued society will not succeed in transforming the way we order life and structure organizations. Bringing the authentic voice of a critical mass of women into arenas of decision making will transform the way we operate our commerce and governance, our communities and our planet.
We need both halves of humanity to run a business, build a community, co-exist on the planet.

Relevant Postscript
At lectures and presentations, I have been repeatedly asked why I use the words “male” and “female,” “masculine” and “feminine”; why I don’t use “less polarizing” terms to create more joining and less jolting, to be more team oriented and less threatening. It is because I want to keep before us the core issue at hand: the ancient, pervasive and largely unconscious devaluing of the human female. As a result, I am concerned that some male decision-makers in institutions and organizations will assume that the desirable attributes observed in female ways of working can be appropriated by males, thereby obviating the need to adapt to include “the other”. I am concerned that women will continue to populate middle and lower levels of management and therefore some will see themselves as fit only to serve in support roles in organizations and in life. I am concerned that both men and women will continue to be suspicious of women’s capabilities for top leadership of our society, thereby supporting the status quo.
The source of this concern is to be found in the numbers and their consistency over time. Women are not rising to the top of the major organizations that perform the world’s commerce and governance in numbers that reflect their fifty-one percent of the population of the world, their decades of experience as contributors in mainstream organizations or their substantial educational qualifications. Women in the U.S. are still only 3% of CEO’s and 18% of Congress forty years after passage of the Civil Rights Act. At a time in history when the voices of women are needed for global decisions affecting every aspect of their and their children’s lives including the environment, globalization and its impact on women laborers, the conduct of war, they are noticeable in their absence, their exclusion. Until a critical mass of females are welcomed into arenas of decision-making, transformation will elude our best efforts.

1 September 1988 Personal Correspondence on Cross-cultural Science Translation (PDF)

Sept. 1, ’88.

REf. Native Science Conf.

Dear Pam

Here is my suggestion for the “Frame” for the Native Science Conference. There is nothing I can say to you that you do not already know. I only attempt to write out some ideas that might make you feel assured. You are honoring me by taking the posture of asking for help. Whether I could help or not, I have to respond.

I gave you a picture of the Matrix. So this time I shall explain the Matrix and add notes. The picture is simple, but it has to be so. Once you get into discussions, however, the picture turns quite complex. Perhaps, it may be better explained in several “Levels”. As to the trick of “Simplicity” which constitutes the backbone of European “Science”, there are several philosophical problems. But I shall explain them later (see Appendix A).

Level I. Nominal Comparison

Imagine average North American White Male University students, and consider a task of explaining Native Science in contrast to European Science, such as;

(1) That Native Science is not “alienated” from its practice.

(2) Native Science/Counseling is more “Supportive” than “Clinical”

(3) Native Science is an integral part of Communal Living, not Individualistic Assertion of Knowledge. There is no Intellectual Hero in Native Science.

Having such a task in our mind, let us look at a “Comparison Table” (Map) such as below, and think about what questions the simple map might generate.

The basic idea here is to trace 4 items in relation, not just pairing comparison of 2 in antagonism. Dialectics of conflicts must be presented, but at the same time if we can shift our attention to the relational dynamics in looking at 4 items, that would be nice. I am trying “Quadra-lectics”.


[Table 1]

European Native American



Therapy Medicine

Ritual Healing



Medical Science Clinical


Medicine ( ? )

Social Sciences Social Works Community

Participation /


( ? )

– – – – – – –

I–1. The Question on the Existence of Native Science.

The first reaction of the students is to question “Does Native Science Exist?” They might say, “Science” has to be “documented” knowledge (book knowledge). Therefore, (in the nominal sense) Native Science does not exist.”

You have gone through the question thousands of times, and you even feel angry about the ignorance of the students. [Besides, for the participants of the planes conference, the answer is already clear. There is no need to go back to the rudimentary question.] But, be patient. The question is not trivial.

Let us look at possible questions/debates the table might generate. i.e.

a. “What example of Native Science do we have?”

b. “Where and how can one find Native Science?”

c. “What use does it serve to find Native Science?”

d. “Why do we need to elaborate/document on Native Science?”

“Does it help anybody?”

e. Do not Natives have/want “Wisdom”, not “Book Knowledge” sense of “Science”? Do they wish to be “Scientific” in the sense “Technical” or “Intellectual”?

If “Science” means “to reduce anything into simple mechanical routines”, is it not reducing Wisdom/Spirit into Machine?

f. “Suppose there is a set of basic ideas, guiding principles, metaphysics, or world-view, for the Native Praxis. Can we call it “Science” without modifying, correcting, or enlarging the European notion of Science?” “If so, on what ground can we justify the change?” “Is the change necessary?” “Does the change help anybody”? “Why do we need alternative sense of Science?”.


I-2. Questions on European Science.

But then, there are questions about European Science. The advantage of Quadra-lectics is that it makes easy to see there also exists conflicts/problems/antagonism/tension inside European Science. One has to look at every combination (there are 6 of them) of the 4 in relation.

a. There are problems in asserting that (European) Psychoanalysis is a “Science”.

European “Medicine” may be more of an Art than a Science.

How Scientific are the Sciences, such as Social Sciences or Physics?

b. What is the relation/connection between “Science” (Theory/Knowledge) and Practices?

What good does Theoretical Science provide to the Praxis? (What roles does “Theology” play in Religions as social/psychological phenomena?)

Is the theoretical sense of science only for edifying?

c. How relevant are “Social Sciences” to “Social Works”?

How useful is it to elaborate “Theory” for the people who practice routines which are nominally associated (subjugated) to the Theory?

What does the science of Economy say about the bureaucratic system/technique/procedure of the Social Work/Service/Welfare?

To be sure, it is reasonable to question if the Economics that we have in our academia today is a “Science”. It is sometimes said to be “Dismal Science”, but it may not be a “Science” at all.

Interestingly, by some strict definition, Physics is not a Science. Some physicists even “proudly” say that they are “Artists”.

d. What is wrong with being a “Non-Scientist”? Why should every good thing be a “science”? Is not being a “Humanitarian” enough?

Those questions have to be asked to make a comparative match with questions in I-1.

[See for the problems of European Medicine; Charles E. Rosenberg in The Care of Strangers, Basic Books 1987, talks of the inconsistency of “Vocation” and “Stewardship” which are nonetheless made into a “marriage of convenience” between Healers and Hospital. Illich, Foucault, et al likewise criticized the Medical Profession/Institution. And even our conservative governments are aware of some of the problems, because it costs too much.

I suspect the institutions of “Clinical Social Work” have similar problems with “Medicine”. The “Success” of Institutionalization/Professionalization always brings problems.

And, this leads to the question of the Social Cost (Pollution, Entropy) of the Mechanical Thinking that is worshiped as “Scientific”.]

I-3. Why bother making a comparison?

You might say; “I have made comparisons. So what?” In fact, you showed me many articles which are written on comparisons. Ones which attack European Science always carry some comparisons as the basis of attack.

On the basis of comparisons, one can go to

(i) Assimilation (Surrender) to European Science,

(ii) Rejection of Science without assertion of an alternative.

(iii) Rejection of Science, with assertion of Pure Humanism, Spiritualism, or Wisdom.

(iv) Compromise, Reconciliation, Integration.

(v) Construction of Strategy to deal with the Conflicts/Problems.

(vi) Emergence of Alternative Science, with a creative vision of World Community.

In terms of questions, students might ask

a. Is it not a step in assimilating Natives inot the Domination by European Intellect?

Just because European Culture/Civilization has a distinct fragment called “Science”, why should Natives have it?

b. Is not the show of difference a device to “demonstrate” the Intellectual inferiority of Natives?

c. When European Science itself is having troubles, if not in crisis, why should Natives look for “Science” to copy the troubles?

d. What are we going to do with the differences? Are we to eliminate the differences, say by making one of them extinct?

e. Are we not interested in Native Science, because we have troubles with our European Science? [Turning Point, et al]

II. Level II Case Studies at Level I

Here, we consider Graduate School level of talking/thinking. They presumably had exposure to the level I questions, at least some of them. You are a Professor supervising young Ph.D. candidates who are working on Native Science. What would you tell them?

 For Master’s Thesis, an articulation/elaboration on the Level I questions is a good exercise. They must do one. They must read and know a body of materials (book knowledge) and do at least one “Field Work” to see what the written materials are talking about. I point out here that even if one does work on one aspect, having awareness of the overall picture is helpful. That is the Table I is worth looking at repeatedly. The Map tells where one is.

This level of work is publishable in academic journals. In fact, many are published. But they are “academic” in that they are not intended to help people.

One might select a thesis that Native Communities (Culture) ought to reject European Science in totality and live in an “Ideal Isolation”. I concede that this might be a possible and viable strategy for some nations. When an African Economist proposed it as an answer to the problem of Economic Colonialism, I agreed. The Burmese Socialist Government, which is talked about in News Media today, tried this. Pol Pot Communists went to the extreme of even eliminating “science” along with “Intellectuals”. [Mao’s Red Guard was anti-intellectual, but respected “Science”. What Mao might have thought or hoped of “Science” — that is, there is a dialectics of “Destructive Technology/Constructive Science — may be a topic at Level III.]

I acknowledge the value of Warning Statements, pointing out problems of European Science. But I wonder what the writers are thinking as to what to do about the problems that they saw.

One can write and talk about “Rejection of European Science” and “Back to Traditional Native Medicine”. However, the comparison to European Science is there. Even if the comparison is rhetorically avoided, such works can hardly escape from being a “Reaction” to European Science.

What is worse, by the “angry rejection”, they may be taken as implicit acknowledgement that they cannot overcome European Science — i.e. acknowledgement of unquestionable superior “rationality”, “intelligence”, “power”, etc. of European Science. Saying “I cannot help Europeans from going down to Hell with their Science” may be taken as an equivalent of saying Native Wisdom has no capability to help.

That leads us into Level III. (Critical Reflection), and IV. (Creation of Alternative Science).

III. Critical Reflection

III-1. Supportive Counseling versus Clinical Operation.

As an example, let us take up the differences between “Clinical Therapy” and “supportive Counseling”. Native Healing is “Supportive”. It is not done in the sense of “putting a totally incapacitated patient, knocked unconscious, on a table to operate on it”. (The pardigmatic Metaphor of European Medical Science). Native Medicine often involve Family and Community. It was not done on an Individual basis. All powers (love relations and functions) are solicited for help. Medicine men/women are “Mediums” and “Facilitators” for the power to come together, not power itself.

In the beginning, I said “North American White Male Students”. Female students are excluded, because in the “Macho Science”, they may not talk/think/behave in the “typical” ways. There is usually considered to be a weakness and “unscientific” tendency in Females. they do not like to play the role of (Male) God in cutting up people on the operation table, even if the ultimate aim is to help the guy. Females tend to see “People” being sick or in trouble, rather than entertain the glorious mission of fighting a War against Disease (Evil) as Male Doctors often do. Male Doctors do acknowledge “Will To Live” in patients, but such “help” is solicited in “their” Fight against Disease. “Conquer the Disease” is the main paradigm of Male Medical profession. “Care of person” is the job of nurses, not doctors.

It is not that Females are dysfunctional in Clinical situations. In fact many are engaged in Clinical Social Works — except that they tend to take a posture of either (i) “being told” what to do, alienating them from personal involvement/responsibility, or (ii) like the case of the Big Nurse, identifying themselves with the Power Structure. they are more at home with “Supportive Counseling”, if not merely “Comforting”.

That makes interesting “observation” what Native Healing (Medicine, Science) is “Feminine”. Calling upon the help of the Power Spirit is not the same thing as having a sense of Power within oneself.

In the context of Social Works, what are the role/function of the workers? And what kind of Science would be helpful for them?

For the Clinical works, there Power Science justifies, and even what they do is a false sense of compelling workers to do.

Is there any “Science” behind supportive Counseling?

Evidently, the Support is needed, appreciated, and recognized as effective. But “Science”?

European Science came from “Fighting”. Humans, faced With Fear, either get aggressive or regress into inability. In that “Science” is “empowering” — to make humans assertive, aggressive, active —. “Love Play” has always been in Science, particularly in creative works, but it has always been “subservient”, “secondary”, “helping side” of the Power side. There have been many talks by great scientists about “Love” in science, but texts in Science do not intend to “teach” about that.

I would imagine even Clinical Social Works is motivated by “Love/Care”. But “Love/Care” is not the main “Operational Principle” of the Clinical Social Work, but the “Power of Technical Routines” is the main concern. Having or seeing Problems, the Clinical Operation set itself up as the means to Fight — the “War” to eliminate the problem —.

“Supportive Counseling” may be seen as “weak”; some might perceive it as “ineffective”, if they do not know the performance, say in terms of quantified “Success Rate”. This is because the Support gives an impression that it leaves the problem unresolved. It is not attacking the problem directly, but merely caring for the person.

The separation/dichotomy of “Being” and “Problem” is a heritage from Ancient Atomism. Being is a Dynamics and Problem is a Dynamics. Although the “level” of Dynamics may be different they are both Dynamics (Interaction). The Mechanical Science whch sees “Beings” as “Objects” is totally inadequate. There exists the awareness of such an inadequacy in some sciences, but it is far away from the “Science” of the Clinical Social Works. And because the majority in Social Works is Clinical, the Social Works as a whole has not yet come to construct “Science” for the “supportive counseling”. It is left for a few brave (or rather bleeding) souls to practice on ad hoc basis.

It is not only Native Science that is unrecognized and repressed, but all “Love Sciences” are.

This is a topic for the Level III works.

III-2. The Difficulty of Translation

Another possible topic at Level III is that of “Translation”, “Cross Cultural Understanding”, “Bridging”, “Interfacing”.

It is understandable that the Native Community entertains an Ideology of Separation/Rejection. After all, it has been European Culture that separated, rejected Natives. European Domination accepts only total Surrender of Natives, territory, culture, bodies, souls, and even history.

Therefore, naturally any attempt in the direction of “understanding” is suspected or viewed as “Compromise”, “Betrayal”, “Sell Out”, “Contamination”.

In many Colonized countries, a certain portion of natives became “Translators” for the European Power. They enjoyed somewhat privileged positions in the power structure, while others were mercilessly exploited, oppressed, killed and even sold as slaves. East Indians were often imported into other colonies to serve as lower class officers for European Administrators. Even after these colonies gained independence, the “Class Distinction” remained. [Japan narrowly escaped that owing to the late coming of Europeans to the Far East.] Native Americans have never developed such a “Class Distinction”, but nonetheless there are resentments against those who sell services to Europeans.

Eber Hampton in “The Sweat Lodge and Modern Society” mentions the destruction of Native Agriculture, which David Riesman missed in his Harvard lecture. Indeed, that is a “deliberately forgotten history” (The Big Brother erased it). But many Natives themselves seem to have erased the history when they refer to “Traditional Fur Trade”. The Fur Trade, when Iroquois Nations became addicted, destroyed their Agriculture and Community Craft Industry that they had. Hunting to provide for their own community needs is Traditional. Hunting to sell furs is not. I say this not as an accusation, but as an example of how easy it is for History to be destroyed by “Translators”.

And one thing which caught my attention is that Eber Hampton appears to be proud of “Indian English”, but it is strange for a guy like me who never learned English enough to develop “my own English”. I only manage to read an write in English as a “Foreign Language”. To me Indian English is not a Native Language. However, that betrays a tragic reality of Native Life today. Namely, without Translation into Academic English, Eber could have gotten nowhere.

You might say “Live with Native Language!” That is easy to say, as long as one is not going to do it in real life. Even without European Languages, what will Natives today do? What about the rifles that they use in their hunting? What about power boats? TVs, refrigerators, Trucks, Supermarket, Hospitals and Alcohol? The pens and papers used to apply for European Welfare? They are not “Languages” in the formal sense, but, they are the kind of idioms and vocabulary by which Native Living is spelled out.

There are millions of “Non-Reserve Indians” whose homes are on the streets of Whitemen’s Cities. Thousands of Native children were adopted by European families. Even if “Pure Blood Indians” opted for total separation in some Indian Territories (Nations, Reserves), there would be millions who will be “Outsiders”.

And what will the pure-blood Nations do about dealings with the rest of the World? A Closed State in political rhetoric is easy, but the problems of actually Living Life cannot be wiped off by the inflated hot rhetoric. Much as I admire and sympathize with the sentiment which might say, “Fuck European Science”, I cannot imagine any other way but to come to terms with European Science in one way or another.

And to come to terms with the other Science, one needs to have one’s own Science, or equivalent thereof. Ideally, the Native Science is so much better in that it can understand European Science, including its limitations, weaknesses, and faults, as well as strength and power. One cannot get that by closing the door and watching T.V. while drinking beer and liquor from European stores.

Let David Riesman be alone. He can rot in his ignorance. As far as he is concerned, he is doing very well without knowing about Natives. Even if he happened to know about Natives, he is not obliged to restore Native Farming for Education. Therefore criticizing David Riesman is a waste of time. It can only be done by Natives.

The atrocities, sufferings and pains inflicted on Natives, pureblood or otherwise, inside reserves or outside, are Real. They are there, whether one likes it or not. They cannot be ignored. Europeans imposed them on Natives, but if Natives do not remove them, Europeans would not. That makes dealing with European Science unavoidable. There, Translators have very important roles to play. If European Science is the Enemy, one has to know it to fight it. One might even think about the possibility of “Beating the Enemy at his own Game”.

Righteous indignation is natural, and there ought to be more of it. That is the Passion needed. I would venture to say that is the Fire Way. However, sooner or later, one has to come to the question of “What To Do About The Problems?”

To face the question of “What To Do About the Problems?” is a Science. Describing the problems, so that many people come to know the problems and can start building basis of co-operation, is the important first step in the Science. But one cannot let one’s passion be exhausted by that. There is a next step, which is harder.

If we attempt Science, we need

(1) The “Science of knowing what problems are, and

(2) The Science of knowing what to do about them.

The second step has to be persistent. I would characterize it as the Water Way.

[There is the Earth Way to make things concrete, and the Wind Way has to help with Creativity needed. Then must come the Tree Way to Integrate and gently embrace the whole. But that is the topic of Level IV.]

Let me try here my armchair psychoanalysis. Natives are brave, and they are not afraid of European Science. What they Fear is not that. They are not “running away” from European Science under the disguise of righteous indignation — though European Science is indeed horrible —. The psychological trouble is that any Learning involves Love. Learning of Science is “Erotic”. Traditionalists may indeed Fear this “Love Affair”. They are afraid of “Seduction” by European Science.

Education can be “Sweet”. Yet my grandfather rioted against the Japanese Government when it imposed the school system on his village. He said, “It is bad enough that peasants are forced to pay high Tax, but now the Government is taking our children away”. He appeared to stand against Education. That is strange for one who learned to read and write on his own. He was not afraid of Science, but eagerly read and learned. Besides, he often took care of “troublesome kids” from villages around, and was known as a great educator (Therapist/Counselor). But his sense of Education was not “School Education”. Being a peasant himself, he knew what was needed to be learned. He never lost his Peasant Spirit. I have known a Scholar in the same village who was reading works of French Linguist in 1945 when most Japanese did not have any more than one pair of shoes, in the aftermath of WWII. In 1945, the life of Japanese was worse than that in, say, Nigeria then, a lot less than “Bushmen” in Canada. He did not become a Frenchman but stayed as a Peasant even after he became the president of a college. He was entirely self-taught. It is unfortunate that Japanese Peasants are not well known as “Samurais” who constituted less than 10% of the Japanese population.

I am not saying the Japanese are any better in comparison with Native Americans. They have a lot of problems. But the point is that learning European Science without selling our souls is possible. One jus has to remember that accumulation of “knowledge” is not of any value, but how much help one can offer to others in community is the measure of Science.

Level IV. Tree Science

This is Pam’s Science. I am not qualified to talk about it. The Conference hopefully comes to the Vision of it. Or better yet, Pam will bring a Prophecy. I am merely guessing at your dream. By introducing “Quadra-lectics”, you are overcoming the antagonistic paradigm in European Dialectics and introducing “relational science” which is a better Format for Healing/Love. You suggested the idea of 4-in-Relations not by so much words, but by dream-pictures.

I imagine you would talk about concrete, real, direct and personal experiences in Community Counseling. It is always good that talk is made “concrete”. But, You are “Counseling” the World Community by the same talk. If you can help the Healing of a Native Community, the very same Science can heal the World Community.

You might talk about your Science that you are raising.

There was one thing You said that was something to the effect of “in some cases there may not be a cure”. I do not know what you were referring to. Therefore I may be totally off the mark. But if you mean by “cure” in the “Clinical” sense, there is no cure for any case. The community has to recognize its own problem. The community has to do its own healing. Agencies from outside can only be helpers. Suppose the agencies of the dominant culture find a situation in some native community is a “problem”, then it is likely that the “problem” is, by a large measure, caused by the dominant culture. [If a child is behaving badly, it is likely that the family is in trouble.] And if so, then Clinical Therapy ought to be applied to the dominant culture, first of all.

If the Clinical Therapy is either not workable or not acceptable to the dominant culture, it is silly to expect the same would work for, or be acceptable to, the Native Community in question. One cannot apply the Principle of “Do as I tell you, not do as I do”. Science ought, at least, to be honest.

One of the advantages you have is that you are in a position to practice the therapy of the dominant culture, though yours is not the “clinical” kind. If you remember, that is where I met you, namely in Peace Research which is a science for “counseling” the World, in particular the most powerful of European Nations. It is what I might call “Social Therapy”.

Here, I like to tell you that Newtonian Mechanics was a very powerful “Therapy” (Brainwashing) which “empowered” Europeans to Industrialize. Yet, Newtonian Mechanics is made of nothing but “Words” and “Metaphors”.

You might think about why the “Story” called Newtonian Mechanics was so effective, so powerful. If you were in the Europe of the 16th century, you might have said that there was no “cure”. Germany did not come into the “Scientific Revolution” until the 19th century. In the beginning of the 20th century, Russians and Italians were no more ahead of the Japanese who started to learn European Science some 20 years before that time. And the learning of European Science in any country came at a horrendous cost.

Your Native Science (or Tree Science) may appear powerless. Because the only thing you can do at this moment is just make up “stories”. You may not foresee the consequences of what you are making up, any more than Galileo, Descartes and Newton did about their “Stories”. But, that does not mean there is no consequence, no effect. You might get a big surprise. It is not defending the traditional Native Culture that I am concerned about, but rather I am interested in Native Science as a Creation of Alternative Science which works for the World. It is a gift from Native Culture.

That brings me to say a few things about “Science”. “Science” is not an object of Archeological Study of some Dead Knowledge. It has a life, dynamic, development, creativity. At least, Science responds to the problems of community of the time. Or rather, Science is created and manifested as the response of Community to its problems. Just as Love takes a particular form of expression in a particular relationship, Science is particular to the situation; The Vision that one seeks is particular to the one who is in the particular circumstance. I respect ancient Wisdom. but Wisdom is wisdom, only if it is alive in the minds and souls of people today and functioning. That is why the learning of wisdom takes creativity. And I hope all the suffering Natives have had to go through was not vain.


This is incomplete, but I send this to you for now. The Appendix A shall follow.


Sam K.

P.S. Thank Chyna for me. I appreciated her patience. She is an impressively well-behaved, happy child. Her mother must be a very loving person. I wonder if I am wrong in saying “Looking at a Child is looking at Parents”.

4 January 1988 Personal Correspondence on Alcoholism and Social Welfare (PDF)

Jan. 4, 88.

Dear Pam

I am glad to hear that you wish to attend CPREA this year too. People will be delighted to see you again. Peace people are such — “lost souls” looking for companies in misery? —. It is much like A.A. (so I imagine.)

Because the Program Director, Don Bryan fell by a minor heart attack, the notice of meeting and call for papers are delayed. In a phone call to Pat Alcock, I found that out. She suggested me to write up a proposal and send it to him any way. The “proposal” is a way of letting CPREA know of my coming to the conference. It ought to be less than 200 words, announcing Topic and the theme of a paper. they call it “Abstract”, but they know we do not have a paper by this time to “abstract” from. Later, they would ask us if we wish to change Topic and the content.

At any rate, papers are for tickets. Because others put effort in writing in order to come there, I am also obliged to put some effort to it. As you had discovered, we do not read papers in the meeting, except the “new faces” to the meeting. Presumably, papers are sent to participants before the meeting, so that we can spend time on discussions. This is, however, easier said than done.

I would like you very much to come.

You are thinking of a talk on Violence in Alcoholism. That is a splendid topic. In my memory, nobody in the meeting has presented a paper about it. I would beg and appeal to the goodness of your heart for your presence in the conference. And please consider the enormous spiritual righteousness that you aroused in the hearts of those Social Welfare Scientists who had the chance to attack you personally. Please do not deprive of their pleasure and opportunity to uplift their souls in an illusion of knowing what you were talking about enough to attack you. Basically, I am doing the same in criticizing you, though I am careful enough not to talk as if I know Native Science.


Sam K.


Here, I give you my immediate reactions and questions, anticipating your talk.

Why men turn to violence? I imagine the conventional theory explains the phenomenon by saying “When Men lose Intellectual Control of themselves, their Intrinsic Aggression takes over”. The assumes the “Axiom” of “Man is a violent animal in its natural state”.

I do not believe that. I might grant that Fear Reaction is “Intrinsic” (instinctive, innate). But “Fear” is essentially “freezing into inaction” and “inhibitive”. It is not “upper”, but “downer”. Fear makes the “outside” control one’s actions, and behavior. In that , it is quite different from Violence, Aggression, Anger, Intellect, Love, etc. In fact, the very same conventional theory, also insists that Fear is the only effective means of controlling Violence. I might say that Fear is almost “Intellectual”, and henceforth contradict the conventional categorization between “Thinking” and “Feeling”, or “Higher Intellect” and “Animal instinct”. I think Violence is a function of the Higher Intellect, whether Man is conscious of it or not.

Violence require highly coordinate body motions, not mentioning all the calculations needed to do things which aimed at hurting the opponents and victims. At the level of National Scale, Nuclear War is a very “intelligent war” which cannot possibly fought without Science, High Technology, and huge well Managed Organizations. There are differences between Individual Violence and Collective Violence. But the “Intellectuality” is common.

Even during “Black Out”, Man does not cease to be intelligent. It may have to do with long range “Memory”, but that does not say Man is “stupid” during Black Out. I suspect, some people are more intelligent in Dreaming than in working on their jobs. Only occasion I can think of “less intelligent” state is during Sex. And Sex is not “Violent”, unless by the intervention of Intellect it is perverted. (I heard a research result that Intellectual Professionals are more apt to perverted sex than uneducated men.)

I am insinuating that intellect is Violence. Or, if you like to defend Intellect (“Reason”, “Thinking”), then I might concede to a possibility that “tender part” of Intellect is a “Perversion of Intellect” by what is so contemptuously called “Emotion”. This is the opposite of the Sex perverted by Intellect. Perversions go both ways.

Looking at from this point of view, Alcoholic violence is puzzling. I have heard from a few friends of mine who worked with Alcoholics that Alcoholics are the most Sensitive and Tender People.

Why then Violence?

According to my “theory”, (i) Violence had to be learned/taught, and (ii) Violence had to have Social Approval [Milband condition]. The first condition is easy to meet. We have all kinds of “Education” to be Violent. The T.V., Video, Films teach us “How to do Violence” by examples. Judeo-Christianity, Moslem, religions are violent religions. Their God is known to be Violent in Rage. School teachers show us how. Parents train children in Violence, even if their subjective intent may be just opposite.

But the second condition for Social Approval (legitimization) appears to be lacking for Alcoholics. Society does not approve their violent behaviors. It seems that not much “encouragements” and “admirations” are given to the violent acts of Alcoholics. (Our society does give encouragements and admiration for other kinds of Violence. Man in Violence has the Hero Image.) In fact, Alcoholics are “looked down”.

Of course, I do not know percentage of “Violent Alcoholics” among “non-violent Alcoholics” plus “Closet Alcoholics”. I imagine not all of them are Violent. Or is it?

And there is a possibility of a “chemical-Physiological Reaction” for people with certain types of Metabolic Structures. Chemicals could “up” or “down” certain kinds of behavior patterns. You point out that Alcohol makes those people feel (“Think”) more “powerful” and “capable” than what they actually are. But I do not know, if the phenomenon is bio-chemical.

May not it be possible that those who had been under deprivation of the feeling of their own “power” and “capability” for long time tend to get the feeling as a “compensation”? [In Peace research context, Germans under Nazi exhibited this tendency. It is known that “White Supremacists” are from the “Low Prestige Class”. Poor White had been more Racists than the rich ones. While the Well-To-Do Europeans were romanticizing the Noble Savages, the Poor Wretched were shooting at Indians were not much different from them. They hated themselves, and punished Indians, Blacks and Yellow “Gooks” for it.] Alcohol may be helping them to ignore the humiliating “Reality” around them, which they do not like to be reminded of.

If so, the phenomenon is a kind of Impersonation. They may have this “Somebody Superior” in their intellect, who despise them all the time, so much so that Alcoholics learn to impersonate the Intellectual Being. I imagine this “Intellectual Being” is what psychiatrists call “Super Ego” or something similar. This Being is a very vindictive moralist and goes around punishing people. The sense of “Intoxication” beyond disability is not a simple “personality change”, but rather an “Impersonation” which is an acting out of a certain image of personality in their mind, What they imitate (emulate) depends on their “Education”.

The other possibility is the opposite one to the above. Namely the violent person is inflicting Pains to others as an “appeal” for “Sharing Pain with me”. Since other people around them are “uncaring”, “insensitive”, the only way to communicate the Pain is to let them have the Pain.

Parents may hit their children, perhaps unconsciously, in order to let children know how much they are hurting. Of course their folly of pride prohibit them to say directly that they are hurting. They cannot admit that they are vulnerable beings, let alone admitting that their children have the “Power” to hurt them.

Those “odd” behaviors are, however, not limited to Alcoholics. The “salesman” in The Death of A Salesman was not an Alcoholic. But what I read about Alcoholics somehow reminded me of him. And, at any rate, anybody in this Culture is violent. Not only that, I think many university Profs are “Sadists”.

And, Judeo-Christians appear to associate the degree of “Sacredness” with the degree of “Atrociousness”. They are saying, in effect; “The more cruel it is, the more sacred.” [of Apocalyptic Vision for the Chosen Few.]

Perhaps, only Alcoholics are “honest” and “sensitive” enough to admit their own violence.

From my point of view, that is where Peace Learning starts. For Learning (science) start with recognition, acknowledgement of problems. I try to point out Violence of Science, because one who does not know one’s own violence cannot learn anything about Peace. Peace Education is a Therapy for Violent people who beats up wives and children and fight wars etc.; namely it is for “us”. The Angels of Peace and Love need no Peace Education.

On the Marxist Cosmogony and Native American Cosmology. Ver. 29/04/87


On the Marxist Cosmogony and Native American Cosmology

—Marxist Cosmology as an expression of the European Culture in contrast to Native Cosmology in Native American Culture —.

1. Bourgeoisie Intelligentsia today live through their petty commotions without much reference to Cosmic contexts. This is a contrast to the “primitive people” who are very much aware of Cosmos in which they Place their existences and to which they refer significances of their daily actions.

Our Age, for those of us who are educated in the Western Science, is what some writers called “The Age Without God”. Or we might say our culture is “The Culture of Alienation”. Titles like “The Politcis At God’s Funeral” capture the prevalent sense. [M. Harrington Penguin 1985.]

To be sure, the modern intellectuals know Cosmology, Astrophysics, Space Technology, etc. They get daily bombardments from media of words such as “Big Bang”, “Supernova”, etc., regardless if they understand them or not. Books on Cosmology are abundant in most any bookshop, competing with Harlequin Romances, Biographies of movie actresses, How-to-get-rich, or -to-be-slim, books, etc. The loss of the “Cosmic Sense” is not a question of “knowledge”. Nor that means loss of subconscious interests in the Cosmos. modern men are just as “superstitious” in this respect, but their “ideological posture” is “rationalist”. That is, they try hard to pretend bing “rational”. And their notion of “rational” inhibits references to Cosmic senses in business, political, and intellectual contexts.

Horoscope columns in our newspapers and popular magazines are apparently very popular. People do entertain “cosmic consciousness” etc. when they are drinking in parties. There is no shortage of “religious fanatics” in the U.S. who would justify nuking the “Atheist State of USSR”. It is just that they know paying mortgages is the “reality”. The real reference to their “meaning of life” is Money, not God, Buddha, nor Cosmos. One can argues, in a pedantic style, whether or not the Money Economy is “Rational”. But, that would not make even a slightest impression on the sense of Reality and Rationality the people have and live by.

People have, thus, two distinct “world” so to speak. One is “Real World” which is operationally comprehended as that which concerns “Cash”, and “Physical Body Existence”. If we articulate this world further, it would come to some thing similar to “Materialist View” of the world. Natural Scientists, Businessmen, Marxists and Pragmatists talks about this sense of “Reality”. Even the majority Psychologists today appears to be “materialist” of this kind they are called “Behaviorist”, and they tend to deny existence of “Mind”, “Consciousness”, etc., let alone “Cosmic Consciousness”, “God” —.

But, the “Material World” is not complete, as much as the very same people who believe in it do make references to something outside of it. For example, “Future” is not “Real” to the materialists, yet they can hardly avoid references to Future. The Capitalists make their living in reference to future profits, which are not (yet) Reality. Marxists are examples of “materialists” along with the Capitalists, and do refer to Future (History). One difference between the Marxists and the Capitalists is what they each project (predict, prophecy) for unknown Future. If the both cut off references to Future, they would find themselves indistinguishable, except somehow fighting against each other. And even there, it would be hard to avoid references to implicit Future such as “Survival of the Fittest”. (Since whoever think and talk about “survival” must be living now, it does not make sense to talk of survival unless Furture is implied.)

[Natural Scientists often claim or pretend that they are solely concerned with “facts”. But they do make references to Future, which is not a “fact”. They call their references to the Future “Predictions”, and try to distinguish them from “Prophecies”. But, in claiming the superior reliability of their predictions, the scientist are saying essentially “I am the Truth. Follow etc.”. In this respect, Scientists are not different from Prophets and false Prophets in religious societies.

Of course, the scientists could avoid the troubles of claiming “Truth” as to their predictions by narrating more than one “possible outcome” (options), leaving choices among them to the dominant political Power of the society. But even then, the references to the Futures (pl.) are unavoidable.

That is, science is not about “facts” but about “predictions” which are non-facts. Its political power rests on the “trust” (authority) a culture place on it. If there is a “trust”, communication can be economized. Science is, in this sense, an efficient language (rhetorical) system for securing agreements in a social scale. Religions used to do that, but in the modern society, religions no longer effective in securing social scale agreements.]

[We also note that a gathering of “facts” does not constitute a “Theory”. As much as Sciences value Theories, they are not “factual”. they have to do with “How one thinks” (or “how one talks”).

To be sure, the Behaviorists are right in that scientists do formulate Theories so as to be rewarded. The theory which is rewarded by social recognition becomes a part of the “established knowledge”. A body of such knowledge is called “Science”. What or Who decides which “theories” to be rewarded is by and large a mystery — called “Paradigm” etc. and the process of competitions for the rewards are very much like those in the politics (power struggle) and the market (consumer taste).]

“Legitimacy” and/or “Righteousness” are the essential to any political movement and in social scale agreements. Materialists, Marxists, and Rationalists, and even “Behaviorists”, as social bodies in the quest of a power or an intellectual hegemony, can hardly afford to give up “Legitimacy”, and “Righteousness”. And in this sense, they are not different from Religious Institutions. And in making up “legitimacy” and/or “righteousness”, certain “cosmic sense” or “cosmic assumptions”, do play important roles Different cultures have different senses or assumptions — though we do have to decipher what they are, for more often than not, the fundamental assumptions are implicit about what the Universe is like.

I use a term “Culture” to designate such functions/performances of a social groups in giving the sense of “legitimacy/righteousness” to some and not to others. It is as if a society having a “collective mind”. What is referred as “Mind” in individual cases is complex and often a bundle of contradictions. But it is convenient to have the metaphor of “Mind” in a social scale to talk about how different “cultures” function and perform.

[The term “Ideology” may be used instead of “Culture”. But, I prefer “Culture” to include “feelings” and in viewing that cultures can contain contradictions more readily than “ideology”. I am avoiding “intellectual rationalizations”. For that for itself is a characteristic of a “culture”. Another term “Ethos” comes close to the sense, but it is “apolitical” term. “Culture” contains the both “Ideology” and “Ethos”.]

2. Marxism came when Europe was undergoing the Bourgeoisie Revolution. Whatever, ideologues said in rhetorical expressions, there were two things which changed the “old culture” in Europe. One was emergence of Mass Production Industry. The other is the massive displacement of population from rural to City Living. People are literally uprooted from their Communal Life, in a manner not too unlike “refugees” in the late 20th century.

The Death of God was death of the community. And in its place Science came to play the role of the “culture”. And the Mass Production dethroned The Mother Earth from the position of The Provider.

What happened in Europe since the 16th century is extaordinary. “Culture” usually develops slowly in time relative to the practices of its society. Actually, “Culture” and “Practice” are in a Feedback Loop, mutually enforcing each other. Culture stimulates developments of new practices in a certain direction, and inhibits developments in other directions and in turn Culture itself develops. But, the “scientific” culture in the modern Europe emerged as a rebellion against the old culture.

Freudian metaphor of “Killing Father to marry Mother” is an apt depiction of the way European Science came to the power. Interestingly, Freud himself was a participant of the “science” — that is to say Freud was analyzing the “mind” of Europe of that particular historical period, and he himself was an example of what he analyzed —.

The “Father” was the religious Part of the old culture. And we can understand expressions like “Death of God” (that which was paternalistic authority). That is clear enough. But did we also kill the Mother (that which generates “understanding” or the “sensual sense of knowing”)? Or are we looking for the Mother? One thing we know is that we lost the Mother, at least temporally.

[In metaphors, it is tempting to image “culture” to be the Mother, making “science” to be “unculture”, There are certain aspects of “science” which do suggest some “barbaric”, or “philistine” nature. Freud maintained a distinction between “culture” and “civilization”, and did not use term “culture” to Europe. One could be sympathetic to Freud and say that Technological society of ours does not have a “culture”.

If so, the “scientific revolution” in Europe killed both the old Science (Religion) and Culture.]

Just as Freud was a Product of the historical time, Marx was also a product of the society undertaking destruction of the old community, calling it “Ancient Regime”. Marx did notice the function of religions — he was sympathetic to the lower class who needed religions to soothe the pain, hence called religions “opium” for the poor. However, he apparently did not think of religions to be important subject and did not analyze the “psychology” deeper, but rather classified it as “irrational”. (In Freudian language, Marx hated the Father aspect of Religion, but had lingering affinity with the Mother aspect of Religion.) He was a believer of the rising “Science” then, Just as the Capitalists and the Bourgeois then were. He thought that enlarging of production power would solve most, if not all, social problems. Building of Industries was a common goal for Marxists, Bourgeoisie and the Capitalist. In a sense, Marx was right in believing industries. If Stalin did not push Industrialization, where USSR would be today? Of course not too many people would condone the Dehumanization that was paid as the price. But, the price of European Industrialization was no less dire. the tragedies of people in European colonies were a part of the costs. If north Americans condone what happened to the Natives on the land, there is not much position for them to condemn Stalin. The strategy, and ideology, of eliminating “unproductive population” was the same for both cases. Japan copied the same strategy. China is now copying the same.

3. Now that we have “over-production”, we are coming to reflect upon the history as such. We would say today, producing tens of millions of cars and TV sets would not make us “happier”. Rather, we would worry about environmental pollutions and destruction of the Nature. We care about degradation of “human quality” of our life, such as that indicated by “Crime Rate”, “Alcoholism”, “Alienation”. Perhaps we care because we have more than enough “material things”. Our “consumer market” is geared more towards “psychological” needs than “physiological” needs.

[Digital Hi-Fi electronics and personal Computers, for example, are not for hungry people. Yet they are the “high growth” industries now, along with “Fast Food Industry”. Farmers who produce foods are in trouble. Steel Mills are in trouble. Making more things is not what the market demands. And we have a “Non-Market” industry called “Military-Industrial-Scientific-Complex”, which does not contribute to production  of consumer goods, but is a very profitable institution. Of course, the poor half of the World Population lives in nations which cannot buy products from the Industrialized nations. Some millions die of starvation every year in those nations. But, it is not because we cannot produce enough food, but because we believe in Money as the Sacred Regulator of economy.

We cannot give foodstuffs to those starving people, even if we let our over produced food to rot. Because, in our money intelligence, to give something for no return is not a “rational” thing to do. In historical sense, we have barely escaped from “Appropriation Economy” — the Economy that is based on “taking away” by force —. Or rather, we have not finished that phase. We invented “Exchange Economy” to overcome the horrors and atrocities of the Appropriation Economy. We still have residues of the Fear from the past. We can intellectually see that the economy is evovling from Appropriation to Exchange, and Exchange to Gift. But the historical apprehension about “Appropriation Economy” prevents us to go into “Gift Economy” which do deny “equal exchange”.

To be sure, we can look at the troubles in and with the economy of “the third World” countries, and Welfare cases within the developed countries, and say it is not “equal”. That is, we are not really in the “Exchange Economy”, but rather still in the Appropriation Economy. But, we cannot deal with the problems of inequality on the basis of the exchange economics. the reason is that the Exchange Rationality is powerful and able to provide legitimacy for social scale action, precisely because it conceals inequality. Lenin noticed this and said “Equality is not equal”, meaning that one has to go to “Gift” level beyond superficial equality in exchange. However, Lenin was a “scientific” European intellectual, and could not use the term “Gift”. Such was the Culture of his time. We are now able to talk of “Gift”, only because we came to a crisis of Exchange Rationality.]

4. What is “Culture”, in the Native sense? What do the Native Americans mean when they say “Whiteman destroyed our Culture”? My guess is as follows;

{{{Dear Professor Colorado please help me here!!!}}}

“Culture” is what makes a community functional in providing a certain set of symbols and expected actions associated with them so that the member can communicate and get things done.

The expected actions may be rituals, code of ethics, set of obligations. They may be called “customs”. It informs an efficient way of organizing co-operation.

The kinds of expectation are also defined in the Culture. The members have the right to expect certain things and identify with the set-up. The Natives expect to be given foods when they somehow fall short of foods. They expect that they be cared by others when they get sick. They expect to be treated with respect as to their dignity. They may not be conscious of those, but the surprise, shock, which they experience when they are denied, tells that they have taken the expectations granted. And if they are betrayed too often, the community breaks down and that is break down of a Culture.

There are also a set of expectations about how to express “displeasures”, “disapprovals”, “warning”, etc. People knows a certain gesture would trigger a certain reaction in other members of the same Culture. For example, in Native Culture, issuing command is unacceptably rude. Even powerful chiefs make “suggestions”. Members carry out the chief’s wish out of respect, but they are not “slaves” to a commander. Europeans who came from slave society (Slave Culture) cannot understand this. Europeans often wondered how Native community keep a social order without “command”.

[Native God does not give “commandments”, but merely give “advices”. Incidentally, Buddhism does not issue commandments either. Judeo-Christianity is a religion of a Slave Culture, and very peculiar in that. This cultural background makes problems as to understanding of Science as “command” or as “advice”.]

Above narration of the set of “expectations” sounds very much like Social Welfare that European Culture come to practice recently. The Natives had it for a long time. Besides, there is very important difference. The Natives had the mutual helps as a part of their Culture. One does not “beg”, let alone feel loss of dignity in receiving the Gifts. One expects to be loved and it is given as a matter of “natural occurrence”. It is analogous to the expectation of Love from mother. It is given absolutely free. One would hesitate to call it “Right”. But, one would be justified in the Native Culture to be extremely upset, if the expected Love is not granted. and, one would not refuse to give Love to the others, unless there is grave reason for not to do so.

The European Social Welfare is not based on such cultural principle, but from “charity”, “appeasement”, “economic necessity for pump priming” etc. It has a logical stigma, even in the best of understanding, from a thinking that if the economy is functioning perfect Welfare would not be needed. That is Welfare is an anomaly, disease, emergency, not normal. It should not ideally be there.

Such is the European Culture. And this has a great deal to do with the European Comogony is that of “isolated bodies in vast emptiness”.

For the Native Community, the Community is the Welfare. There Welfare is the normal state of affair. It is sure family, not market for economy. Native culture is a Culture of Community. And it Cosmology is “Sensual”, — as if they are still inside the Womb of the Cosmos —.

The Native Cosmology is not only an expression of Native Culture, but the preserver of the Culture.

(Part I. 01/01/87.)

[We shall use for the part II.,

Douglas Sturm.

“Cosmogony and Ethics in the Marxian Tradition: Premise and Destiny of Nature and History.”

in R.W. Lovin and F.E. Reynold (ed) Cosmogony And Ethical Order U. of Chicago Press 1985.

among other references. We like to locate and identify the wellspring of Social Change (revolution) in the Culture. Cosmology is an expression of the way a society or a community thinks, which I referred as “Culture”. People have implicit cosmology to make sense of what they do. And it is founding metaphysics that facilitate communication, and hence the basis of the actions. That give us clues as to what are options for the Native Community.]

Traditional Healing and Western Health Care: A Case Against Formal Integration (PDF)

Traditional healingand westerns health care: a case against formal integration

V. Edward Bates

The holistic health movement has the potential for improving health care for all Americans. It also has the potential for descending upon Indian people with unexpected consequences. Traditional healing practices may become imperiled when, under the guise of holistic health, public health officials and health care workers (HCW)1, who dominate the services and bureaucratic processes, underwrite third-party payments and training for medicine persons. These processes potentially can subvert individualized spiritual services into a standard item of health care. None of the changes or preceding movements impacting Indian health over the past 30 years has presented such a risky challenge to Native American culture.

A review of major societal changes during the past three decades may help to explain why holistic health practices, affecting Indians in particular, are becoming popularized today. Recent history that has altered public attitudes towar Indians might begin with the clinical awareness of ethnic diversity and prejudicial attitudes that were significantly heightened by Adorno (1950) and Allport (1954). Certainly health concerns were highlighted when the Indian Health Service was legislated into existence at about the same time (1955). Remedial programs to address mental health problems, however, would not come into being within IHS for another 15 years.


Native American Alcoholism: An Issue of Survival (PDF)

19851A Dissertation

Presented to The Faculty of the Florence Heller Graduate School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare

Brandeis University

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

by Pam Colorado

December, 1985

Table of Contents

Section One: Native American Alcoholism,

An Introduction…………………………………………….1

Section Two: Scientific Thought And

Dine’ Alcoholism…………………………………………11

Section Three: Dine’ Alcohol Policy,

An Historical Analysis……………………………….66

Section Four: No One Makes You Drink……….150

The Politics of Alcohol Recovery…………………….162

AIM, The War Against Alcoholism…………………..173


Reference Notes……………………………………………………208


Section One:

Native American Alcoholism, An Introduction

Section one introduces the current relationship between Native Americans and alcohol/substance. This section explores both the social dimensions and the impacts of substance use/abuse among Native people. Several points are made:

1. Alcohol and substance abuse are the leading cause of death of Native people.

2. The prevalence, incidence is so great that it cannot be explained by theories based on individual deviance or pathology.

3. Despite efforts to combat alcoholism, the problem is increasing geometrically.

4. Substance abuse threatens the survival of Native Americans.

Section one concludes with a statement from an elderly Northern Cheyenne man. This man, a child at the time of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, spells out an interpretation of the changes alcohol has wrought among the People. He suggests that an answer to the problem may lie in re-discovery of the “Good Way”, that is, a way which is based on traditional tribal values and practices. The question is raised, why is the “Good Way” the answer and how can it be found?

Paint 1

A cold summer night on the northern plains of Montana

Winds come, fiercely whipping the squat tarpaper house where six children and three adults sleep

Four rooms crumbling plasterboard, rotting floor boards

backed up toilet and sink. Windows too few for air and too small

for light frame reality for this Native American family.

Earlier evening, after work, the Family gathered at the Tongue River, built fire, heated rocks and took Sweat.

The Way of the Sacred Sweat

Water – the Gift of Life, is poured on the Grandfathers, lava rocks, now radiant with heat and mingle with prayers into the steam – the Breath of Creator

Outside Sweat Lodge, Thunders rumble ominously and cedar is burned

the storm retreats held back through ancient understanding.

Inside Sweat, the Family gives thanks for – a day of life, a husband being sober again, a child recovering from illness and a

prayer for Mitakeoysin (all the Relations).

Evening Meal:

Eleven relatives sit down for boiled venison and Wonder Bread.

Thanks is given, again and again, especially for the food.

Oldest son, age fifteen, is proud, night before last,

freezer empty,

he got the deer.

Plentiful coffee and Kool Aide

reservation water, too brackish to drink alone,

its depredation visible oily slag on the top of drinks.

teasing and laughter conclude the Feast.

Now its two A.M.

heavy winds and driving rain pound against the house.

Lightening flashes; thunders roar and I awaken with a start.

Heart pounding, gnawing fear returns.

I cannot sleep for thinking…my sister, face lined with

pain and bitterness

a sespair which speaks of some final surrender.

Struggling for answers, tears slip down my face

as I beg Creator’s pity on this Family.

There was such hope

Just four years ago, the Family left Boston,

two advanced degrees, won at such a cost, and worth it too

This time the tribe stands threshold of new life.

Coal, black gold!

Harvard degrees wielded to extract a successful contract

with the

energy conglomerate, the first negotiated by a tribe on its own.

Now there is a way to feed and shelter the People.

yet my sister and family perish.

Today! Assassin! In your sights, my brother-in-law falls

to his knees.

Mind clouded in Whiteman’s poison, he steals from his wife

and children.

for the next bottle…

The baby stirs, lying next to me on the cot.

Water drips in and within seconds, soaks through the


the bed is moved repeatedly to avoid the leaks.

A new home

BIA has been promising one for ten years

but it is a four A.M. promise

far away.

Exhausted and hungry, the baby and I fall into sleep.

Voices Upon the Water (PDF)

Voices Upon the Water

A Report

Submitted To: The Southeast Alaska Regional Training Program

September 1985

Prepared By: Pam Colorado Ph. D.

Colorado Consultants

136 Davis Avenue

Juneau, Alaska 99801


Since its inception, the Southeast Regional Training Program has committed itself to responding to identified needs of substance abuse workers within this region. Traditionally, the prograrm has concentrated on the provision of counselor certification training in the eight courses contained in Level I and Level II. Additionally the program has seen the need for and offered non-certification related training courses in such areas as Advanced Counseling Skills, Working With Youth, and Supervision.

It has been the philosophy of the program that village-based counselors have unique training needs above and beyond the certification areas and within the realm of limited resources, the Regional Trainer has attempted to respond to those needs.

The unique setting of village-based training, viewed in contrast to residential, centrally located 3-5 training workshops implies special strategies that, in this writer’s experience, require above all else, a respect and recognition of the village milieu in which the training is offered. In terms of participation and methodology, village-based training becomes literally that — training of the community.

The extensive time in preparation, recruitment, course design, materials development, and evaluation methodology that is part of any successful manpower development activity takes on new meaning when applied to village settings, where such activities as appropriate resource development of local resources, attention to local customs, trainer credibility, and community involvement are of at least equal importance as the aforementioned activities.

In recognition of these special circumstances, the Southeast Regional Training Program embarked in FY 85 on a specialized research project which would begin to identify in more specific terms, the special needs of village-based counselors. This document was intended to provide direction and focus for further activities in the areas of training development and delivery.

We have been most fortunate in securing the services of Dr. Pam Colorado Morrison of Juneau as the principal investigator. Pam’s sensitive professionalism and her dedication to the creation of a useful and appropriate document has succeeded in giving to u a place to start. As in recognition of the unanimity of concern in all of the respondents to the study, it becomes clear that the commitment to assisting the village worker is present throughout the system.

It remains now for us to collectively continue this effort and to expand our resources in a manner that is the most helpful in the creation of training strategies that respect the integrity of the community, assist the workers in their exceptionally difficult task, and relieve the suffering created by substance abuse.

John M. Sullivan

Regional Trainer



Section I, Introduction………………………….2

Section II, Selecting the Design …………..3

SectionIII, The Biculture Research Design…10

Section IV, Findings………………………………….14

Section V, Recommendations……………….24

Section VI, A Talking Circle…………………..27

(The Triangulation Of Data)

Section VII, Bibliography……………………….40


Thank you, Matt Felix and the SOADA staff, for sharing your thoughts, time, offices and for your encouragement.

David Bond, Arlene Dangell and James Jack of SEARHC, thank you for the many hours of discussion, for the wealth of information, direction and guidance to this effort.

A special thanks to you, the traditional People, Austin Hammond, Cyrus Peck, Richard Dalton, George Jim and Deborah Dalton, who gave so much of your time and energy to this project. To you I would say, that I have tried to “get it right”, to hear, interpret and reflect your words in a way that will be helpful to the People and to the professionals who work in Native alcoholism. If I have left anything out, or said too much, I hope that you will call the error to my attention.

To Richard Dalton and Austin Hammond, who were there at all hours to take my calls, clarify a point or instruct me in some matter of this report, I thank you.

To the staff at the Southeast Regional Training Program, I am reminded of the many long phone calls, and complicated arrangements that this project necessarily involved. For your persistence, patience and hard work in meeting very tight deadlines with you, thank you.

Finally, I give thanks to the traditional Indian Elders and Medicine People who have given so much to my own training and education.

Pam Colorado Morrison, Ph. D.

September 1985, Juneau, Alaska

Section I


Southeast Alaska Regional Training Program Study on the Training Needs of Village-Based Counselors.


The field of alcoholism is undergoing a fundamental shift from the present medical based counselor model to a more holistic approach. This shift is marked by great stress in the system. Nowhere is the stress more evident than in the question of village-based versus urban-based counselor training needs.

While nearly everyone agrees that the role of the village-based counselor differs from its urban counterpart, few have been able to specify what the differences are or more important what these differences mean in terms of practice and training.

Based on this issue, the Southeast Alaska Regional Training Program initiated a research project to provide a functional analysis of village-based counselors. The purpose of the research was to answer the following questions:

1. What are the functions of village-based counselors?

2. What do counselors think of certification?

3. What are the community specific historic elements used to address substance abuse?

4. What important activities are not occuring? Why?

5. What healing elements are available to communities that may be useful to counselors?

6. What is “community development”?

7. What is the distinction, if any, between village-based and urban-based counselors?

Selecting an appropriate research design was a great challenge. The Southeast Alaska Regional Training Program needed information that was reliable and valid in two cultures, Native and non-Native, and it wanted the research to be helpful to the communities involved in the effort. Finally, the data needed to produce directions, postures and positions that would really work in both cultures as well as in the interface of the cultures. These needs were confounded by the fact that social science is undergoing a shift in paradigms, at least in so far as multi-cultural inquiry is concerned. Until the last two or three years, cross-cultural research has merely been an extension of western domination; that is, the stretching and pulling of western science across to other cultures, especially Native.

The results have not been fruitful for anyone. Western scientists became frustrated with the degrading of science which necessarily occurs when it is stretched beyond its capacity to make meaningful interpretations or predictions, and Native people have generally resented intrusion of yet another form of ideological control. Furthermore, except as informants, Native people have had very little say in matters of alcohol research within the village or community.

Therefore, the need to find a design that would work became paramount. Reviewing the literature became an essential but in the end, rewarding task, which led to the selection of the new “Bicultural Research Design.”