The 2015 White House Conference on Aging was a unique experience. It did not follow the traditional path of previous White House Conferences primarily due to the lack of funding and authorizing legislation in support of the process this year. Despite these obstacles, President Obama, Nora Super and the Administration for Community Living were able to create a new approach and focus the nation’s attention on aging issues. Given these challenges, it was a bold accomplishment.
Like others in the Aging Community, I wondered how the virtual format and regional forums would be implemented. My concern was that technology might interfere with direct communication and hinder the process. Many in tribal areas would not be able to participate.... Read More
2015 American Indian and Alaska Native White House Conference on Aging Listening Session held in Norman, OK
2015 American Indian and Alaska Native White House Conference on Aging Listening Session held in Norman Oklahoma – Unimpeded by Tornadoes and Flooding
Albuquerque, NM, May 11, 2015 – With overwhelming and significant attendance over 108 American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Elders, Tribal Leaders, Caregivers, and Service Providers from across the country convened in Norman Oklahoma on May 6, 2015. Although sudden threats of severe weather conditions loomed about the area the event took place with much success and accomplishment.
This event held in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services Region VI & VII Tribal.... Read More
Diversity Within Diversity: The Uniqueness in Our Ethnic Elders
It is my privilege to have an opportunity to share some of my thoughts about what needs to be considered when serving ethnic minority elders. As service providers, it is imperative that we know where we find ourselves in relationship to these groups. Early on in my career as a professional educator, I learned the importance of achieving some sense of cultural competence, these days I think of it as cultural humility, if I were going to be effective as a practicing professional. Back in those days, Dr. Jose Gallegos, DSW, provided us with a model that highlighted the importance of understanding our beliefs and values and how these interfaced with or might.... Read More
Grandparents: Our Guides to the Past, Present and Future
Note: This post is lovingly submitted in recognition of Native American Heritage Month
It’s so a matter of fact when English Americans speak about American History. It becomes focused on the “Discovery” of America and the influx of immigrants from across the world and their founding of a “new” world. It is the reality of the conquerors to believe that North America was void of culture and intelligence, as if America were a blank slate. This is a version of a momentous story and it is celebrated by many every year as Columbus Day, or Founders Day, but many Americans have a different story.
American Indians and Alaska Natives have a dissimilar story that is equally as momentous and certainly.... Read More
Eleven Tips for Healthy Living from American Indian Alaska Native Elders
Jointly written by Randella Bluehouse and Rebecca Morgan
Talking, laughing and crying are ingredients to a perfect conversation with American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) elders. Rebecca Morgan and I had a candid conversation with seven elders one late afternoon. Their stories were poignant, loving and practical. Present were six ladies and one gentleman. This composition seems to fit closely with the general representation of the female to male ratio in our community.
We asked if they would help us with an article on healthy living. They were excited about participating. We explained that the focus of the article would be what they do to stay healthy and what they would recommend to other elders across the country.
November is Native American Heritage Month and November 29, 2013 is Native American Heritage Day. What does this mean to me? I am American Indian of Navajo descent. I was raised on the Navajo Nation all my life. Since I grew up on the Navajo Nation I thought the world was like me. I was taught in school that I am American and I accepted that. I was taught at home to be a good and capable person.
I had inadequate preparation in our public school so I never contemplated going off to college. My mother on the other hand had other dreams for me. She filled out my paperwork to attend the local community college. It was there.... Read More
National Indian Council on Aging: Then (Creation of NICOA) and Now (The Affordable Care Act – ACA)
The first National Indian Conference on Aging was sponsored by the National Tribal Chairman’s Association (NTCA) in Phoenix, Arizona on June 15-17, 1976. Close to 1,500 American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people representing 171 tribes came together to speak of their needs and present recommendations for action to improve the quality of their lives. The meeting was coordinated by the National Tribal Chairman’s Association and led by President Wendell Chino.
Then: Creation of NICOA
In his address to the conference attendees Mr. Chino spoke at length about the history of contributions the American Indian/Alaska Native elders have given to this great country. He consistently reminded American Indian/Alaska Native and the US Congressional leaders that American Indians/Alaska Natives have a.... Read More