MARQUETTE, MI-- Northern Michigan University is getting a $450,000 grant to increase the study of Native issues in the social work curriculum.
The three-year grant comes from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crimes. NMU’s Center for Native American Studies and Department of Social Work are collaborating on the Serving Native Survivors Circle project. They’re proposing a two-year Native American Community Services associate degree starting next fall that combines social work and Native American Studies courses. They’ve also proposed an option for social work majors to get a second minor in Native American Community Services.
The project is inspired in part by author Michael Yellow Bird, who says Western-based social work has been complicit in Native American trauma and colonization. April Lindala is the Director of the Center for Native American Studies. She says social workers on tribal lands need to understand the underlying causes of trauma before they can help.