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Positive Indian Parenting workshop offered Tuesday


February 21, 2020

Hill County Early Childhood Investment Team is hosting an Introduction to Positive Indian Parenting for Professionals Tuesday, in the Vineyard Room in the Duck Inn.

Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. and will be provided. Space is limited. People can register to attend by contacting Hill County Early Childhood Investment Team Family Engagement and Coalition Coordinator Tina Thomas at [email protected] or 390-4772.

“This introduction will give participants some introductory knowledge and cultural awareness of traditional practices that were once passed down through generations,” Thomas said.

She said the training will provide a look into a Positive Indian Parenting model which was developed by National Indian Child Welfare Association.

The National Indian Child Welfare Association’s website said the association works to eliminate child abuse and neglect by strengthening families, tribes and the laws that protect them.

“The strengths-based methods used in Positive Indian Parenting are beneficial practices for families,” Thomas said. “In our community, it’s even more important for professionals to be knowledgeable about and respectful of traditional and culturally specific parenting practices and values of our neighboring Rocky Boy and Fort Belknap communities.”

Reyan Sutherland, Dana Kjersem and Chamene Plum will present the introduction to the Positive Indian Parenting model.

“(The model) draws on the strengths of historic Native American child-rearing practices and blends traditional values with contemporary skills,” Thomas said.

People will explore traditional child-rearing practices including storytelling, the use of cradle boards, lessons of nature, harmony, behavior management and the use of praise and how to apply these practices to present-day values and the challenges of modern parenting at the training, she said.

The presenters said in a statement emailed to the Havre Daily News that they attended a Positive Indian Parenting training in Portland, Oregon, in November, and were able to do so through the sponsorship of the Early Childhood Investment Team. 

“The purpose of the training was to become trainers of Positive Indian Parenting to provide the information to the community and surrounding areas,” they said. 

Through the National Indian Child Welfare Association, they added, the Positive Indian Parenting is an eight-lesson curriculum with goals including:

• Explore values and attitudes expressed in traditional Indian child-rearing practices and apply those values to parenting practices.

• Help parents develop positive and satisfying attitudes, values and skills toward their parenting.

• Promote the growth, development and well-being of the child through positive parenting.

“The importance of this training is to identify that every generation faces new challenges when raising children, but each generation shares the same responsibilities,” they said. “Those responsibilities include nurturing and protecting our children, while helping them learn societal beliefs and values.” 

“We hope our community attends to learn more about historic Native American child-rearing practices and ways that traditional values can be blended with contemporary skills in families to produce a strengths-based approach to raising children,” Thomas said. “It will help our community to work with parents and families from a Native perspective.”

People who are interested in learning more about Positive Indian Parenting for Professionals can contact Kjersem and Sutherland at 265-1233 or Plum at 265-6743.

The training is open and free to the community.


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