The following update is made on behalf of The Minnesota Tribal Resources for Early Childhood Care (MNTRECC) Professional Development Sub-Committee.
The Minnesota Native American Parenting Program formally known as the Minnesota Positive Indian Parenting manual is structured after the model developed by the National Native American Child Welfare Association (NICWA), formally the Northwest Child Welfare Institute, in Portland, Oregon.
The Minnesota Tribal Resources for Early Childhood Care (MNTRECC) Professional Development Sub-Committee has worked to review and revise the current title “Minnesota Positive Indian Parenting Program.” We have agreed to change the title within this program to “Minnesota Native American Parenting Program.” Our decision was made as the word “Indian” in history has typically been used in a negative stereotypical manner.
In the introduction to this program, two goals were stated:
- To help families in their search for values and attitudes inherent in traditional historically documented Native American child-rearing practices. The family may then come to apply these values and incorporate them into his/her own family culture and into the task of raising children; and
- In conjunction with the first goal, the families may then be enabled to develop positive and productive attitudes, values and parenting skills which have their roots in their own Native American culture heritage.
The Native American Parenting Program uses examples from many Native American cultures.
- It does not claim strict authenticity, true and authoritative representation of the ancient Native American heritage.
- The program recognizes the face that all cultures are in a continuous process of change and adaptation to new life situations and conditions.
Native American traditions and values have to be carried out today in the context of modern American city life as well as life on rural Native American reservations.
- The program recognizes and respects each families’ right to set his/her own norms and standards to raise their own children in the way that is appropriate for them.
- The program clearly does not want to tell the families, “this is how you have to do it” but rather “look, here is a healthy Native American value exemplified: see if it may be useful in your children’s life.”
- The family is always encouraged to make his/her own choices regarding their children’s growth and development in an everyday pragmatic, social/emotional and spiritual context.