Tribal Protocols and Asking for Help
If a foster child from Standing Rock inquires about reciving an Indian name, the custodian or foster parent should consult with extended family members to determine if this naming process is appropriate to the family’s culture and beliefs. The custodian or foster parent is obligated to develop a relationship with the extended family to seek their assistance in finding a person qualified to give the name.
It is important in the naming process to find a spiritual person or a respected elder. The extended family members will know the community and will be able to identify a Tribal member who lives a spiritual life and lives as an example to others.
The Standing Rock Reservation contains several special and unique communities with some differences. It is important, therefore, that the social worker and foster parent connect with the child to build a trusting relationship by helping the child to strengthen and understand his/her identify as an Indian.
When the custodian, case manager or foster parent, with the help of the extended family finds the right persons to perform the naming ceremony, it is important to feed them and gift them with tobacco and blankets. It is also important to have witnesses present for the naming ceremony. If the child did not experience their early life with a traditional family, he/she may not be aware of the importance of the naming ceremony process to his/her culture.
It is important to recognize that family members teach traditional ceremonies and spirituality. One of the very important activities of the social woker and foster parent is to connect with the extended family to allow them to assist and guide the child on learning of the ceremonies and spirituality, and culture of the Standing Rock Oyate.
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