Red Lake Nation recognized for 'decolonized' approach to child and family services
January 26, 2022
Red Lake Nation, home of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, is taking a unique approach to the delivery of child and family services. Instead of referring to the people the tribe serves as “clients,” it calls them “relatives.” Foster parents are known as “relative care community service providers,” and the process formerly known as child protection case management is now called “reunification services.” Even the department, formerly known as Red Lake Family and Children’s Services, has a new name: Ombimindwaa Gidinawemaaganinaadog: “Uplifting All of Our Relatives.”
Rooted in Anishinaabe language, culture, traditions and beliefs, the new approach is designed to bring the department’s focus back to intergenerational family wellness, with a framework that is focused on human trauma and resiliency and grounded in the Anishinaabe worldview, explained Cheri Goodwin, Ombimindwaa Gidinawemaaganinaadog executive director. “We are doing the hard work of decolonization,” Goodwin said.
The results so far have been encouraging.