Native Americans and Navajo Heritage and Health Beliefs

Cultural Group: Native American

History

  • Native Americans are the indigenous people.
  • They occupied America before Columbus’ landing.
  • 10 million Native Americans lived there (Rutherford, 2017).
  • Americans despised the Europeans seeing greed.
  • European colonization changed Native Americans.

Values and Worldview

  • Human-nature balance presence in relationships.
  • The concept of “Mother Earth” (Barreiro, 2016).
  • Many truths existence, depending on experience.
  • Relation between everything in the world.
  • Role of exchange in human relationships.

Language and Communication Patterns

  • 70% speak English at home (Lee, 2014).
  • 15% speak Native North American languages (Lee, 2014).
  • A restrained communication style is preferred.
  • Indirectness usually helps to refuse statements.
  • Eye contact can violate personal space.

Art and Other Expressive Forms

  • No clear definition of art exists.
  • Artists are better at something people.
  • Works of art arouse emotional responses.
  • Literature is a collective cultural memory.
  • The sculpture is used to share views.

Norms and Rules

  • The virtue of patience to use time.
  • With respect to older adults and history.
  • Staying out of others’ affairs.
  • Work as a purpose of life.
  • Listening is better than talking.

Lifestyle Characteristics

  • A sense of belonging to groups.
  • The role of silence in survival.
  • Caution to unfamiliar people and things.
  • Sincerity and friendliness in human relationships.
  • Fears to discover new alternatives.

Relationship Patterns and Common Rituals

  • Spirituality as a part of life.
  • Rituals as a natural component.
  • Religious discussions in everyday curriculum.
  • Spiritual healing and Shaman’s role.
  • Pow wows, death ceremonies, corn festivals.

Assimilation/Marginalization from Mainstream Society

  • The impact of the European invasion.
  • Tension and negative emotions during contact.
  • Evident differences between the societies.
  • Enslavement at legal and religious levels (Oberg, 2018).
  • Induced interactions with African Americans.

Health Behaviors and Practices

  • Native Americans prefer living on reservations.
  • Few hospitals are in rural areas.
  • Obesity, suicide, and mental health problems occur.
  • 72 years is the life expectancy.
  • Tobacco and physical inactivity threaten health (Oberg, 2018).

Socio-Cultural Group: Navajo Heritage

History

  • Navajo occupied Arizona and New Mexico (“Navajo history,” n.d.).
  • Colorado is its territorial center.
  • Navajo means “the people” (Oberg, 2018).
  • The first contact was in 1581 (“Navajo history,” n.d.).
  • Navajo experienced conflicts with settlers.

Values and Worldview

  • A strong balance of four values.
  • Value of life: live in harmony.
  • Value of work: work with passion.
  • Value of human relations: clan systems.
  • Value of respect: respect for everything.

Language and Communication Patterns

  • Navajo is a commonly spoken language (Lee, 2014).
  • It is related to the Apache.
  • Non-verbal communication is highly appreciated.
  • Long periods of silence is normal.
  • Attentive listening skills are developed.

Art and Other Expressive Forms

  • Silversmithing is an integral art form.
  • Music and dance penetrate everyday life.
  • Navajo are famous for weaving traditions.
  • Navajo established sand painting basics.
  • The Holy People can reach art.

Norms and Rules

  • The rule of silence is serious.
  • The role of the family is integral.
  • The cycle is repeated every day.
  • Every cycle is a new lesson.
  • Keeping the human-nature balance is important.

Lifestyle Characteristics

  • Navajo are aggressive and intelligent.
  • Men can defend the land.
  • Women care for children and crops.
  • Everyone should fulfill certain duties.
  • Family respect and support are promoted.

Relationship Patterns and Common Rituals

  • Restoration of the human through silence.
  • The balance between men and women.
  • Navajo has more than 50 ceremonies.
  • Rain and corn are the main subjects.
  • Four worlds of Navajo life.

Assimilation/Marginalization from Mainstream Society

  • The US government spent centuries.
  • Children had to study English.
  • Christianity had to be practiced.
  • No jobs were in reservations.
  • People left homes to improve their lives.

Health Behaviors and Practices

  • Health concepts are interrelated with religion.
  • Family decisions about a health matter.
  • Herbal medicine is frequently practiced.
  • The Healer uses touching to restore.
  • Religion is the core of medicine.

Both Groups

Common Characteristics and Distinguishing Traits

Similarities

  • Religion plays an important role.
  • Healing depends on the nature-human balance.
  • Keeping silent is an integral rule.

Differences

  • One healing man’s power in Navajo.
  • Hunter-gatherer lifestyle in Native Americans.

Differential Approaches for Health Care Professionals

  • Translation of all medical terms.
  • With respect to their herbal medicine preferences.
  • Time to make common family decisions.
  • Eye contact avoidance but hand touching.
  • No press for patient education.

References

Barreiro J. (2016). Call to consciousness on the fate of mother earth: Global warming and climate change. In S. Lobo, S. Talbot, & T. M. Carlston (Eds.), Native American voices: A reader (3rd ed.) (pp. 483-485). New York, NY: Routledge.

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Lee, T. H. (2014). 7 most popular Native American languages in U.S. Web.

Navajo history. (n.d.). Web.

Oberg, M. L. (2018). Native America: A history (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Rutherford, A. (2017). A new history of the first peoples in the Americas. The Atlantic. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, July 19). Native Americans and Navajo Heritage and Health Beliefs. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/native-americans-and-navajo-heritage-and-health-beliefs/

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"Native Americans and Navajo Heritage and Health Beliefs." StudyCorgi, 19 July 2021, studycorgi.com/native-americans-and-navajo-heritage-and-health-beliefs/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Native Americans and Navajo Heritage and Health Beliefs." July 19, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/native-americans-and-navajo-heritage-and-health-beliefs/.


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StudyCorgi. "Native Americans and Navajo Heritage and Health Beliefs." July 19, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/native-americans-and-navajo-heritage-and-health-beliefs/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Native Americans and Navajo Heritage and Health Beliefs." July 19, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/native-americans-and-navajo-heritage-and-health-beliefs/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Native Americans and Navajo Heritage and Health Beliefs'. 19 July.

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