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Certain aspects of Native American cultures may affect the process and outcome of Native Americans who seek out assistance from social workers The values and norms inherent in many Native American cultures often present unique circumstances when individuals from those cultures deal with the dominant culture There are at least 550 different Native American tribes in the United States and within those tribes are unique and distinct cultural variables to assess Because all of those tribes combined are broadly defined as Native Americans and for the purposes and scope of this paper the information discussed is in reference to those hundreds of tribes as one set of cultures commonly referred to by the dominant culture as American Indians or Native Americans As with most cultures the Native American culture has its own set of values different tribes have their own specific and independent set of standards which can vary greatly in certain aspects American middle -class and American Indian cultural values differ in major areas How individuals in these two groups view mans relationship with nature relations with people and time are actually opposite According to Giordano McGoldrick and Pearce 1982 Middle -class Americans attach value in having control over the environmentnature while Native Americans value being in harmony with nature Native Americans are more concerned with the group rather than the individual whereas middle-class Americans value the individual In regards to time orientation Native Americans view daily life as situated in the present past and then future middle-class Americans view it future present past There are about 23 million Native Americans in the United States accounting for just 09 percent of all Americans Russell 1996 The National Census reported in 1990 that nearly half of natives living on reservations were living below the standards considered poverty level Because of this many natives are forced to move off of their reservation and search for jobs in nearby
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