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OU-Tulsa Researchers Support Local Tribes

OU-Tulsa Researchers Support Local Tribes

Logo OU Tulsa Presidential Reseatch Series

In a recent webinar, Dr. Lisa Byers and Dallas Pettigrew, faculty members in the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work, shared insight into the work they are doing through the Center for Tribal Social Work at OU-Tulsa, specifically as it relates to teaching historical trauma.

The webinar was part of the OU-Tulsa Presidential Research Series, which showcases faculty research and is open to all members of the OU-Tulsa community.

Byers discussed her research into historical trauma, including the origins of her interest in the topic and a summary of existing historical trauma research. The title of her talk, “Heartbroken and Confused,” illustrated the outcome of her exploratory research.

During her talk, Byers described the importance of social workers within tribal nations being connected to tribal history. She noted the significance of knowing about “the oppression that happened and to be aware and mindful of that, and to have that in your hand and have that in your heart when you start developing and carrying out these programs. That is such a great foundation to changing and altering education, mental health, behavioral health, every kind of program that tribes offer now.”

Pettigrew outlined the work of the Center for Tribal Social Work, sharing details of the genesis of this particular project and the need that was identified. He highlighted how the partnerships, current work and future plans of the center are actively working to make OU more attractive to tribal students.

“We thought that if we brought [tribal child welfare leaders’] expertise to the table, and we brought the resources of the university, we could probably help them design a training that they could deliver to their own people that would help them deliver the best services possible to the members of their tribe. Because what we believe is that the tribes know best what works for tribes,” Pettigrew said.

View the webinar in its entirety here.

By Bonnie Rucker

Article Published:  Wednesday, December 2, 2020