In early June 2019, Arnold Fox, director of Social Development, Blood Tribe Administration, Stand Off, Alberta, visited the University of Washington with a small team of colleagues to explore models and discuss ways to develop programs to better serve the special needs and disability/differently able members of the Blood Tribe community.
The major focus of this visit was to better understand issues of disabilities and special needs and how practice and policies may be combined with Indigenous ways of knowing including traditional wisdom, knowledge and values. In particular, Fox and his team were looking for models and working on a philosophy for developing enhanced social services for the Blood Tribe Administration.
The team met with representatives from UW’s School of Social Work including Drs. Bonnie Duran and Gino Aisenberg and Professors Matt Ignacio and Angela Fernandez; UW field instructors Drs. Stan De Mello and Robin Tatsuda, Director of Information and Family Support; Dr. Nadine Fabbi with Canadian Studies; and visiting professor with Scandinavian Studies, Dr. Margge (Margaretha) Uttjek.
Kainai (the Blood Tribe) is one of four traditional member tribes of the Blackfoot Confederacy. The traditional territory included lands in what are now Alberta, Saskatchewan and Montana. In 1877 the Kainai (and other tribes) entered into Treaty #7 with the Government of Canada and settled on “Indian Reserve” lands in what is now Alberta. The Blood reserve is the largest by area in Canada with over 12,000 inhabitants. The reserve lies southwest of Lethbridge, Alberta.