Jodi Rave: Games help Native youth tackle tough topics
"Leslie Hale-Hammerberg, a certified therapeutic foster parent, has invented board games to help Native youths talk about what happens in their world.

It's hard for kids to talk about suicide, bullying, pregnancy and sexual abuse.

“But we have to talk about it,” she said. “Nothing is off limits. When you can talk about it, it goes away because then you find solutions. It's only when one carries that burden of not talking about it, it goes all bad.”

She has worked with children of all ages to help them think, feel and act, and to care, share and be responsible.

“Rez Got Game” - a set of four games intended to be used under adult supervision - is being embraced by counselors, psychologists, mental health practitioners and Native family advocates across the country.

“It's the right time, there's nothing like it anywhere,” said Glenda Ahhaitty, a retired Los Angeles County mental health director. “It's a really good tool for mental health professionals who are working with Indian children. It will work for all children.”

Ahhaitty is referring “Rez Got Game” to child advocates because games like Tipi Dancer, Eagle Dancer and Dove Dancer achieve “cultural competency.”

Most other tools are aimed at non-Natives, she said."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Games teach Native kids to tackle tough topics (The Missoulian 5/5)

Relevant Links:
Jodi Rave - http://www.missoulian.com/jodirave

Related Stories:
Jodi Rave: Montana Indian Educator of the Year (4/30)
Jodi Rave: Fort Lewis College in 'boarding school era' (4/28)
Jodi Rave: Chippewa Cree woman in Clinton camp (4/25)
Jodi Rave: Montana tribal leaders back Obama (4/24)
Jodi Rave: Groundbreaking for Indian center at UM (4/21)
Jodi Rave: Groundbreaking for Native center (4/18)
Jodi Rave: Clinton campaign falters on Indian policy (4/17)
Jodi Rave: Clinton and Obama make Indian pledges (4/7)
Jodi Rave: Tribal governments and transparency (3/31)
Jodi Rave: Awakening a spiritual revolution (3/17)
Jodi Rave: Blood, DNA and tribal citizenship (3/14)
Jodi Rave: Joining the Big Foot Memorial Ride (12/18)
Jodi Rave: Youth a part of Big Foot Memorial Ride (12/17)
Jodi Rave: Natives a priority at Montana State (12/10)
Jodi Rave: Nike executive true to Native roots (12/6)
Jodi Rave: Foreign visitors come for powwows (12/3)
Jodi Rave: Native professors for Native studies (11/30)
Jodi Rave: Tribes tap into tourism industry (11/29)
Jodi Rave: UM opens Indian research institute (11/6)
Jodi Rave: Conference explores Indian resiliency (11/5)
Jodi Rave: Let the experts tell the Native story (11/1)
Jodi Rave: Cobell trial ends after 10 days (10/29)
Jodi Rave: Film explores Blackfoot ties to land (10/26)
Jodi Rave: Conference addresses violence (10/25)
Jodi Rave: Sami in Norway embrace their heritage (10/22)
Jodi Rave: Climate change hits Natives across globe (10/15)
Jodi Rave: Foundation raises money at Blackfeet (10/2)