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Disability Through a Native American Lens

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 11:00 AM PT, 2:00 PM ET

Hilary Weaver, DSW (Lakota), is a Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Social Work, University at Buffalo (State University of New York). Her work focuses on cultural issues in the helping process with an emphasis on Indigenous populations.


You will learn

  • ​How Native American cultural contexts influence perceptions of disabilities
  • Information on disability prevalence in Native American populations
  • Possible explanations for disability disparities including the impact of the societal context
  • How the federal trust responsibility defines relationships between the US and Native American tribes and shapes health services
  • How sovereignty and decolonization influence beliefs and services

Take-home messages

  • The cultural context can influence how disability is defined and experienced.
  • The colonial context shapes both perceptions and services.
  • There are substantial parallels between how Native Americans and people with disabilities have been perceived and treated.
  • Decolonization and empowerment can make a difference.​

​Hilary Weaver, DSW (Lakota)

Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Social Work, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Hilary N. Weaver, DSW (Lakota) is a Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Social Work, University at Buffalo (State University of New York). She received her BS from Antioch College in social work with a cross-cultural studies focus and her MSW and DSW from Columbia University. Her teaching, research, and service focus on cultural issues in the helping process with an emphasis on Indigenous populations. Dr. Weaver received funding from the National Cancer Institute to develop and test a culturally-grounded wellness curriculum for urban Native American youth, the Healthy Living in Two Worlds program. She is a member of NASW, CSWE, and currently serves as President of the Indigenous and Tribal Social Work Educators' Association (formerly American Indian Alaska Native Social Work Educators' Association). Dr. Weaver has presented her work regionally, nationally, and internationally including presenting at the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the United Nations in 2005-2008 and 2013-2018. She has numerous publications including the text, Explorations in Cultural Competence: Journeys to the Four Directions (2005) and the edited book, Social Issues in Contemporary Native America: Reflections from Turtle Island (2014). 

Partially funded by:​
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