Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The purpose of this study is to better understand the personal experience of postpartum depression among Anishinaabe American Indian women and further examine how various resources such as family, friends, Traditional healing, local and healthcare options were utilized. In addition advice was sought from a Traditional leader as to how these women can care for themselves in the postnatal period and how providers can properly manage their care.

A descriptive qualitative analysis approach was used. Interviews were conducted in 1-1.5 hours in the home of the Anishinaabe American Indian women who are from Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indian Reservation. The inclusion criteria for this small pilot study is they have had a baby within the past two years, had a score of 12 or greater on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and are residing on Red Lake. This reservation is located 30 miles north of Bemidji, MN in the northern counties of Beltrami and Clearwater County.

This study brought out many things that are not found in the literature. Namely the categories and themes identified, the significance of social, family, and community support, cultural practices and simply research conducted for the American Indian women population.

Recommendations to healthcare professionals by the Traditional leader suggest these professionals better educate themselves on American Indian culture, beliefs and healthcare practices. Examples of how to accomplish this include community participation such as: pow-wows, healing circles and sweats. Furthermore, specific questions were established for healthcare providers to implement when inquiring about a patient’s healthcare beliefs and practices.

It is essential for healthcare facilities and organizations to have regular cultural awareness training; this can be done by involving the community and encouraging staff to engage in cultural activities. Moreover, the need for hiring a Traditional healer to be staffed within the healthcare facility to provide Traditional healthcare is found to be imperative. It allows for collaboration with Western medicine and results in culturally holistic care. A potential goal for these organizations would be to work towards attaining Traditional healthcare as a billable service.

Included in

Psychology Commons