How to take an Anti-Racist Approach to Supporting Indigenous Kids
Updated: Jun 11
Release date: June 13, 2022
My guest for this episode is Heather Sauyaq Jean Gordon. She is Iñupiaq and a research scientist in the Youth Development program at Child Trends. Heather’s work focuses on Indigenous youth, families, and Elders and the topics of colonization, historical trauma, and culture as a protective factor. Together, we explore the what, why, and how of anti-racist approaches to supporting the Native and Indigenous kids in your lives. We also answer a listener’s question about anti-racist approaches to researching Native and Indigenous kids. More information about Heather and her work can be found below.
Biography of Heather Sauyaq Jean Gordon
Dr. Heather Sauyaq Jean Gordon is a research scientist in the Youth Development program at Child Trends working with Indigenous populations in participatory research projects. She is Iñupiaq and an enrolled tribal member of the Nome Eskimo Community, a federally recognized Tribe. Heather has a B.A. in Race and Ethnic Studies (University of Redlands, CA), a M.S. in Sociology (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and a PhD in Indigenous Studies (University of Alaska Fairbanks). Heather came to Child Trends from the Division of Program Evaluation and Planning at the Administration for Native Americans, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). While at ANA she served on Executive Order committees on equity issues, worked with the Native Youth Initiative for Leadership, Empowerment, and Development grantees, worked on missing and murdered Indigenous Peoples initiatives, and explored how culture is a protective factor in Indigenous communities. She also served as a subject matter expert on working with Indigenous people and in that capacity advised the Administration for Children (ACF) and Families on their work around missing and murdered Native Americans, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) on methodologies appropriate to working with Indigenous people and other vulnerable and minority populations, Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) on drafting the Arctic Research Plan (ARP) 2022-2026, and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on documents and work around Indigenous Knowledge. Dr. Gordon’s current work looks at Indigenous culture as a protective factor from colonization and historical trauma, missing and murdered Indigenous relatives, how to work with Indigenous Peoples in research, and food security and subsistence rights in Alaska.
Heather Sauyaq Jean Gordon's research
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Heather Sauyaq Jean Gordon's Child Trends bio page
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