1. Hayman, Laura L. PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Callister, Lynn Clark PhD, RN, FAAN

Article Content

Nichols, L. A. (2004).Journal of Holistic Nursing, 22(2), 226-253


This research identified the socio-cultural process of being a Cherokee mother. In this qualitative study of 19 mothers, bearing and rearing children was found to be a very significant cultural role. Patterns of cultural care include infant care, building a care-providing consortium among extended family, living with a focus on spirituality, integrating the infant into the Cherokee culture, using permissive discipline, and observing the unfolding development of the infant. The symbolism of circles is used because being a mother is "continually changing and unfolding, without beginning or ending" (Nichols, 2004, p. 243). The importance of oneness with family is emphasized in the study in order to share the legacy of the culture by strengthening family bonds. This study adds to the body of knowledge contributing to culturally competent care for under-served populations. Healthcare should be built on an acknowledgment of the unique strengths of Native American mothers, including a spiritual lifestyle and a harmonious relationship with the earth. These mothers experience the challenge of living in two worlds: Native American society and mainstream society, as well as differing health perspectives of traditional Native American and biomedical healthcare. Demonstrating respect and facilitating distinctive cultural practices is essential in ensuring positive relationships between healthcare providers and childbearing and childrearing mothers in this underserved and vulnerable ethnic minority.


Comment by Lynn Clark Callister

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