Healing the Children of Horse Nations: An Imprint Multimedia Project Highlights Indigenous Model of Equine Therapy

Photo credit Josué Rivas
Photo credit Josué Rivas
LOS ANGELES - April 3, 2024 - PRLog -- A new multimedia package produced by The Imprint and Voices of Monterey Bay takes readers, viewers and listeners deep inside rural Oregon's Indian Country, where elders are Indigenizing social work through equine therapy for young people who have experienced foster care and youth justice systems.

"Horses take us all the way back to our history before our land was taken away," explains John Doug Spence, who leads equine therapy sessions across Oregon. "It's a way of taking back our power."

The project, Healing the Children of Horse Nations, is a collaboration between The Imprint's Indigenous Children and Families Reporter Nancy Marie Spears, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma; podcast producers Julie and Mara Reynolds; and visual storyteller Josué Rivas, who is Mexica and Otomi.

The team of journalists introduces the audience to a group of spunky, insightful youth and their elders from the Burns Paiute, Gros Ventre and Sioux tribes. The guides for these rare equine therapy treatment sessions are longtime social workers, protectors of Indigenous languages and culture, and survivors of boarding schools and the displacement of tribal communities in the Pacific Northwest. Reporting for the project, Spears traveled thousands of miles across rural Oregon, gathering material for her feature story, meeting with dozens of Indigenous children and their families along the way. The podcasters, an aunt-and-niece team, collected a wide range of voices for the audio documentary — from an Indigenous activist who reclaimed Alcatraz Island to an elder teacher of the Northern Paiute language.

Co-publishes of The Imprint's article and photographs are welcomed, with the authors, producers and photographers' names listed along with the following citation:

This project was produced by The Imprint, a national nonprofit news outlet covering child welfare and youth justice issues, and the community news site Voices of Monterey Bay (https://voicesofmontereybay.org/).

About Fostering Media Connections
Fostering Media Connections (FMC) is a nonprofit news organization that publishes media and journalism to lead the conversation about children, youth and families in America. To do this FMC publishes a daily news site, The Imprint, and a print magazine, Fostering Families Today, as well as SafeCamp Audio podcast network, and runs a youth journalism training program called Youth Voices Rising. Learn more at fosteringmediaconnections.org.

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