Heads/Tails—Silenced Warriors and Baby Daddies: Young Fatherhood Among Native American Men

Audience listens to presentation by Janelle Palacios, RN, CNM, PhD, entitled “Heads/Tails—Silenced Warriors and Baby Daddies.” Photo credit: Courtney Anderson.

Audience listens to presentation by Janelle Palacios, RN, CNM, PhD, entitled “Heads/Tails—Silenced Warriors and Baby Daddies.” Photo credit: Courtney Anderson.

As part of the School of Nursing’s Recruitment and Retention Committee programming, featured speaker and UCSF alum (PhD '08, MS '10)—Janelle Palacios, RN, CNM, PhD, delivered findings of her most recent collaborative community project, which explores the young fatherhood experiences of American Indian men. Her presentation, entitled “Heads/Tails—Silenced Warriors and Baby Daddies: Young Fatherhood Among Native American Men,” provided an overview of the challenges young men face as fathers in their communities.

Palacios grew up on the Flathead Reservation in Northwestern Montana. She is currently both an American Indian Research Fellow at the University of Arizona under the guidance of Dr. Teshia Solomon, and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Nursing working with Drs. Adey Nyamathi and Felicia Hodge. While being mentored by Dr. June Strickland, Palacios received her Bachelor in the Science of Nursing at the University of Washington, and later moved to our own program here at UCSF obtaining her Doctorate and becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife while being advised by Dr. Holly Kennedy. Her dissertation centered on the early childbearing (adolescent pregnancy) experiences of adult American Indian women. Palacios strives to incorporate indigenous ways of knowing into research interventions aimed at enhancing wellness among American Indian families.

Associate Professor Rebekah Kaplan, RN, MS, CNM, introduced Palacios noting her significant community-based work, UCSF School of Nursing dissertation, and leadership as immediate past Co-Chair of the Native Research Network. Palacios offered valuable advice to those in the audience regarding how to navigate the post-doctoral world specifically recommendations on research protocols as it relates to community-based participatory research.

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To contextualize her community-based participatory research approach, Palacios shared findings from her interviews with young men in the community. She highlighted that overall, the young men she encountered wanted to be better parents and took pride in community—particularly their opportunity to impart Native American culture to their young children.

Palacios concluded her remarks by emphasizing that understanding context is vitally important to community work. And, that an asset-based or positive perspective approach whenever possible by default rather than deficit oriented is the best approach in community study.

“Heads/Tails—Silenced Warriors and Baby Daddies: Young Fatherhood Among Native American Men” leadership pictured with speaker Dr. Janelle Palacios (fourth from left). Pictured: Howard Pinderhughes, Sally Rankin, Kit Chesla, Janelle Palacios, Barbara Burge

“Heads/Tails—Silenced Warriors and Baby Daddies: Young Fatherhood Among Native American Men” leadership pictured with speaker Dr. Janelle Palacios (fourth from left). Pictured (left - right): Howard Pinderhughes, Sally Rankin, Kit Chesla, Janelle Palacios, Barbara Burgel, and Audrey Lyndon. Photo credit: Courtney Anderson.

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