Keeper N Me Garnet Character Analysis

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Initial Assessment
Garnet from the novel Keeper N’ Me seems like a rather resourceful individual that has relied mainly on himself to navigate through life ever since he aged out of the foster care system. The way in which he chose to survive during this time may have been influenced by the pervasively negative stereotypes against Indigenous people, his detachment from his community, family, and heritage, as well as the observed desire to fit in or belong. Garnet’s primary presenting clinical issues seem to be a diminished sense of self and self-esteem. This may be due to growing up in all-white households and schools with no formal education about his family history/heritage or of Indigenous teachings in general. The knowledge that he was able to gather from within these
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“There’s lots of traditional thinking buried deep within each story and the longer you spend thinking about it the more you learn about yourself, your people and the Indian way” (Wagamese, 1994, p.145). Reuniting with his family, discovering his heritage, connecting with community members, and learning the traditional teachings and practices have greatly impacted his sense of self, identity, and values toward community. It was foundational to his self-discovery and community connection that he had several people like his sister who were willing to share the family history and their ties to the community. To understand the nature, processes and experience of sense of community at any one time for a particular community it is necessary to have some appreciation of the community’s history (Pretty, 2006). Working closely with Keeper and reconciling the negative feelings his mother had toward losing him has likely helped solidify an aspect of community wherein members matter to one another and that their needs will be met by staying
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