National Child Welfare Association

Fostering Positive Indian Lifestyles and Pride of Heritage

Jennifer Miller with her foster sonJennifer Miller and her foster son

Jennifer Miller is the afternoon news director at KWSO 91.9FM, Warm Springs Community Radio. She married into the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs with her husband, John Miller, who is Wasco Indian.

KWSO is a tribally owned and operated radio station on the reservation. Their goal is to inform, educate and entertain their tribal community. Although the radio station aired public service announcements (PSAs) that warned children about the negative effects of drugs and alcohol, Jennifer Miller had been wanting to create a PSA that achieved the same effect through positive messages about American Indian lifestyles and heritage. The opportunity came during a NICWA conference for System of Care teenagers.

“We are still running this PSA occasionally, because it has such a powerful positive message.”

Jennifer spent about an hour and half with a group of American Indian teenagers from tribes around the United States. The kids worked together to produce the PSA. Each teenager talked about what motivated him or her stay off drugs. The System of Care kids had a variety of positive strategies to share. One teenager said “I pow-wow dance,” while another talked about setting a good example for younger siblings. “The kids had a lot of fun and we enjoyed working with them,” Jennifer says. “We are still running this PSA occasionally, because it has such a powerful positive message.” The tribal council of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs was also pleased with the positive message portrayed by the PSA and has asked the radio station to create more announcements like it.