Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Look at Historical Trauma and the Result on Indigenous Populations

**I intend to follow up with this entry with personal stories and art from the community I work for.

Native American/American Indian communities and other indigenous cultures are protective people; protective of their culture, their triumphs, ills, ways of life, rituals, etc., and for good reason. Even hundreds of years after colonization, occupation and eradication (99% of American Indians were destroyed one way or another in the yearly decades of colonization leaving the remaining populations today related to a mere 1% of the original populations), these communities continue to be victimized systemically and are still suffering intergenerationally. Destroyed is not harsh enough. Decimated. Pummeled. Tricked. My own path, rich with Native history as well as mystery, led me to a particular Indian community that I have served for over four years. I am a guest here. I am grateful. And where I help, I am also taught.

My heart has been broken, as have all the hearts of the community here, by the Marysville Pilchuck High School shootings in November last year. I was part of a crisis team of therapists setting up a camp, if you will, of support on the rez within a half hour of the events. As information about this story continues to unfold, information that I will not betray of the community I love, I can only say that had occupation never occurred, neither would these events that so recently passed. I blame history.

With that, please review the following article on Native American students' visit with the First Lady. Think about these things, so succinctly written in a short page online. Apply them to all marginalized populations and oppressed peoples. Open your eyes.