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.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/08/prepared-remarks-first-lady-michelle-obama-white-house-convening-creatin

1 comment:

  1. From Pat Quinn:
    Thank you for sharing this speech about the need for long term reparations for our Native American sisters and brothers. It is heartening to think of our president and his wife personally searching out the Sioux in North Dakota where the rash of teen suicides continues to escalate. Indigenous displacement and torture is an outrage that resulted from the same kind of hate speech and arrogance that today's political rhetoric is too full of. Up-ending cultures from the Near East, to Central America and the Far East and beyond continues, as we add to the "trail of tears" and further the impoverished underclass world wide. By neglecting the needs and rights of those we trafficked and stole from, by condemning them to hunger, addictive disease and ignominy, we perpetuate their disenfranchisement. By our undemocratic actions, ignorance, and silence we have lost our collective, national soul. The therapists fast response to the shooting crisis is admirable and carries hope of the difference that the actions of the few can make. When I go to rallies to promote health and environmental justice, I am astounded by the creativity. It helps to have a forum like this for people to post their creative responses to humanitarian crises. Patricia Quinn LCAT, ATR-BC

    Thanks,

    Pat

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