Developing a Literacy Toolbox Toward Acts of Healing
Query: How might we engage in truth-telling, concomitant with a healing process?
Language for healing calls for shared understanding. The following definitions are offered for our growing edges, as we consider what might be missing.
apology – def.: a regretful acknowledgement of an offense or failure;
redemption – def.: action of saving or being saved from sin, error;
forgiveness – def.: an action or process of forgiving or being forgiven.
gratitude – def.: feeling pleased by what someone did and also pleased by the results; Latin – gratus, thankful/ pleasing.
revelation – def.: divine disclosure to humans of something relating to human existence or the world.
The question of a meaningful apology is reflected in its accountability for behaviour that accentuates historical trauma, where people are suffering from what has been unspoken, “invisible.” Both, apologies and forgiveness recognize truths which may be the source of deep psychological, spiritual, ecological and economic impacts on our humanity.
Mark Charles (Navajo Nation)
‘We the People‘ – the three most misunderstood words in US history, TEDxTysons (17:44)
Historical, Intergenerational Trauma
Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart has introduced the term “historical trauma” as specific trauma that Native people experience in the United States. She defines it as “cumulative emotional and psychological wounding across generations including one’s own lifespan.” Historical trauma is the result of centuries of colonization.
“I had a sense of carrying grief that was larger than myself and my own community. I made a conscious connection that American Indians are survivors and that we share some things in common with Jewish Holocaust communities.” ~Maria Yellow Horse Brave Horse
Indian Country Today Media Network has made available the work of Mary Annette Pember (Red Cliff Band of Wisconsin Ojibwe), Intergenerational Trauma: Understanding Natives’ Inherited Pain, a 16 page pdf.
Seek and Ye Shall Find: American Indians in children’s literature.
Query: How might accountability & revelation be complimentary; incompatible?
Take Back the Story from IllumiNative
Invisibility of Native peoples to most of America threatens our fundamental rights and the wellbeing of our children. We are invisible within government, Hollywood, the news media, and in our schools. It’s the reason that the president, lawmakers, and the media use derogatory racial stereotypical language about Native people with impunity. It is our invisibility that makes the courts and government believe that they can get away with suppressing Native voting rights, attacking tribal sovereignty and declaring ICWA unconstitutional. Our invisibility and erasure is seen as normal.
(Re)Making History: The Real Story Is Bigger and Better
Kevin Gover, TEDxJacksonville (14:54) – using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
Americans have been taught a shallow and simple narrative of the history of Native Americans and the history of our country. Shallow narratives are satisfying and allow us to feel good about our history as a nation, but they can cause our approach to contemporary issues to be uninformed and even misinformed. Kevin discusses fearlessly embracing the larger, messier, more complex truths of our history.
Kevin Gover is the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and a citizen of the Pawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. Gover was nominated by President Clinton to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the United States Department of the Interior. His tenure as Assistant Secretary is perhaps best-known for his apology to Native American people for the historical conduct of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Decolonization and spirituality are inextricably linked. ~George J Sefa Dei
UN DRIP 10th Anniversary
Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation, Haudenosaunee
YouTube posted by Tupac Enrique Acosta, April 28, 2017
Address to the United Nations General Assembly as the appointed speaker for the North American socio-cultural region at the UN General Assembly high level meeting marking the 10th anniversary of the passage of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). During the Sixteenth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), UN Headquarters, New York, April 25, 2017.
Transcript: Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the United Nations, Distinguished Leaders and Representatives of Indigenous Nations and Peoples, nya wenha ska nonh (thank you for being well.) Ska nonh is our word for peace, and it is the same word for health. I greet you on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples of the Great Turtle Island – North America.
2017 marks my 40th year of attendance in the great halls of the United Nations, both in Geneva and New York, representing the interests and issues of our peoples and the natural world. Understanding that our tenure as the human species on this earth is completely and totally dependent upon the resources of Mother Earth. Not the least of which is water. Our mandate is inclusive of all life, the welfare of future generations and the common good. I remind you as we did in the year 2000, and again in the year 2014, that the ice continues to melt in the north. We squandered time.
The ice of course, has its own leader. And it is ultimately our leader as well. We have learned over these fifty years of interaction in these great halls about the importance of terminology. We have had to learn the very special terminology of the United Nations. Territorial integrity is one of those terminologies that reflects the confines of States. It establishes boundaries, and also ideas. I remind you again that the territorial integrity of Mother Earth binds all of us, in a much larger context.
The laws of that territorial integrity are absolute. There is no habeas corpus, there is no court, there is only the law. You abide, or suffer the consequences. And the consequences of that is, our human species have brought us to a point where there is a question of our survival as a species on this earth. More than a question: serious observations, dependence on discussions in these great halls. Peace is possible. Peace is here. It has always been here. Peace is within the mandates of these halls, to exercise it.
To best serve the interest of the Indigenous Peoples of North America in this short time, I must express to you our consternation, that on the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we are presented with “enhanced participation” purporting to “enable our participation and meetings with the UN bodies,” but the proposed procedures seem to violate most of the articles of the Declaration. In particular, our rights to self-determination; free, prior, and informed consent; consultation; and many more.
After forty years of discussion, it seems to me that we should move on. I would say that in this short time probably the most important thing we could do is move the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to a United Nations Convention. Let’s get on with it.
And so with that, on behalf of Turtle Island, North America – Nya wenha (I thank you). Ska nonh (peace). It is in this room. It’s up to you. Dah ney’ to (Now I am finished).