Developing a Literacy Toolbox
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.
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.
Decolonization and spirituality are inextricably linked. ~George J Sefa Dei
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?
Dawnland Signals: Critical conversations of truth, healing, and change in the Dawnland
Program Topic July 17, 2020 Tribal Sovereignty (~55 min)
Producers/Hosts: Maria Girouard, Esther Anne
Guests: Mark Chavaree, Penobscot Nation; Michael Corey Hinton, Passamaquoddy Tribe; Penthea Burns, REACH Board Co-chair
-What is tribal sovereignty?
-What does it look like for tribes to practice sovereignty?
-What can Mainers do to respect tribal sovereignty?
About the hosts:
Esther Anne, Passamaquoddy from Sipayik, joined the Muskie School of Public Service in 2003 where she works on projects that engage and benefit tribal communities including facilitating the Maine tribal-state Indian Child Welfare Act workgroup and creating child welfare resources with the Capacity Building Center for Tribes. She had a primary role in the creation and establishment of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Maine-Wabanaki REACH. Esther now serves as secretary for the REACH Board of Directors and on the REACH Communications Committee. Esther lives on Indian Island and her family includes adult children and a grandbaby.
Maria Girouard of Penobscot Nation is an historian with particular expertise in the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act. She holds a master’s degree in history from the University of Maine. Maria is a longstanding community organizer and activist of environmental and social justice.
Production assistance: Jeffrey Hotchkiss
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.