Presentation on theme: "“A society that cannot remember it’s past and honor it, is in peril of losing it’s spirit.” –Vine Deloria Jr. Understanding Historical Trauma: How Tribal."— Presentation transcript:
“A society that cannot remember it’s past and honor it, is in peril of losing it’s spirit.” –Vine Deloria Jr. Understanding Historical Trauma: How Tribal Communities are Changing the Legacy August 9, 2012
Sina Ikikcu Win (Takes the Shawl Woman) Ethleen Iron Cloud-Two Dogs Hmuya Mani (Walks with a Roaring) Richard Two Dogs
How did we get here?
What is Historical Trauma? Historical trauma can be conceptualized as an event or set of events perpetrated on a group of people (including their environment) who share specific group identity (e.g. nationality, tribal affiliation, ethnicity, religious affiliation) with genocidal or ethnocidal intent (i.e annihilation or disruption to traditional lifeways, culture and identity. Historical unresolved grief is the grief that accompanies the trauma. Historical Trauma Response Anger Substance abuse Difficulty with emotional identification and expression “Constellation of features in reaction to this trauma” Depression Anxiety Low self esteem
Similarities Indigenous Experience Imprisonment Forced Relocation Death Abuse Holocaust Imprisonment Forced Relocation Death Abuse
Individually, each event is profoundly traumatic; taken together they constitute a history of sustained cultural disruption and destruction directed at communities. Individually, each event is profoundly traumatic; taken together they constitute a history of sustained cultural disruption and destruction directed at communities. The trauma is held personally and transmitted over generations. Thus, even family members who have not directly experienced the trauma can feel the effects of the event generations later. The trauma is held personally and transmitted over generations. Thus, even family members who have not directly experienced the trauma can feel the effects of the event generations later. The resulting trauma is conceptualized as collective in that it impacts a significant portion of the community and compounding, as multiple historically traumatic events occurring over generations join an overarching legacy of assaults. The resulting trauma is conceptualized as collective in that it impacts a significant portion of the community and compounding, as multiple historically traumatic events occurring over generations join an overarching legacy of assaults.
Lakota Perspective Wokapha- Intergenerational transference of Negativity Iyowaniye-Historical Trauma Ancestors e.g.Wounded Knee Massacre Iyowaniye-Historical Trauma Grandparents & Parents e.g. Boarding Schools Iyowaniye - Personal trauma Any type of trauma or unresolved grief passed to the next generation e.g Sexual Abuse E. Iron Cloud-TwoDogs
Confronting historical trauma Understanding the trauma Releasing our pain Transcending the trauma
Confronting Historical Trauma Beginning of Contact Life shock Genocide No time for grief Economic Competition Sustenance loss (physical/spiritual) Invasion War Period Extermination Refugee symptoms Subjugation and Reservation Period Confined / translocated Lack of security Boarding School Period Destroyed family system Forced Relocation and Termination Period Transfer to urban areas Prohibition of religious freedom
“ Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” – Captain Richard H. Pratt Boarding school period ( ) 1 st school: Carlisle, Pennsylvania Captain Pratt modeled Carlisle and other off-reservation boarding schools on a school he developed at Fort Marion prison in Florida from where Native prisoners of war were held. His “Kill the Indian, Save the Man” policy proposed that children be forcibly removed from home with no return, until they were young adults. By 1909, there were 25 off-reservation boarding schools. More than 100,000 Native children were forced to attend these schools. Attendance was mandatory or parents would be imprisoned. (e.g. in 1895, 19 Hopi men were imprisoned at Alcatraz for refusing to send their children to the schools.
Lakota boys before their arrival at Carlisle Lakota boys after their arrival at Carlisle
Environmental & Spiritual Trauma
Federal Indian Policy Westward expansion and Indian relocation Eastern tribes forced out of homelands and put on barren lands Justification of Indian removal by Thomas Jefferson was to “give them a space to live undisturbed by white people as they gradually adjust to civilized ways" Allotment and Assimilation ( ) Federal policy that aimed to take from Indians, the idea of group ownership of land and parceling the reservations into small plots – mainly given to Indian males. “Kill the Indian, Save the Man” policy Termination and Relocation ( ) This time federal policy called to obliterate tribal existence by terminating the federal relationship with certain tribes. Federal government initiated a policy called Relocation, that encouraged Indian people to blend into mainstream society by moving to urban areas.
Relocation Relocation offices were set up in 7 major cities: Chicago Denver Los Angeles San Francisco San Jose St. Louis Cincinnati Cleveland Dallas
Understanding the trauma Response Features: Survivor guilt Depression and psychic numbing Fixation to the trauma Low self-esteem Victim identity Anger Self-destructive behavior Substance abuse Hypervigilance Preoccupation with death, death identity and loyalty to ancestral suffering and deceased Internalized oppression
Lakota Perspective Nagi Yata (Spirit World) Return to Spirit World Pre-Birth + Interruptions to Natural Life Cycle (e.g. abandonment, trauma at age 3) Age 12+ Age 21+ Age 50+ E. Iron Cloud-Two Dogs, 2004
Un Lakota Pi Hehanl When We Were Lakota Wocekiye- Prayer Okiciya Pi- Helping One Another Ihakicita Pi- Looking Out for One Another Wokigna- Comforting One Another Wounsila- Compassion for One Another Wowacin Tanka- Fortitude Woksape- Knowledge and Understanding Wowasake- Strength Wowicala- Belief Disconnection from Sacred Teachings Miye (I, Me)- No longer Niye (You), or Unkiye (Us) With the onset of Boarding Schools- there was shame in being Lakota- afraid to speak Lakota and the loss of using kinship terms (e.g. Unci, Ina, Leksi)
Wahohunkukiye Pi Sni- No Cultural Teachings Wasigla Wacinyesni Okihisni (unresolved grief) Takuni Wacinyesni (Hopelessness) Kakije (suffering) Sil Okihanpi (sexual abuse) Wiconi Kokipa Pi (Fear of Life) Alcohol/Substance Abuse Okahpa (Transgenerational Transference of Negativity) Okatkabiya- Permeating Negative Influence (e.g. physical abuse or alcohol abuse in the home) Nagi Cola Ounye (without a spirit) “Ehanni Canupa na oinikage el ikiliya opiciyapi hehan winuhcala na wicahcala ota pi.” “When we lived close to the sacred pipe & sweat lodge, there were many old men and women.” ~Matthew Bear Shield
Releasing the Trauma By allowing ourselves to feel and express the emotions and pain tied to the trauma, the healing process can then begin. Validating the experience of people
Transcending the trauma Transcending is healing and moving beyond the trauma No longer define yourself in terms of the trauma Survivor instead of victim In order to heal you must be able to forgive. We have to be able to forgive the unforgivable, which is the only way we can evolve as people, as a country, or as a species. We must learn from our past and dream of a better future for all. Restoring our “Original Instructions” Relational restoration
Lakota Perspective Apiciya Pi (Healing from the trauma) When an individual experience trauma, there were cultural interventions that were immediately applied to prevent the traumatic experience from having a long term affect on the individual
Wokigna (Comfort) -Child is given care and gentle nurturing) Wopakinte (Spiritual Cleansing) -Cleansing of the four parts of the Nagi (spirit) Nagi Kicopi (Calling the Spirit Back) Wiping of the Tears (Addresses & releases the grief) Woapiye (Doctoring) -This can be healing of all four parts of the self- Mental, Physical, Emotional and Spiritual) Traditional Lakota Interventions
Provide Cultural Teachings Provide Spiritual Foundation Promote the Language Support of family Support of Sobriety Listening and Caring Elders Waziliya Utilizing Traditional and Spiritual Healing (e.g Inipi ) Wocekiye - Appealing to the Creator
Empowering Lakota youth and families to improve the health, culture and environment of our community, through the healing and strengthening of cultural identity. LAKOL WICOHAN NA WOOPE OGNA UNYANPI HEHAN, OYATE KI TANYAN WICONI. CANKE HE UN, LAKOL OUNYE KI UNGLU KINI PI KTE. WHEN THE PEOPLE FOLLOWED THE LAKOTA LIFEWAYS AND LAWS, THE PEOPLE FLOURISHED. THEREFORE, TASUNKE WAKAN OKOLAKICIYE PROMOTES THE REBIRTH OF THE LAKOTA LIFEWAYS AND LAWS THROUGH EDUCATION, HEALING AND COLLABORATION.
“Our survival is based on returning to our own beliefs and our own ways of praying, our own culture.” ~ Richard Two Dogs