Presentation on theme: "Understanding Historical Trauma: How Tribal Communities are Changing the Legacy August 9, 2012 “A society that cannot remember it’s past and honor it,"— Presentation transcript:
1 Understanding Historical Trauma: How Tribal Communities are Changing the Legacy August 9, 2012 “A society that cannot remember it’s past and honor it, is in peril of losing it’s spirit.” –Vine Deloria Jr.
2 Sina Ikikcu Win (Takes the Shawl Woman) Ethleen Iron Cloud-Two Dogs Hmuya Mani (Walks with a Roaring) Richard Two Dogs
5 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“Constellation of features in reaction to this trauma”DepressionAnxietyLow self esteemAngerSubstance abuseDifficulty with emotional identification and expression
8 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 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.
9 Intergenerational transference of Negativity Lakota PerspectiveIyowaniye-Historical TraumaAncestorse.g.Wounded Knee MassacreIyowaniye-Historical TraumaGrandparents & Parentse.g. Boarding SchoolsWokapha-Intergenerational transference of NegativityIyowaniye - Personal traumaAny type of trauma or unresolved griefpassed to the next generatione.g Sexual AbuseE. Iron Cloud-TwoDogs
10 Confronting historical trauma Understanding the traumaReleasing our painTranscending the trauma
11 Confronting Historical Trauma Beginning of ContactLife shockGenocideNo time for griefEconomic CompetitionSustenance loss (physical/spiritual)Invasion War PeriodExterminationRefugee symptomsSubjugation and Reservation PeriodConfined / translocatedLack of securityBoarding School PeriodDestroyed family systemForced Relocation and Termination PeriodTransfer to urban areasProhibition of religious freedom
12 – Captain Richard H. Pratt “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.”– Captain Richard H. PrattBoarding school period ( )1st school: Carlisle, PennsylvaniaCaptain 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.
13 Lakota boys before their arrival at Carlisle Lakota boys after their arrival at Carlisle
16 Federal Indian Policy Westward expansion and Indian relocation Eastern tribes forced out of homelands and put on barren landsJustification 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” policyTermination 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.
17 Relocation offices were set up in 7 major cities:ChicagoDenverLos AngelesSan FranciscoSan JoseSt. LouisCincinnatiClevelandDallas
18 Understanding the trauma Response Features:Survivor guiltDepression and psychic numbingFixation to the traumaLow self-esteemVictim identityAngerSelf-destructive behaviorSubstance abuseHypervigilancePreoccupation with death, death identity and loyalty to ancestral suffering and deceasedInternalized oppression
19 Nagi Yata (Spirit World) Lakota PerspectiveNagi Yata (Spirit World)Return to Spirit WorldPre-Birth +Interruptions to Natural Life Cycle (e.g. abandonment, trauma at age 3)Age 50+Age 12+Age 21+E. Iron Cloud-Two Dogs, 2004
20 Un Lakota Pi Hehanl When We Were Lakota Disconnection from Sacred TeachingsMiye (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)Wocekiye- PrayerOkiciya Pi- Helping One AnotherIhakicita Pi- Looking Out for One AnotherWokigna- Comforting One AnotherWounsila- Compassion for One AnotherWowacin Tanka- FortitudeWoksape- Knowledge and UnderstandingWowasake- StrengthWowicala- Belief
21 “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 ShieldWahohunkukiye Pi Sni- No Cultural TeachingsWasigla Wacinyesni Okihisni (unresolved grief)Takuni Wacinyesni (Hopelessness)Kakije (suffering)Sil Okihanpi (sexual abuse)Wiconi Kokipa Pi (Fear of Life)Alcohol/Substance AbuseOkahpa (Transgenerational Transference of Negativity)Okatkabiya- Permeating Negative Influence (e.g. physical abuse or alcohol abuse in the home)Nagi Cola Ounye (without a spirit)
22 Releasing the TraumaBy 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
23 Transcending the trauma Transcending is healing and moving beyond the traumaNo longer define yourself in terms of the traumaSurvivor instead of victimIn 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
24 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
25 Traditional Lakota Interventions 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)
26 Provide Cultural Teachings Provide Spiritual FoundationPromote the LanguageSupport of familySupport of SobrietyListening and CaringEldersWaziliyaUtilizing Traditional and Spiritual Healing (e.g Inipi)Wocekiye- Appealing to the Creator
27 LAKOL WICOHAN NA WOOPE OGNA UNYANPI HEHAN, OYATE KI TANYAN WICONI 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.Empowering Lakota youth and families to improve the health, culture and environment of our community, through the healing and strengthening of cultural identity.