April 13, 2018
Great People Doing Great Things: Helping Fathers Find Their Way Home
Albert Pooley is on a mission to help Native American fathers. When working as a career counselor, he soon noticed that many of his male clients were struggling — not just in their lives but by what he identified as inadequate social services provided by the government. To help, Pooley who is half-Hopi, half-Navajo and father of six (as well as a grandfather to sixteen) founded the Native American Fathers and Families Association, which works to train and empower Native American men. To date, he’s helped thousands of fathers.
Lutheran Indian Ministries is thrilled to have a relationship with this inspiring man and his amazing organization.
Fighting for Justice for Missing and Murdered Native Women
Some college students spend their spring break partying in the Caribbean. This student walked 80 miles in four days to help Native American women.
Marita Growing Thunder, a freshman at the University of Montana, walked 20 miles per day across the Flathead Indian Reservation from March 25 to 28. The goal of her “Save Our Sisters” walk? To raise awareness about violence against Native women.
The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement, or #MMIW, spans across the U.S. and Canada, where indigenous women face disproportionate levels of violence. According to the CDC, in the U.S., indigenous women and black women are nearly tied for the demographic with the highest murder rate. Homicide is the third leading cause of death for indigenous women ages 10 to 24.
GrowingThunder, who is a member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine Sioux tribe, had two aunts who were murdered. “I haven’t met a family who this hasn’t impacted,” she told Montana Public Radio.
Also in #MMIW...
Legislature proposes finding out why a staggering number of Native American women in Minnesota are murdered or go missing
Mysti Babineau recalled stories of missing and murdered Native women between tears Wednesday morning in front of the Minnesota House Public Safety Policy and Finance Committee, concluding with what might have been the most remarkable part of her experience: “My story is not rare,” she said. “Many of my sisters and many of my relations go through this ... and oftentimes when we do speak up and when we do speak out we are not heard.”
Addressing Childhood Trauma
Historical Trauma is an issue we take seriously at Lutheran Indian Ministries and one we address through our Sacred Ground, Celebrate Recovery, and Naffa programs.
Childhood trauma has become a hot topic, thanks to Oprah's involvement in addressing childhood trauma in Milwaukee. Although much of the focus in the media has been about urban, inner-city, African American communities, the situation is the same on Indian Reservations and in Native communities in cities. Their histories are similar. Now, add the attempted decimation of the Native peoples and the use of residential schools and you see where the intergenerational trauma started.
Below are a number of articles speaking to the importance of addressing childhood trauma.
This 5-part article (especially the first 4 pieces) addresses childhood trauma and the current situation in Milwaukee. Native Americans are not addressed in this article, but if you were to replace "loss of industrial blue collar jobs" with "removed from their homes and placed on reservations/had their children taken from their homes and placed in residential schools," the article could just as well be about Native communities across the country.
If you really want to dig deeper, this article highlights a number of studies that have been done regarding historical and cross-generational trauma.
Your Weekly History Lesson:
"We heartily recommend Union and a good agreement between you, our brethren," an Iroquois leader admonished the colonists. He advised that they follow the example of the Iroquois who had established a well-organized system of self-government, codified in the Great Law of Peace, with both a central council and checks and balances that protected individual freedoms.
Caroline Weldon is worth remembering as an activist who set out alone to try and help Sitting Bull and his people. While her story as a white woman attempting to guide indigenous affairs is not uncomplicated, what she did was rare both in terms of 19th century activism and for a single woman in the Victorian era. Her courage is reflected in the nickname the Sioux gave her: “Woman Walking Ahead."
On a small island north of Concord, New Hampshire, stands a 25-foot-tall granite statue of Hannah Duston, an English colonist taken captive by Native Americans in 1697, during King William’s War. Erected in 1874, the statue bears close resemblance to contemporary depictions of Columbia, the popular “goddess of liberty” and female allegorical symbol of the nation, except for what she holds in her hands: in one, a tomahawk; in the other, a fistful of human scalps. A century after killing and scalping ten Native Americans, she was memorialized in what might well be the first public statue of a female in America.