As a Master’s student at MSU Bozeman (Native American Studies), holding a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, and who selectively counsels: intergenerational historical trauma, native mental health, healing and suicide are my main research subjects. I continue a submitted and approved research study on causal factors of native suicide. As a survivor, my focus and interest is both personal, academic and professional in all these things, as these are issues that have affected my family, myself and many of the people I know, directly or indirectly. I am adamant and passionate about decolonization, healing and the return to balance, and while I do employ appropriate psychology methods, traditional methods, which automatically would then include the spiritual, are those I believe are most important for the revitalization and resurgence of indigenous peoples everywhere.
Photos are screenshots from a live broadcast of events at Standing Rock on 27 October 2016.
Thoughts on Standing Rock
Just think. What the militarized police did, with the go-ahead of the governor, and the look -away by federal agencies, the president of the USA, the blockading, would have meant the starvation and death of what tribe they were intimidating then attacking. This is the same mentality, tactics and reasons, by majority, white people have done to Native Americans since they came over from Europe. Attacks and bullying for land, for resources, without regard for native lives. The taking whatever they want, the raping of women, of children, bashing in babies head, the killing of elders and humiliation of warriors. No regard for native natives, no respect for the sacred. At Standing Rock, in North Dakota, they are only one step away from the most extreme but their actions prove it is not (and never has been) far from their minds as a possibility. As a solution.
500 years of violence, murder, abuse, torture, rape and pillage, while they laughed, brought instruments to play music, and made records and later photos to commemorize the slaughter. They were given medals for their slaughter, such as at Wounded Knee, which have NEVER been rescinded by the US government. Every meter of ground is soaked with the blood of natives, and every meter of ground is native land stolen. They don’t want to remember what they did to get what they have now. They don’t want you to remind them, even though we are still suffering from it, the systems, the injustice, the institutions and assaults from all sides that generation after generation has endured.
Every native is marked by the violence of generations, and you remember it. Your spirit, your heart, your mind, even your flesh somehow. You remember the screams of children and women running for their lives, only to be cut down, and sometimes cut up. Of the elders who willing sacrificed themselves, though none ended up surviving. They weren’t allowed, unless it was for trophy. To assauged some guilt, to say, “See we’ve saved the man, and killed the Indian.” And then they made up fabrications of their genocidal ways, making themselves heroes, brave explorers, courageous settlers carving a destiny on wilderness and savage lands, taking it from savage people for the glory of their God, their newly incorporated country, and for their children who learned theft, and privilege and innocent arrogance at their knee.
We see this happening again at Standing Rock, the spirit of cruelty, greed and stupidity although protectors of water and life have gathered to defend future life for all our children, even theirs. And the People are brutalized and traumatized, yet remain resilient even as their heart aches and they suffer humiliation. We who watch and witness also feel their pain, and the pain of all thepast as a terrible burden that might weight us down into immobility, into hopelessness, or self-destructive behaviors. We have to be there for each other. And here we are.
That being said…Calling those who want to help in a Trauma Support Project for those who can’t be at Standing Rock:
As a counselor and grad student specializing in historic trauma and native mental health, trying to help where I can, I’ve talked to a couple of people at sacred stone camp about doing a support site with others, as certainly those watching and witnessing are also been traumatized in a nondirect but affective way as well, especially though who’ve already or are experiencing issues personally. Those who responded: Linda, Emily and Michael, all felt it would be a good idea. Michael Knudsen, who I talked with earlier this week, since I can’t answer the call for more counselors on scene until January or February, said get it going, they’d vet as possible then help share when they could.
Any sociologists, counselors, psychologist, similar or others in traditional ways would like to join in this project? Inbox me, please. It’s needed now more than ever. Even trained, I’ve found myself stressed, more easily irritated when there is apathy and disregard, more difficult to concentrate and little interest in the mundane while thoughts are all towards Standing Rock and other areas where relatives and allies are enduring constant threat. Please share with any who might be interested and let’s do this.