September 18 2012 Native American Newsletter
This is a crazy day for me. My latest article is about the facts on Historical Trauma as it pertains to the indigenous people of North America. It is an introduction to the concepts and facts and it is what literally set me free. It set me free from a prison of shame. I was born ashamed and lived in shame and could never figure out why. So as I lived the years of my life, instead of behaving badly and then feeling shame, the deeply intrinsic shame I felt led me to match it with outward behavior that was congruent. You see, it was backwards. It was double torture then because it was shame upon shame!
Here is the article.
"Gateway to Healing - An Introduction"
Historical Trauma, ask your family, friends, or colleagues what this term means and I bet very few would be able to answer. Even as a highly educated Native American woman, I was unable to provide a definition for historical trauma until very recently!
I am happy to say that I have done much healing and have been able to understand and release the deep anger and fear that was the root cause of all that unbearable shame. I have done the work. Now I work assist others.
The reason I say this is a crazy day for me is that I just saw and heard Mitt Romney refer to me with such disgust and disdain that it immediately brought back deep feelings of shame. Fortunately, I was instantly able to recognize it and know that he was demonstrating his own madness and not mine! Whew, that was close! I’m finished with shame, honey!
I will let Mr. Romney know the following. I am not voting for President Obama “no matter what” but because his record on Native American policy is like none other in history (article to come). Also, I am still “dependent upon government” because the Bureau of Indian Affairs has a legal and political relationship with Indian tribes as provided by the Constitution of the United States, treaties, court decisions and Federal statutes. As such, I am not free to make decisions about my own land. And sure, I believe that my ancestors were “victims”, but now I feel empowered to rise above that experience and lift others up from where I stand now. However, I cannot do that alone. I also believe the government has a responsibility to finally treat me fairly and equally. And lastly, I do not pay income tax on my reservation due to policies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (see above).
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As president it would be Romney’s “job to worry about those (my) people.” And with his heart and mind in the right place he can help us to “take personal responsibility and care for their (our) lives." It’s called healing, sir.
I boldly share these thoughts with you here because together, your interest in Native American culture, my article on Historical Trauma, and the unfortunate words of Mitt Romney lead us to recognize that something is still not quite right.
I don’t feel so crazy after all.
Until next time,
Peace & Blessings
Jacqueline Olivia Pina, Native American Editor
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