42 comments on “A GENERATIONAL PAIN

  1. ((HUG)) to your Grandfather and a Blood promise that the nightmare of the ‘schools’ is ended…and will REMAIN ended.
    If anyone tries such a plan again, they will be taking a suicidally foolish risk.

    I am learning Blackfoot starting with this: http://www.glenbow.org/blackfoot/teacher_toolkit/index.html
    Husband and I are discussing plans for a Native Linguistics University, where all languages of the People will be preserved and Taught to anyone of any age, starting with infants via a Daycare operation as an option for parents.
    Please tell him the Nightmare is ending, and the Dream is just beginning.
    We can always say ‘yes we will’ one more time than those against us can say ‘no you won’t.

    • I will and sure he will appreciate the words and concern.
      Grandfather is a soft spoken man, but also one forged and
      tempered by life and experiences – he has and will endure,
      maybe bloodied but remains unbeaten.
      Philosophical in his approach to life and finds pleasure in
      even the simplest of things, that’s a gift all should have and
      share as he does.
      A linguistics university sounds like a great idea, a repository
      in a manner of speaking akin to seed banks.
      With fluency in language comes a better understanding of tradition
      and ceremonies, it is a safeguard that also instills pride and
      confidence and why it is always targeted by those seeking to
      undermine a people.
      English while some may argue is expressive also lends itself
      readily to manipulation and evasion – we’ve learned that the
      hard way.
      Whatever a persons native tongue is I believe a responsibility
      exists to know and speak it – being bi or multilingual should
      be a pursuit as well in my opinion, but that’s for each to decide.
      Esperanto as a universal language has been promoted for decades
      but never gotten off the ground – I think merit exists in such
      a universal language as a secondary one, but never at the expense
      or exclusion of one’s native tongue.
      It strikes me as odd that people will adopt a holiday like Cinco de Mayo
      and yet complain if person doesn’t speak English, though it is an obvious
      asset to speak the language of the country you reside in.
      I knew a Honduran family, good, hard working, industrious people – in
      conversation once the man told me he didn’t encourage his children to
      speak Spanish because they were Americans now.
      I still think that is a mistake as being bilingual if nothing else would
      be an asset for them.

      • Your Grandfather sounds like a woderful Man, who has obviously had a very good effect on you and others around him. Anyone would be Lucky to have such an Elder in their life!
        The simplest things in life, are often the best, like bannock, twisted round a green stick, cooked over a fire. SO imple, & so good! It’s the ‘little things’ that remind us what it is to live, I would say.
        What you say about the plan hubby ad I have, is exactly our line of thinking. Language is inextricably linked to Cultural identity, and if we are to be Sovereign, then we must preserve and re-cultivate the languages of the Nations, and along with, the cultural aspects and understanding.

        I can see his point, but also, agree with you about that he should teach his kids Spanish. Esperanto, I have heard of, and perhaps in a few millenia it woll come to the fore, but such things have their own time to happen, and sush is not decided by people.

      • Grandfathers and grandmothers are the anchors, their children and grandchildren
        roots they have sent forth – threads in the fabric of a generational cloth speaking
        to the continuity of a people.
        Too often the “little things” are overlooked, those who do suffer a loss they may
        never understand or appreciate.
        I think perhaps the first tenet of sovereignty is to be sovereign in your mind and
        spirit, the second is the ability to feed yourself – ripples from a pebble cast upon
        water sending out ever widening circles.

      • I agree, and our kids, well, we’re short of grandparents, but we’ve some Elders who can fill the gap and will be happy to. πŸ™‚
        The little things are so easy to lose track of…look at the world today, with this ‘disposa-culture’, right?
        Sovereignty must begin with the Person and grow from there, yes! Otherwise, it’s only a sham of it.

      • Future anthropolgists, archeologists, and historians will refer to this
        age as the styrofoam layer where waste ruled. They’ll be puzzled by the
        significance of artifacts they uncover.
        If there is nothing to tell them different they will assume that the
        opulence of the wealthy and celebrities speaks to an elite priesthood.
        But whatever conclusions they arrive at they will mark it as an age of
        decline, a time when empires began to crumble, and the disease generated
        by that laid waste to entire civilizations.

      • True, but there will also be the (rekindled) oral history, and recorded otherwise of The Nations to fill in some gaps for them.
        But those future folks will dountless wonder about this age of sheer stupidity.
        In a possible bit of History-Karma, perhaps all that will remains shall be preserved in Museums of the Nations??

      • Preservation shouldn’t be left to others, and the subject makes me think
        of the Wounded Knee museum – looted, burned, and destroyed by AIM during
        WK2.
        Irreplaceable artifacts up in flames, some no doubt sold or hidden away
        in the private collections of “warriors”.
        Worse case scenario at some point in a distant future what would remain
        of us, our language and traditions, would be warehoused in the Smithsonian
        along with the bones of our ancestors. Entirely unacceptable, nor should it
        be some roadside “museum” tourist trap along Rte 66.
        Our future and preservation efforts are something we must own.
        Oral history and sign talk are among those things an effort is being made
        to rekindle, that’s a good thing – but in this day and the technical future
        to be wisdom to record in the written word as well.

      • The dim future you speak of, is exactly what we seek to prevent, and will fight against using every tool available.
        Including, odd though it might sound, a ‘stonehenge’ for the Nations, which will serve as a ‘rosetta’ stone and recorder of Written and Sign.
        Our kidss, and others, in each generation are ‘little fires’ to be kindled, and who will continue this work after us.

        It WON’T be easy, but that’s why we’re building such a large company….to be our biggest aid towards doing this.
        We’re not building it for ‘corporate glory’ or ‘wealth’. πŸ˜€
        With all the data recording tech available, Learning/Teaching resources will be created, as many of those coming Home WANT to teach/raise their kids Traditionally, but lack only the information.
        As for AIM…they’re sun is setting quickly and the long, dark shadows reach for them.

      • What haunts me in a manner of speaking are the languages that have been lost,
        there’s no way to recover short of the invention of time travel.
        Not just the language but the cultures, and not just in this hemisphere but
        globally.
        To me it is a profound loss whether others agree or not – a lesson driven home
        and an alarm sounded as fluency has declined over the years.
        Any effort to address that is not only laudable but essential.

      • I shaare your concerns and it haunts me as well, quite a lot.
        Time travel, well, not an option….all we can do is carefully collect and preserve what’s left and build from that.
        For us, and other Indigenous People’s, this has been a Near Extinction Level Event…so, we can only proceed onward as if it’d been a natural cataclysm rather than one brought by man.

      • The Jewish people say ‘Never Again’…we must also, and must remain Vogilant vs such ever coming again.
        a LOT of blood was shed and lost, we must Learn from that.
        We came close…too close, but where there is Life, there is Hope.
        That we managed to avoid extinction says a LOT about us.
        “That which does not kill you, makes you stronger.”
        Truer words there are not regarding the Nations and what we have endured.

      • And guard against the recurrence of such an event – and a good analogy,
        we’re fortunate not to have gone the way of the dinosaurs.

  2. More than troubling to watch and contemplate. Andrew is suffering from an induced PTSD. His comment about the 60s and 70s was surprising to me. Did some research and had no idea that the boarding schools went on that long. How is it? The road to hell is paved with the best intentions?

    • I don’t think other than our own people have anything more than a
      cursory knowledge/understanding of the extent or longevity of the
      boarding schools, the lingering impact they have.
      Understandable if they aren’t or have relatives who are survivors.
      What should be considered when viewing this video is that of the
      sheer numbers, literally tens of thousands over decades with
      many living reminders – a little difficult to “get over it” when
      that is the case and taken in context with everything else that
      took place.
      Wounds that are too fresh to heal. We can’t live in the past, no
      one can -we need to move forward, but at the same time never forget,
      and as a people say never again.

    • I don’t think the intentions were the best. Canadian boarding schools are even more recent. In the US, now, they are “reformatories” and “ranches” . Euphemism is something English language has plenty of.

      • I don’t believe so either and take it as a figure of speech
        in an attempt to some how make some sense of the senseless
        when the options are so very limited.

      • Canadian schools of this type persisted until 1996, and were meant to absolutely exterminate Native culture. I’ve been looking into the ‘fathers of confederation’…they compare to Hitler.

      • Canada, the U.S, Central America, South America, Europe, or anywhere indigenous
        people are to be found have all followed the same approach of either extermination
        or a complete assimilation – the boarding schools may be gone now but not their
        legacy nor the pursuit of different approaches.
        The planet is teetering on the verge of environmental and economic collapse and yet
        the games continue – historically this has led to war.
        Wars which are being conducted regionally now through proxies, that ultimately doesn’t
        lessen the threat – they may actually increase it.
        If a global war occurs it will be at the core about dwindling finite resources. It is
        this finite nature of resources that places the nations in a precarious position – we
        have some and others want them – we understand perfectly what that means.
        Wind, solar, and other alternatives aren’t on the corporate table yet, they want to
        extract every last penny they can from fossil fuels before taking over the production,
        supply, and access to alternative energies – that is a looming fight that will be of
        epic proportions.
        As people attempt to conserve fuel expenditures by reducing driving time and opting for
        more energy efficient vehicles the talk of a tax on miles driven is gaining momentum,
        among those promoting the idea is Bill gates of Microsoft infamy, and the question can
        only arise what does he expect to get out of it?
        Gates, who also wants to enact an hourly fee for time spent on the internet.
        Overt in your face Greed and gluttony, it’s what corporate capitalism is about in this
        day and age.
        Imminent and public domain laws as if they haven’t teeth enough as it is will be given
        additional ones filed to razor’s edge.
        At some point a majority, a large one at that, are just going to have stop playing
        the game, going along for the ride as though nothing else exists, nothing else is
        possible.

      • This is why we’re building our company.
        To fight vs all that, and we will fight on ANY & EVERY level…including belly-to-belly with knives and our own teeth if need be.
        In short, we’re going to break their teeth, and hunt these would-be Tyrants to Extinction.
        All they can do is kill us, fine, we’re willing to die for The People of The Nations and extending to other Indigenous Nations also.
        We will draw the Line…and back it with every weapon we can to make sure the softbellies learn they have dared too much and their time is Over.

      • When I was 5 years old, that was in 1954, I lived in Great Falls, Montana. Schools were segregated. White and Indian.

        There was ONE Black family, with one little 5 yr old boy. Big town meeting with the school board. Representatives from all sides.

        What to do? Build and staff an entire school for one child? This was seriously considered … I heard the grown-ups talking. My family knew his through his Father and my step-father both working for the U.S. Forest Service.

        I offered to go to this school, too. I thought of some of the advantages. No standing in lines. No waiting your turn. No extra furniture cluttering up the space. Maybe we could run inside? How could we talk out of turn, if there were only the two of us? Sounded OK to me.

      • There have been and continue to be issues related to the education
        of indigenous children in Montana and elsewhere.
        A model for those seeking “higher education” would be Dull Knife
        College in Lame Deer.
        There are several rez’s in Montana, none of them affluent, none
        of them getting a fair shake – one of them is the Flathead rez at
        St. Ignatius on whose behalf a suit was filed in 2011 or2012 for the
        abuses that took place both pyhsical and sexual of children at the
        “academy”, not only by priests but the now infamous Ursuline Nuns.
        The town of St. Ignatius lists it’s population as less than a thousand,
        needless to say the cup of opportunity isn’t overflowing – especially
        for any of our people.
        The rez there is a dot on the map, a lesser known gulag that as a result
        recieves less of everything. The further out of site you are the farther
        out of mind – held in a holding pattern and going nowhere, and like the
        concept that built the reservation system the emphasis is to exist in
        a rictus of inertia, the absence of opportunity, and ultimately poverty
        and dependency.
        I can’t imagine what being a lone black child in the fifties would been
        like in any location in this country – but I have to smile at your
        willingness to attend the same school.

      • I was actually only 4 when I started school, I turned 5 during the year.

        My Step Papa was Muscogee, so he was also an odd-man-out at work, though it was not so obvious as being black. Papa just kept some things entirely separate from work and other public interactions. He would not have befriended this other man, at all, if he were not competent in his profession.

        Papa had several advanced degrees in engineering and forestry. He was a genius teacher … taught me to use a slid-rule, then, at age 4, also to say the alphabet backwards. He was no saint, however. He also taught things much darker and was very heavy handed, especially with my brothers. Babies, really. He hit babies.

        My mother met him when she was 14 through her older brother, Ten years later she travel alone from Florida, with me and my two little brothers, to Montana to marry him. Anyway it is all very tangled and complicated.
        ***
        That little boy and I ended up in the same kindergarten class at the same white elementary school.

        His home is the only home I visited … and then only once (there is a pretty good story in that clandestine visit)

        My mother, unable to reveal who or what she was, was completely isolated in Montana.

        I walked alone through the snow tunnels to school, leaving my two little brothers with mother.

        I was relatively free, but no one else was. The bigger world was trapped in wrong ideas and rules and work. It wasn’t fair that I should be able to smile and have fun when everyone else was miserable. Shame became a part of me.

        My family was trapped in a dark converted basement surrounded by mountains of snow that became grayer and dirtier as the weeks and months passed. Spring was a time of cold mud. The gloomy rooms became filled with cigarette smoke which darkened the walls from white to a dingy grey-yellow. Mother dreamed of the home she left. A wooden house surrounded by 9 acres of Springtime orange blossoms. She dreamed of Prairie Creek, filled with fish and alligators. Madness moved in to keep my Mother company.

        I didn’t pay so much attention to the large inequities. Instead. I learned to fly.

      • Inequities were so much a part of my life as a child they were almost
        impossible to ignore.
        But I did my own flying running through the forests and turning my
        imagination loose as children do.
        Imagination in my mother’s case turned to hope, and a longing for
        something better, but she also flew at times – encouraged the games
        we would play, and often joined in.
        I remember times when we would be on horseback chasing each other
        whooping and laughing in an effort to count coup – kind of a mounted
        game of tag or dodge ball to avoid being touched…. and the woman
        could ride.
        A woman who deserved so much more than what life handed her, a not
        infrequent reality that crosses ethnic boundaries. Life givers
        that too often have the life sucked out of them.
        Makes me think of the song Learning to Fly by Tom Petty,
        at some point we all must learn to fly.

      • Well that seemed an almost happy song. I am sorry that you Mother is gone. We all miss our Mothers, no matter how old we are, or how long they have been gone, or even what kind of person they were. That life-sucking happens to men, too.

        Much of what you write, reads like poetry.

        With music, or just a drum, it would be (in my opinion) a better song that Tom Petty’s.

      • I kind of doubt I would have Petty’s success, so to avoid the embarrassment
        better to leave such things to him.
        It’s tough on a parent to try to be both mother and father, or father and mother,
        but more and more cross culturally becoming commonplace, add poverty into the
        mix and the hardships can be devastating.

      • Dunno. I read your words before I ever listened to him, even if he is famous. But then I don’t always do things in the same order as other folk. πŸ™‚

        Why would it be embarrassing to write straight to the heart lyrics? or poetry? You don’t have to share it. Well, maybe with your mother, or grandmother or wife. Maybe with an adult child. Or just save some notebooks for your grandchildren. Your words are often so beautiful, it is sad to not capture them, out of your replies, and comments, and use them to say what cannot be said, directly. Much cannot be told, only implied, and felt.

        You are, of course, right. Having nothing on barren land and being a single parent is horrible. In an urban setting, it is still horrible. Feeding your children nothing and nothing and more nothing kills something …. it is not just the body that starves … but you know this. I am sorry.

        Fairly, or unfairly, most us, me included, expect more of mothers than of fathers.

        People, in general, are more willing to help a single father. Perhaps, more often, for fathers to be single parents, there has been a tragedy, of the sort that invokes sympathy.

        Those same people tend to look at a single mother as either competition (for everything), and/or as having something wrong with her, some defect, that caused her to have ended up in a situation between a rock and a hard place. In reality, sadly, it is inner strength and fortitude that caused her to decide that she could, probably, better care for her children, alone. Or at least try.

        You are too right. Unrelenting hardship is crushing. Then when health starts to go ….

        The children, who didn’t ask to be born small and helpless, begin to think it is their fault, that something is wrong with them to have ruined their parents lives so completely 😦

      • “Fairly, or unfairly, most us, me included, expect more of mothers than of fathers.”

        I’m inclined to think children have the right of reasonable expectations of their
        parents – like a stable caring home with respect for all as the byword.
        I don’t believe that includes all the latest tech devices, those ridiculously
        high priced running/jogging shoes, or a sixty inch flat screen tv in their room.
        If a parent can do that and chooses to it’s their choice, but I don’t see it as
        an entitlement.
        Parents want the best for their children, at least the majority do – but a part
        of that best is spending time with them, being there for them, letting them know
        they are loved and an important part of the family.
        However single parenting is viewed, and though it may seem counter intuitive, sometimes
        it’s better than the alternative, and rather than attempting to stigmatize a single
        parent communities should attempt to also be there for them.
        As you say, we don’t choose when, where, or the conditions we are born into, even in
        the worst of poverty or the best of affluence the quality of parenting is what it comes
        down to.
        Fortunate are those with a good parent or parents whether they have that flat screen tv or
        not, even more so if they also have grandparents in their life.

        As to writing, poetry, and notebooks, I leave it to the internet as an archive and poets.

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