WOMEN ARE DYING TO BE THIN!
Most Native Americans have to piece together their Indian-ness from many different sources. I know a female Indian who took an Indian studies class at Stanford and learned more about the history of Fort Peck [a tribal reservation in northeastern Montana] than she had by living there!” says Dennis Norman.
Most of the social problems that characterize American Indian life may be rooted in historical trauma. Norman notes that rates of suicide, poverty, domestic violence, injury by accident, substance abuse among youth, and unemployment are all significantly higher among American Indians than among the general population. “How do you best explain all these social, economic, and health issues?” he asks. “No one can contest that there is historical trauma; the question is what does it mean, how is it manifested now, and what can we do now?”
“The social and economic conditions we are seeing—the violence, suicide, addictions, endemic poverty, alcoholism—are to a large extent the symptoms of trauma,” Abadian says. “If you attack symptoms separately without attending to the underlying condition, other symptoms will show up. Right now, in many parts of the world, people are doing bits and pieces of what needs to be done to address poverty and violence. But because they come from particular specialties, few take an integrated approach, and almost no one also recognizes the incidence and the effects of trauma. Monetary assistance, housing, better schools, reforming political and legal institutions, are all essential for improving native people’s lives. But all these efforts will fall short if you aren’t also channeling resources into addressing trauma.
In one often repeated story, a Native American girl in Oklahoma raises her hand when the teacher asks, “Who here can speak a foreign language?” She replies: “I can. English,” incurring the teacher’s disapproval. Yet for her—indeed, for all Native Americans—English is a foreign language. The power of their native tongues has lingered all over the land, as shown in rivers such as the Chattahoochee, Monongahela, and Susquehanna. Rarely do newcomers rename rivers; they merely mangle the old pronunciation. For instance, in Ojibwe misi-ziibi means “Great River.”
K. David Harrison, The Last Speakers (via perugu—-annam)
I love how the colonizers managed to almost never get any tribes names for themselves, just their names for other tribes. And even then, they screwed up…