NCLUDE 4.16.21 The impact of Indian boarding schools on family relationships Session 2
Hello All, Welcome back to our second session. I am Charlie Foster (Assistant Vice Chancellor for Inclusive Student Excellence and the Director of OASIS) and I am happy to introduce our speakers.
Dr. Melissa D. Zephier Olson is a Yankton Sioux tribal member and a descendant of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes. She holds a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy where she gained a deeper understanding of better engaging culturally diverse individuals and families into therapy. She received her PhD in Human Sciences- Specialization in Global Family Health and Wellbeing from the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies and is a new alum of UNL. She is a published author and has presented at numerous national and international on minority health disparities, Indigenous studies, and behavioral counseling for culturally diverse populations. She had the extreme honor of building strong and collaborative research partnerships with many Northern Plains Tribe Knowledge Sharers in exploring Indigenous family relationships.
Ted Hibbeler is a member of the Iron Shell family (Maza Pon Kesh Ka Tiospaye) from the Rosebud Sioux Nation (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) in South Dakota. He was raised in Hastings, Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln with a B.Sc. in Education. He spent 10 years teaching and coaching high school students at St. Francis Indian School in South Dakota. Ted earned a MA in Teaching English from Hastings College. He has worked as the Director of Native American Education for the Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD) for the last twenty years. He earned a Master of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision Degree from Arizona State University. Ted moved back to Nebraska in 2020 and is currently the Tribal Extension Educator for the Extension Division at UNL.
This session is over the impact of Indian boarding schools on family relationships.
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[00:00:01.389]Guess I should unmute.
[00:00:04.050]Welcome back from our break.
[00:00:07.380]We'll start our second session.
[00:00:09.240]Give folks maybe a couple of seconds to join us.
[00:00:21.160]I'm Charlie Foster, Assistant Vice Chancellor
[00:00:23.620]for Inclusive Student Excellence,
[00:00:24.920]and Director of Oasis.
[00:00:26.910]I am happy to introduce our speakers for this afternoon.
[00:00:30.720]Dr. Melissa D. Zephier Olson
[00:00:33.440]is a Yankton Sioux tribal member
[00:00:35.770]and a descendant of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes.
[00:00:40.850]She holds a master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy,
[00:00:44.570]where she gained a deeper understanding
[00:00:45.875]of better engaging culturally diverse individuals
[00:00:49.359]and families into therapy.
[00:00:51.820]She received her PhD in Human Sciences
[00:00:54.400]with a specialization in Global Family Health and Wellbeing
[00:00:58.270]from the Department of Child, Youth, and Family Studies,
[00:01:00.940]and as a new alum of UNM.
[00:01:04.460]She is a published author
[00:01:05.670]and has presented at numerous national
[00:01:07.970]and international conferences
[00:01:09.850]on minority health disparities,
[00:01:12.040]Indigenous studies, and behavioral counseling
[00:01:14.520]for culturally diverse populations.
[00:01:16.820]She had the extreme honor of building strong
[00:01:19.960]and collaborative research partnerships
[00:01:21.740]with many Northern Plains tribe knowledge sharers
[00:01:25.142]in exploring Indigenous family relationships.
[00:01:30.190]Ted Hibbeler is a member of the Iron Shell family,
[00:01:33.610]Maza Pon Kesh Ka Tiospaye,
[00:01:36.570]from the Rosebud Sioux Nation, Sicangu Lakota Oyate,
[00:01:42.604]in South Dakota.
[00:01:44.730]He was raised in Hastings, Nebraska
[00:01:46.760]and graduated from the University of Nebraska
[00:01:49.420]in Lincoln with a B.S. in Education.
[00:01:51.970]He spent 10 years teaching
[00:01:53.610]and coaching high school students
[00:01:55.807]at St. Francis Indian School in South Dakota.
[00:01:59.870]Ted earned an M.A. in Teaching English
[00:02:02.810]from Hastings College.
[00:02:05.150]He has worked as the Director of Native American Education
[00:02:09.170]for the Phoenix Union High School District
[00:02:12.433]for the past 20 years.
[00:02:15.020]He earned a Master of Education
[00:02:16.920]in Educational Administration and Supervision Degree
[00:02:20.160]from Arizona State University.
[00:02:22.560]Ted then moved back to Nebraska in 2020,
[00:02:25.410]and is currently the Tribal Extension Educator
[00:02:28.116]for the Extension Division at UNL.
[00:02:31.388]Please join us as we welcome our speakers.
[00:02:45.620]Good afternoon, everybody.
[00:02:51.440]Ted, would you like to start
[00:02:52.660]with the prayer and the blessing for today?
[00:03:00.470]You gotta unmute yourself, sorry.
[00:03:08.890]Good afternoon, my relatives.
[00:03:11.560]As tradition, when native people get together
[00:03:17.870]we always ask an elder to come in and say a small prayer
[00:03:22.350]so that things can go well
[00:03:23.810]in whatever it is that we're doing.
[00:03:26.380]So in keeping with this tradition,
[00:03:28.040]I'm going to be saying just a small prayer.
[00:03:36.160]Grandfather Tunkashila, we come before you this afternoon
[00:03:41.180]in our humble way,
[00:03:43.990]and I want to give you thanks
[00:03:46.610]for all your gifts and blessings
[00:03:48.770]that you have given us this day.
[00:03:52.620]And I ask if you could please bless us this afternoon
[00:03:57.510]and open the minds of everyone that are here,
[00:04:00.100]and also the hearts of everybody that's here
[00:04:02.850]so that we can learn from one another
[00:04:05.850]on how to become better relatives.
[00:04:09.310]And I ask if you could please look after and bless
[00:04:13.647]the descendants, the families of all those
[00:04:16.710]who suffered from the tragic,
[00:04:21.440]the tragedies of our boarding school experiences.
[00:04:24.960]I ask if you could bless them and help heal them
[00:04:29.430]in all that they do.
[00:04:33.019](speaking indigenous language)
[00:04:39.927]Thank you, Melissa.
[00:04:47.690]You're on mute.
[00:04:54.970]I need a little technical assistance
[00:04:57.130]with presenting it, sorry.
[00:04:59.460]If someone could help me
[00:05:01.010]so I'm not sharing my presenter view.
[00:05:06.320]You stop sharing.
[00:05:08.090]Is that better?
[00:05:10.360]You are perfect.
[00:05:11.950]Okay, now I can't see my screen.
[00:05:21.019]Okay, well, I just wanted to start
[00:05:24.206]by recognizing the place that we are presenting from.
[00:05:29.200]I always want to recognize that the native land
[00:05:32.330]that we are on was the homelands of many different tribes.
[00:05:38.546]And namely in Nebraska, it was the Pawnee,
[00:05:42.817]the Ponca, the Oto-Missouria,
[00:05:47.190]Omaha, Dakota, Lakota,
[00:05:49.380]Arapaho, Cheyenne, Kaw People, and Winnebago.
[00:05:54.980]And just to kind of get a sense of who is here today,
[00:06:02.200]we wanted to kind of understand
[00:06:05.870]what role you are playing.
[00:06:07.497]If you're a student or grad student,
[00:06:10.978]a postdoctoral fellow,
[00:06:14.420]or if you're just a community member,
[00:06:17.930]just if you could answer that question for us.
[00:06:20.350]We'll give you a few minutes.
[00:06:45.930]So it looks like we,
[00:06:47.270]the majority of our audience is staff
[00:06:51.740]and some undergrad students,
[00:06:53.710]graduate students, and faculty.
[00:06:57.142]Nice to see that we have community members and alumni.
[00:07:03.640]Okay, and secondly, just to kind of better understand
[00:07:09.680]that we're representing many different cultures,
[00:07:13.859]just to get a sense of what you identify.
[00:07:58.163]It looks like we have a lot who identify White,
[00:08:03.620]some African-Americans, Latinos,
[00:08:07.600]and unfortunately, zero Indigenous people,
[00:08:13.360]which is interesting.
[00:08:16.130]We know we have two people here, at least.
[00:08:23.590]And then this is something that I've always
[00:08:26.420]wanted to know in my presentations.
[00:08:30.140]Have you learned about Indian boarding schools
[00:08:32.490]in your education at all?
[00:08:58.450]So, Ted, it looks like we've got 56%
[00:09:02.680]that have learned about boarding schools,
[00:09:06.230]and 44% have not.
[00:09:10.640]Surprisingly, in a group of 50 students,
[00:09:13.900]undergraduate students, I would only have
[00:09:15.780]like two or three people
[00:09:16.920]that would raise their hand in a presentation.
[00:09:18.940]So that's, it's good to see that,
[00:09:20.738]you know, over half are represented.
[00:09:28.380]Okay, just to start.
[00:09:33.783]So in my research, I did a lot of research
[00:09:37.770]over Indian boarding school systems.
[00:09:39.850]And the reason for that was because
[00:09:43.240]I am a daughter of someone who went to a boarding school.
[00:09:48.220]And my grandfather also attended boarding schools.
[00:09:52.720]So I was very interested in learning
[00:09:54.370]more about it as a whole
[00:09:56.860]and how it impacted families,
[00:09:59.920]and to kind of also talk about the attachment theory,
[00:10:02.650]which was kind of my family studies lens
[00:10:06.860]that I looked at it with.
[00:10:08.760]And then the themes and some advocacy,
[00:10:12.220]some steps that we can kind of take
[00:10:14.010]to help Indigenous people as we go forth.
[00:10:19.350]So, Ted, I just wanted to kind of allude,
[00:10:22.620]or have you kind of jump in and talk a little bit broadly
[00:10:27.620]about your experiences at the boarding schools
[00:10:31.777]and just to kind of give a sense
[00:10:35.090]of your experiences at this time.
[00:10:39.360]Sure, thank you, Melissa.
[00:10:44.040]So my family is from the Rosebud Sioux Reservation,
[00:10:48.240]and it borders Valentine, Nebraska.
[00:10:50.310]I'm not sure if you know where that is or not.
[00:10:53.688]So when we were put on reservations,
[00:10:59.090]the United States government
[00:11:00.250]met with the different religious sects here in America
[00:11:03.270]and they gave land to the Jesuits, the Catholics,
[00:11:09.660]on our reservation and the Episcopalians.
[00:11:13.910]So they were the first to come
[00:11:15.550]onto our reservation and establish schools.
[00:11:18.040]And so my mother, Minerva Iron Shell,
[00:11:25.270]went to St. Francis Mission School when it first opened up.
[00:11:30.070]And she used to tell me stories about...
[00:11:35.450]She was one of the older children of 12,
[00:11:39.990]and she would tell me that BIA police,
[00:11:44.060]which were our own people,
[00:11:48.605]would come in wagons, horse and wagons,
[00:11:51.840]and they would pick up the children
[00:11:53.550]and they would take them to the school,
[00:11:58.530]St. Francis Indian School.
[00:12:00.480]And they wouldn't, the parents would not get to see them,
[00:12:05.120]or grandparents would not get to see them
[00:12:07.890]until the Christmas break.
[00:12:10.980]So there was a lot of,
[00:12:16.250]there was a lot of trauma
[00:12:19.640]when her little brothers and sisters were taken,
[00:12:23.675]as well as she.
[00:12:25.140]But my grandmother Iron Shell
[00:12:29.930]hid a couple of my uncles and aunties
[00:12:34.990]that were younger than my mother.
[00:12:38.083]So she would hide them so that they wouldn't have
[00:12:42.010]to be picked up by the BIA police
[00:12:43.740]to take to the St. Francis Indian School.
[00:12:48.880]But inevitably, they had a census.
[00:12:52.070]And so they knew that all the children were not present
[00:12:56.447]from the Iron Shell family,
[00:12:58.000]so they would go back and they would find the children
[00:13:01.150]and they would take them back.
[00:13:03.510]My mother talked a little bit about how
[00:13:07.917]they were not allowed to speak Lakota,
[00:13:13.120]our traditional language.
[00:13:14.650]And one time when she was in high school,
[00:13:18.700]she was caught speaking the language and a nun,
[00:13:23.770]we had Jesuit nuns and Franciscan,
[00:13:28.510]excuse me, Jesuit priests and Franciscan nuns,
[00:13:32.336]and one of the nuns slapped her across the face
[00:13:36.080]for speaking the language.
[00:13:37.440]And my mother slapped her back in defiance
[00:13:41.639]of what she had done to her.
[00:13:44.030]And basically stood up to her at that time, which was,
[00:13:49.440]you could get into a lot of trouble if you did.
[00:13:53.300]And consequently, she did.
[00:13:55.020]And so from that,
[00:14:01.820]I was, she was brought up,
[00:14:05.880]taken away from her traditional beliefs and spirituality
[00:14:10.950]and made to understand and practice the Catholic religion.
[00:14:18.110]And so from that, I was sent to a boys Catholic school
[00:14:27.287]and I was raised with Franciscan nuns and Jesuit priests.
[00:14:34.100]And it was a interesting experience for me
[00:14:37.830]because I, right away,
[00:14:44.130]understood that I was in a place
[00:14:47.240]that I didn't belong.
[00:14:48.930]And, you know, I was...
[00:14:52.030]We had to wear certain uniforms
[00:14:54.932]and we had to go to mass every morning
[00:15:00.540]and we had to pray the rosary
[00:15:04.126]whenever we went on field trips and so forth and so on.
[00:15:08.750]So it's kind of a forced assimilation with religion
[00:15:15.125]that started with,
[00:15:16.940]actually it started with my grandmother Iron Shell
[00:15:19.540]way back at the turn of the century in the 1900s,
[00:15:22.960]and then went on with my mother
[00:15:26.670]at St. Francis Mission School,
[00:15:27.877]and then it went on with me
[00:15:30.330]at St. Cecilia's Catholic School.
[00:15:32.050]So I went through as far as I could go,
[00:15:36.920]and then I left the school when I was 15 years old
[00:15:42.880]and went on to public school.
[00:15:46.380]And then once I graduated from high school,
[00:15:49.300]then went back to the reservation
[00:15:53.798]and started to practice our traditional Lakota beliefs.
[00:16:00.830]So I'll stop there, Melissa, thank you.
[00:16:17.543]I think I have my technical issues worked out.
[00:16:21.584]So just to kind of keep going with, I guess,
[00:16:27.860]to kind of get a better sense of the overall background
[00:16:32.270]of boarding schools.
[00:16:40.360]So you kind of think about
[00:16:41.600]what he talked about a little bit about
[00:16:43.210]the cultural identity loss
[00:16:44.927]that a lot of them experienced.
[00:16:50.390]That would be the physical aspects
[00:16:52.060]like you can see in the pictures.
[00:16:53.450]You know, they went to the boarding schools
[00:16:55.430]wearing their clothes and they had their long hair,
[00:16:58.500]but then you see it in the next picture
[00:17:00.334]where your, they look very different.
[00:17:04.521]You can see that they
[00:17:06.872]don't have their clothes anymore
[00:17:09.810]and there's short hair,
[00:17:11.330]which was, you know, in a sense,
[00:17:14.150]devastating for many Indigenous people
[00:17:16.040]because they would only cut their hair at times of,
[00:17:19.980]you know, mourning, really traumatic times in their lives.
[00:17:24.090]So that was really hard for them to experience that.
[00:17:27.450]They lost their cultural beliefs,
[00:17:29.680]their spiritual beliefs.
[00:17:33.010]They didn't have that anymore to...
[00:17:38.270]They were kind of taken those away.
[00:17:40.604]And he talked a lot about the traumatic experiences,
[00:17:45.470]the discipline that they would experience
[00:17:49.800]by being taken away.
[00:17:52.450]And if they were,
[00:17:57.150]if they spoke their language,
[00:17:58.940]they would get disciplined.
[00:18:00.570]Or, you know, just falling out of line or breaking rules,
[00:18:05.680]they would get disciplined.
[00:18:07.400]But namely their family relationships were eradicated.
[00:18:12.310]Duran and Duran stated that one of the most
[00:18:14.550]devastating policies implemented by the government
[00:18:17.060]were boarding schools,
[00:18:18.560]which were primarily designed
[00:18:20.260]to destroy the fabric of Native American life,
[00:18:22.720]the family unit.
[00:18:24.980]So children in the boarding schools were all taught
[00:18:27.570]that anything that they had, indigenous, tribal
[00:18:32.160]that was forbidden and bad.
[00:18:34.850]They operated for decades with the motivation
[00:18:37.670]of that saying at the top,
[00:18:39.567]"Kill the Indian and save the man."
[00:18:41.970]But the biggest impact was how it created
[00:18:45.450]generations of children
[00:18:46.980]with cultural identity, psychological,
[00:18:49.420]and emotional struggles.
[00:18:51.740]The intergenerational trauma from this
[00:18:53.720]is felt from the guilt, shame, hopelessness,
[00:18:56.220]and overall cultural identity loss,
[00:18:57.770]which can transmit to the future generations.
[00:19:14.857]Okay, one second.
[00:19:16.350]I'm still not...
[00:19:28.610]If you select slide show at the top there.
[00:19:41.020]And then from current slide, underneath.
[00:20:16.700]Would it be helpful to close out of this
[00:20:18.800]and then reopen the slide show?
[00:20:24.820]You're muted, Dr. Olson.
[00:20:29.740]Ted, do you wanna kind of talk a little bit more
[00:20:31.690]about your family experiences
[00:20:35.260]while I try to figure this out?
[00:20:41.200]Well, one of the things that I wanted to bring forward,
[00:20:45.430]I guess I can do it now,
[00:20:46.610]is that, you know, Indigenous people,
[00:20:49.620]we all have our own philosophies
[00:20:53.330]and our own worldviews based on our creation stories.
[00:20:57.450]And so one of the things that were forbidden
[00:21:06.310]by us was to practice our traditional ceremonies
[00:21:10.790]our traditional prayers,
[00:21:11.880]of course, our language.
[00:21:13.900]And it had a tremendous impact on us
[00:21:17.850]and still does, you know?
[00:21:19.340]Because a lot of our ceremonies
[00:21:25.080]were forbidden by the United States government
[00:21:27.070]in the late 1800s.
[00:21:29.360]And so if we were caught practicing, for example,
[00:21:34.240]our inipis, our sweat lodges,
[00:21:37.113]then the BIA agent would penalize us
[00:21:40.980]by holding back our rations from the government.
[00:21:47.350]So, you know, we were forced to go underground
[00:21:52.410]with a lot of our ceremonies.
[00:21:55.290]And thankfully, a lot of our elders did exactly that.
[00:22:02.440]They went underground and practiced the ceremonies
[00:22:05.820]up until basically 1978
[00:22:07.855]when the Indian Religious Freedom Act
[00:22:09.970]was passed by Congress.
[00:22:11.260]And that, basically the federal government says,
[00:22:14.050]okay, we're sorry we did what we did.
[00:22:17.040]Now you can practice your traditional beliefs.
[00:22:20.090]Well, by that time, a lot of our traditional beliefs
[00:22:25.280]had been, I guess, the right word,
[00:22:29.810]had been forgotten by a lot of our generations
[00:22:33.860]that had been through the boarding school experiences.
[00:22:37.310]And so we had to actually go back and rediscover,
[00:22:41.830]or return to our traditional ways and our ceremonies.
[00:22:44.860]And that that's taken us a while.
[00:22:47.630]You know, like I told you, after high school
[00:22:50.840]I went back and, you know,
[00:22:52.640]we have ceremonies like our our Sundance
[00:22:55.700]and our sweat lodges
[00:22:57.840]and our healing ceremonies and so forth and so on.
[00:23:00.370]So we had to basically relearn those ceremonies.
[00:23:04.920]And thankfully, we still had a lot of the elders
[00:23:07.995]that knew how to do these things.
[00:23:11.240]And so, you know, we're just, you know,
[00:23:17.050]it's taken us a good 30, 40 years
[00:23:22.020]of just getting back to knowing what
[00:23:26.380]we knew before we were placed in boarding schools.
[00:23:29.440]So we're getting to that point.
[00:23:33.038]And are you ready, Melissa?
[00:23:38.740]Do you want me to continue?
[00:23:47.480]Dr. Olson, I can share if you would like
[00:23:49.950]and just advance when you tell me?
[00:23:52.610]Yeah, that would be great, sorry.
[00:24:12.350]Okay, so if you could go to the attachment theory slide,
[00:24:17.530]that would be the next one.
[00:24:21.890]Okay, so now because I am a family studies researcher,
[00:24:29.560]I chose to integrate and focus indicators
[00:24:32.186]of the attachment theory.
[00:24:34.690]And I don't know if many of you are familiar
[00:24:37.310]with the attachment theory,
[00:24:38.390]but it is a theory that,
[00:24:40.201]it's an approach that kind of looks at how children
[00:24:44.860]at a very young age attach to their caregivers.
[00:24:48.659]So, you know, their parents are are the ones
[00:24:52.150]that are kind of responsible to teach children
[00:24:57.170]how to experience really stressful situations
[00:25:00.510]or uncomfortable situations.
[00:25:04.610]So that emotional regulation.
[00:25:06.770]And then, you know, they teach them
[00:25:08.150]how to trust that parent
[00:25:10.310]and then trust people in their lives.
[00:25:13.090]But I kind of took this in a broader context.
[00:25:16.580]So I integrated those different indicators
[00:25:20.710]of the attachment theory
[00:25:22.550]with those who have attended boarding schools.
[00:25:26.910]And it has been applied to different cultures
[00:25:29.620]in Brazil and Europe and South Africa and other countries.
[00:25:38.090]But it builds on these five principles
[00:25:41.440]where, you know, our caregiver provides us
[00:25:44.620]with comfort and security
[00:25:45.920]to be able to experience our everyday experiences,
[00:25:49.438]both good and bad.
[00:25:51.950]And we develop trust in that caregiver.
[00:25:54.760]They help us feel comfort in trusting others.
[00:25:58.520]Through the good and bad, we experience emotions
[00:26:00.790]and our caregivers help us regulate and understand
[00:26:03.700]those new and possibly stressful interactions.
[00:26:06.770]So this method of emotional regulation
[00:26:08.890]and coping with stressful times
[00:26:10.980]is dependent on a caregiver's culture.
[00:26:14.060]And that culture defines how the emotions, attachments,
[00:26:18.270]and coping with stressful situations will look.
[00:26:23.533]So this all then creates kind of the, I guess,
[00:26:27.650]the mental model in our minds
[00:26:29.670]of the neurological connections in our brain,
[00:26:33.360]which helps create how we see ourselves and others
[00:26:39.070]in the relational and emotional times in our lives.
[00:26:44.580]So I kind of applied this when I was thinking
[00:26:47.050]about my research and in doing my research.
[00:26:52.686]If you could go to the next slide, thank you.
[00:26:57.290]So the common themes that emerged from the interviews,
[00:27:02.150]which I did 31 interviews with knowledge sharers,
[00:27:07.061]23 of them were female.
[00:27:09.970]And the mean age of the the survivors
[00:27:13.640]who attended boarding schools was 64.
[00:27:16.420]And for descendants of the survivors, the mean age was 47.
[00:27:22.290]And I wanted to interview the knowledge sharers
[00:27:25.330]who went to boarding schools
[00:27:26.910]and those that descended from a survivor
[00:27:30.260]so I could identify the intergenerational
[00:27:34.310]which were prominent from the boarding schools.
[00:27:38.460]And I was able to interview three generations
[00:27:42.202]of family members.,
[00:27:44.669]And through the Indigenous research methodology
[00:27:47.990]which I also used,
[00:27:49.260]I gave them the space and the ability
[00:27:51.480]to expand on any of the responses
[00:27:53.240]and allow them to tell any story
[00:27:55.510]that they wanted to explore.
[00:27:57.340]But these were the findings:
[00:27:59.080]Trauma was the biggest theme
[00:28:01.213]that came out of the research, unfortunately.
[00:28:05.192]Individual coping through emotional suppression,
[00:28:09.510]finding family through the chaos,
[00:28:12.610]self-worth and personal strength of the knowledge sharers.
[00:28:17.000]So to kind of give a better context of why those themes
[00:28:22.332]were important to me
[00:28:23.780]in the research and my dissertation,
[00:28:26.330]I kind of brought out some quotes
[00:28:28.560]that came through the research.
[00:28:31.520]So you can go to the next slide.
[00:28:35.650]So through the trauma, a survivor said,
[00:28:39.947]"It was always like waiting to be rescued
[00:28:41.927]"and nobody ever came.
[00:28:43.267]"It was always having to think about, you know,
[00:28:45.483]"I have to go with, just go with whatever's going on,
[00:28:48.827]"like being condemned."
[00:28:52.060]And a descendant talked about how
[00:28:55.927]"My mother would leave.
[00:28:58.397]"My mother would drink and leave.
[00:29:00.977]"She would leave with people in cars
[00:29:02.917]"and we didn't have vehicles.
[00:29:04.307]"So one time me and my two brothers
[00:29:06.087]"chased that car all the way about,
[00:29:07.827]"probably about 10 miles.
[00:29:09.937]"We chased that car and we lost it.
[00:29:12.427]"We turned around and went home.
[00:29:14.157]"But it was things like that that I remember about her,
[00:29:16.737]"you know, gut-wrenching."
[00:29:23.790]The next theme that was important
[00:29:27.740]was the emotional suppression that happened
[00:29:30.360]for a lot of survivors
[00:29:33.270]that went to boarding schools.
[00:29:35.840]To kind of get a sense of why, I guess,
[00:29:38.218]emotional suppression happened,
[00:29:43.712]a lot of survivors talked about how they wanted,
[00:29:46.732]just in order to not get in trouble
[00:29:49.684]you know, they didn't wanna show their emotions.
[00:29:52.260]They didn't want to step out of line in any way
[00:29:56.910]because if they did express those kinds of things,
[00:30:00.940]they, you know, it was kind of used against them
[00:30:04.148]or they would get punished, if you can imagine that.
[00:30:08.570]But a survivor said,
[00:30:09.707]"This one time, my sister and I dared each other
[00:30:12.057]"when I was about 10 years old and she was 12
[00:30:15.097]"to tell my mother that we loved her
[00:30:17.487]"and both of us were scared.
[00:30:19.517]"We dared each other to be the first one
[00:30:21.257]"that would go tell her, I guess.
[00:30:23.557]"We wouldn't have to do the dishes or something.
[00:30:25.747]"But it was a really big deal
[00:30:27.318]"to tell my mother that I loved her.
[00:30:29.747]"Because there was no affection in my home.
[00:30:31.667]"There was no I love you.
[00:30:33.567]"There were no hugs.
[00:30:35.007]"My mother didn't know how.
[00:30:36.317]"She just didn't know how."
[00:30:40.350]A descendant said that "So much of that has been broken
[00:30:42.887]"for us as children.
[00:30:44.117]"There's really no one to blame anymore but our own selves.
[00:30:47.057]"I would say, 'How do I take care of this within me?
[00:30:49.990]"'How do I nurture my own self,
[00:30:52.292]"'even though my mom or dad, or my grandparents
[00:30:54.607]"'weren't capable of nurturing, how do I nurture myself?'"
[00:31:00.350]So these kinds of things were really hard
[00:31:02.130]for a lot of the knowledge sharers that I talked with
[00:31:06.750]because they weren't really taught
[00:31:08.220]how to experience their emotions.
[00:31:10.540]They weren't really taught how to handle
[00:31:12.960]stressful situations in the boarding schools.
[00:31:17.060]It was, you know, in essence, really militaristic
[00:31:21.950]and they didn't have people that they could talk with
[00:31:26.990]when they were having really hard times.
[00:31:29.600]So it was a very stark contrast to where we are now
[00:31:33.020]and how mental health is supported.
[00:31:40.010]But it just was not in a lot of those schools.
[00:31:44.634]If you go to the next slide.
[00:31:46.330]Another thing that I found was that the,
[00:31:48.920]because there was a lot of...
[00:31:53.600]Children were taken from families.
[00:31:55.840]They didn't have their parents.
[00:31:57.100]They didn't have who was supposed to be the person
[00:32:00.730]that nurtured them through the schools.
[00:32:03.080]So they would have to kind of find somebody
[00:32:06.310]to identify as family through that kind of,
[00:32:10.870]that those traumatic times.
[00:32:13.580]A survivor said, "At the boarding school,
[00:32:15.047]"I was crying for my mother
[00:32:16.387]"and my older sister would be there.
[00:32:18.807]"And she would come and comfort me and hug me and hold me.
[00:32:21.597]"And, you know, she was like a mother to us
[00:32:23.357]"because she did that with my younger brothers too.
[00:32:26.117]"She would comfort them."
[00:32:29.090]In that certain situation,
[00:32:31.850]siblings were placed in the same school.
[00:32:34.970]And, you know, they were able to be with each other.
[00:32:38.430]Sometimes the boys and girls were in different dorms
[00:32:41.930]so they wouldn't be able to see if, you know,
[00:32:44.840]if they had their brothers or sisters,
[00:32:46.320]they wouldn't be able to see them
[00:32:49.700]because they were in different dorms.
[00:32:51.500]But in that certain school
[00:32:53.360]they were able to see each other.
[00:32:56.640]A descendant talked about how "In my childhood,
[00:32:58.597]"I was really close to my brothers.
[00:33:00.427]"One of my brothers, but we weren't healthy though.
[00:33:03.937]"Like we drink and we partied a lot
[00:33:06.047]"so the family dynamic at home
[00:33:07.787]"was work hard and play hard.
[00:33:11.617]"You know, as long as we went to school
[00:33:13.477]"and went to work and did what we were supposed to do,
[00:33:16.337]"we were pretty much able to do what we wanted."
[00:33:20.285]I mean, so that kind of demonstrates
[00:33:21.728]that her closest relationship was her brother,
[00:33:24.870]but also the dynamic of coping through,
[00:33:32.740]you know, the negative coping methods
[00:33:35.970]of dealing with things was, unfortunately,
[00:33:39.190]a lot of the knowledge sharers
[00:33:40.860]talked about how, you know,
[00:33:43.083]they went to substances to deal with those hard emotions
[00:33:46.560]because they weren't taught
[00:33:47.700]how to deal with the hard emotions.
[00:33:53.750]Self-worth was a really big theme,
[00:33:56.770]which I saw through a lot of the interviews.
[00:34:00.560]A survivor talked about how
[00:34:02.157]"I was worried every day for things
[00:34:03.937]"that I shouldn't have been worried about.
[00:34:06.587]"Because I was a kid, I was a boy.
[00:34:09.147]"But when you see things,
[00:34:11.437]"see something that tells you
[00:34:13.227]"that there is sin and your childhood as a boy
[00:34:15.937]"comes and goes and you become a man.
[00:34:18.577]"I've had things happen that were so,
[00:34:21.237]"they were totally different
[00:34:22.287]"that I don't think anybody experienced there.
[00:34:25.177]"So I'm not sure anybody has."
[00:34:29.470]The descendant talked about how
[00:34:30.757]"I'm the keeper of the house.
[00:34:32.417]"I'm the one that keeps the fire lit.
[00:34:34.747]"I make sure there's enough water.
[00:34:36.657]"I'm that person in our family unit.
[00:34:38.757]"Like I said, I'm my mom's hero.
[00:34:46.082]"I'm my mom's hero.
[00:34:47.817]"I never want it to be her hero.
[00:34:49.287]"I just wanted it to be how my mom
[00:34:51.257]"was saving me and my younger siblings."
[00:34:56.070]So if you go back to that last side on self-worth, sorry.
[00:35:01.680]So in that case, you know, there are a lot of times
[00:35:04.010]where these children were seeing things, experiencing things
[00:35:08.768]that, as a child, isn't, you know, ready to see.
[00:35:18.290]And then that picture,
[00:35:19.123]I just wanted to kind of say
[00:35:21.550]that that was taken at a boarding school
[00:35:23.930]here in Nebraska,
[00:35:25.070]which is only about an hour and a half
[00:35:28.770]from Lincoln, Nebraska.
[00:35:31.190]And I didn't know existed until
[00:35:33.840]I started doing my research.
[00:35:36.801]And go to the next side.
[00:35:42.600]And the personal strength was something
[00:35:44.430]that I observed as a researcher
[00:35:48.320]A survivor said, "I've heard older women, older than me,
[00:35:51.117]"that don't speak or understand our language,
[00:35:53.077]"and they live right here.
[00:35:54.187]"I said, how come you don't understand, you know,
[00:35:56.127]"it baffles my mind that they made that choice.
[00:35:58.797]"They made a choice
[00:35:59.637]"and basically that's like survival
[00:36:01.357]"because they had to.
[00:36:02.727]"Our parents having to learn to try to be White,
[00:36:05.017]"having to try to live that lifestyle now didn't work.
[00:36:08.117]"We will never be White, never another nation.
[00:36:10.227]"We will always be as we are.
[00:36:11.967]"We need to be how we are, our own selves.
[00:36:14.607]"We can't try to be another,
[00:36:16.087]"try to follow another way.
[00:36:17.987]"I think a lot of people are starting to realize that
[00:36:20.007]"because I see a lot of young men
[00:36:21.437]"starting to sing in our language
[00:36:23.864]"and starting to find somebody
[00:36:25.337]"that's going to help them learn how traditional things are.
[00:36:27.960]"They are seeking that
[00:36:29.047]"and I feel really good about that."
[00:36:34.250]And then a lot of the descendants just kind of, you know,
[00:36:38.020]respect of the people.
[00:36:39.350]You know, that, I guess, their parents or their grandparents
[00:36:43.370]who went to boarding schools
[00:36:44.970]because they saw their strength,
[00:36:47.150]they saw their tenacity,
[00:36:50.070]and they never thought, oh, poor, pitiful me.
[00:36:53.122]It was like, life can be hard and you got to step up
[00:36:56.260]and you gotta do it.
[00:36:59.290]The next side.
[00:37:03.610]Just to kind of talk about steps forward quickly
[00:37:07.488]because I know we're almost out of time here.
[00:37:11.170]But there is a a bill that was introduced
[00:37:14.070]to try to start the conversation
[00:37:16.820]of helping survivors who went to boarding schools.
[00:37:20.900]It was introduced in the fall,
[00:37:22.860]and sadly it got rejected.
[00:37:25.639]But they're going to reintroduce it here in the spring.
[00:37:29.590]But it's, it's meant to understand the, you know,
[00:37:33.210]fully understand, research the trauma that was experienced
[00:37:37.411]at the schools in the United States.
[00:37:40.470]And then provide some kind of healing and, you know,
[00:37:43.846]reconciliation for all of the trauma that they experienced.
[00:37:48.190]So the National Native American Boarding School
[00:37:52.810]Healing Coalition is set up
[00:37:55.110]and has started that conversation.
[00:37:57.040]So, you know, if you wanna help,
[00:37:59.155]they are a wonderful foundation
[00:38:01.710]that's been created to do that.
[00:38:07.420]To just to kind of show currently
[00:38:11.670]how many are actually enrolled as in,
[00:38:16.460]I guess, it's in higher education.
[00:38:19.170]This is, you know, national enrollment rates.
[00:38:27.250]Or this may be the UNL.
[00:38:28.590]I'm not sure, but just to look at
[00:38:31.253]that there are exceedingly very low numbers
[00:38:35.280]of Indigenous students going to college,
[00:38:39.625]and then even less going to graduate school.
[00:38:44.390]Very, very low numbers.
[00:38:51.500]And then just to kind of illuminate the,
[00:38:55.510]at UNL, our faculty,
[00:39:00.740]that this is the representation
[00:39:03.470]of Indigenous as faculty at the university here in Lincoln.
[00:39:08.780]Not very many.
[00:39:12.110]And then the next side is the staff.
[00:39:14.460]So the office and support, or research positions.
[00:39:21.976]It's a little bit more,
[00:39:23.790]but it's still very low numbers.
[00:39:31.300]So kind of some suggested steps to, you know,
[00:39:34.420]what can you do to help
[00:39:36.840]if you know Indigenous people.
[00:39:39.890]That we need to understand
[00:39:41.500]and recognize the land that they inhabit
[00:39:45.860]and recognize their spiritual beliefs
[00:39:48.470]and that they need to heal.
[00:39:51.300]And some of that healing hasn't happened
[00:39:54.710]for a lot of people.
[00:39:57.780]And that's, if you can understand, you know,
[00:40:01.619]the traumatic experiences from the schools
[00:40:04.060]that they went to.
[00:40:04.893]There's a lot of mistrust towards schools
[00:40:08.940]and government and, you know,
[00:40:12.010]others outside of their culture.
[00:40:15.520]There's a lot of fear.
[00:40:17.150]And there's, you know, just as we're experiencing
[00:40:20.290]a lot of racism towards Asian groups right now,
[00:40:28.770]there's still a lot of racism experienced
[00:40:31.002]by Indigenous tribes.
[00:40:34.300]That was something that a lot of knowledge sharers
[00:40:37.230]talked about how, you know,
[00:40:38.540]they can't walk through Walmart
[00:40:40.470]without being followed by staff or something.
[00:40:44.440]And they, or they're treated differently at restaurants.
[00:40:48.740]They're not waited on, they're not, you know.
[00:40:51.900]So they, someone talked about how I couldn't,
[00:40:55.140]we had to go to a restaurant that we knew
[00:40:58.090]that we'd be treated well.
[00:41:00.090]So a lot of racism and fear still experienced.
[00:41:04.030]And, you know, Indigenous people are still
[00:41:06.470]that hurt little child that went to those schools
[00:41:10.490]and had trauma.
[00:41:12.300]So that act, hopefully that policy act
[00:41:16.220]will help restore some of those, that trauma.
[00:41:20.310]So next slide.
[00:41:24.610]So these are some resources that I kind of included.
[00:41:27.730]The Boarding School Healing Coalition
[00:41:29.460]is a great foundation that is starting that
[00:41:33.860]and trying to help boarding school survivors.
[00:41:36.990]The Native American Rights Fund.
[00:41:39.640]UNL does have a page dedicated towards native students.
[00:41:45.660]Lincoln Nebraska does have an Indian Center
[00:41:48.100]that does need a lot of help and assistance
[00:41:52.100]and advocacy to help their members.
[00:41:56.970]And then support the Missing and Murdered
[00:41:59.820]Indigenous Women's Advocacy
[00:42:01.470]to bring a lot of our women back.
[00:42:07.160]Dr. Olson, we have one question.
[00:42:10.340]How do you feel the philosophy of boarding schools
[00:42:13.120]to force assimilation shows up
[00:42:15.170]in education practices today?
[00:42:17.400]And then specifically,
[00:42:18.730]how can leaders create spaces that appreciate
[00:42:22.030]native and Indigenous ways of learning and leading?
[00:42:27.750]So there's a lot of conversation around how education
[00:42:34.368]is presented in a colonized lens.
[00:42:38.970]And, you know, I feel like if we're going to begin
[00:42:45.510]to try to help Indigenous,
[00:42:48.380]increase the amount of Indigenous students' education.
[00:42:52.670]And so, you know, they can kind of reduce the, I guess,
[00:42:58.950]that systemic mistrust,
[00:43:02.110]we have to really advocate for, you know,
[00:43:08.740]I know Ted talked about how, you know,
[00:43:11.010]we can have free tuition for Indigenous students
[00:43:14.520]to really raise those numbers.
[00:43:18.310]Having more spaces for understanding tribes, more education.
[00:43:25.930]Making curriculum on Indigenous education and history
[00:43:33.150]more of a requirement rather than an elective,
[00:43:38.380]I think would be a really, really big step forward.
[00:43:43.640]Ted, do you have any comments on that?
[00:43:51.830]Yeah, I would just reiterate what you said.
[00:43:55.190]Is what we're looking at is decolonizing
[00:43:59.820]the educational system,
[00:44:01.360]especially in our tribal schools.
[00:44:05.260]A lot of our tribal schools are state-run
[00:44:07.530]and they bring in the,
[00:44:10.070]what we call the colonizers' education.
[00:44:13.380]And so what we're trying to do
[00:44:15.050]is look at integrating Indigenous culture
[00:44:18.210]within our own schools on our reservations.
[00:44:23.000]And so that's kind of a movement that's going on now.
[00:44:25.750]So the word, the big word starts with D, decolonization.
[00:44:30.580]So what we're trying to do is decolonize our lives
[00:44:35.250]from everything that has been put upon us
[00:44:39.360]by the colonization of us.
[00:44:42.620]And so that's one of the big things
[00:44:45.950]is the university of Nebraska should look at,
[00:44:49.140]and I've suggested this to the chancellor,
[00:44:52.100]should look at creating a Indigenous Advisor Committee
[00:44:58.180]so that we can bring in Indigenous representatives
[00:45:03.530]from both the urban and the rural areas here in Nebraska.
[00:45:08.280]And so that they could come together with the administration
[00:45:11.574]and create programs and services
[00:45:14.540]that would kind of create a pathway to the university
[00:45:21.544]and increase enrollment retention and graduation.
[00:45:28.035]I have a question, one more question.
[00:45:29.642]There were no Native American students
[00:45:32.080]watching this program today.
[00:45:33.560]Do you think this topic's too painful for them to approach?
[00:45:42.030]I'll go first.
[00:45:46.060]Well, I don't think so.
[00:45:49.810]I think you don't have very many native students at UNL.
[00:45:53.760]I think there's only like 41 students out of 24,000.
[00:45:58.120]So I think UNL needs to really kind of do a 180
[00:46:05.230]in its relationships with tribal communities.
[00:46:08.580]And, you know, I'm not sure what the other ethnicities
[00:46:12.090]as far as the percentages go,
[00:46:13.770]but that's less than 1% of students.
[00:46:16.790]So you don't have very many.
[00:46:18.660]And what Melissa showed was the chart of, you know,
[00:46:21.740]I'm a faculty member here,
[00:46:23.870]but I think you got three other native faculties here
[00:46:26.680]in the whole university system.
[00:46:29.130]And so I think the university needs to do
[00:46:32.170]a really kind of a 180 regarding its relationships
[00:46:37.230]with tribal people.
[00:46:38.910]And I think that's one of the reasons
[00:46:41.290]you don't have any native people
[00:46:43.300]on this particular webinar.
[00:46:51.310]We have one last question.
[00:46:52.440]We'll try to get it in because we need to break up
[00:46:55.350]for the the next break.
[00:46:57.430]How can those of us who identify as White be allies,
[00:47:01.000]specifically for indigenous people?
[00:47:03.000]There is so much less information
[00:47:04.750]in the public discussion about this.
[00:47:06.470]There are different issues regarding Indigenous people
[00:47:11.010]and their situations.
[00:47:16.500]I think, you know, I'll kind of answers just quickly.
[00:47:19.630]That to kind of be an ally for Indigenous people
[00:47:24.846]is to just really better understand
[00:47:28.090]the accurate history of boarding schools,
[00:47:31.920]of the removal of tribes.
[00:47:36.827]The, I guess, the massacres that have happened,
[00:47:42.120]The Trail of Tears, Sand Creek Massacre.
[00:47:45.350]You know, a lot of these incidences happened
[00:47:47.710]that still affect groups as a whole.
[00:47:53.770]Really understand, if you're talking to someone,
[00:47:56.530]understand their background
[00:47:58.800]and what actually happened to their tribe.
[00:48:04.300]That can help us really understand, help others,
[00:48:08.250]other cultures understand what that person went through
[00:48:11.160]and what that tribe went through.
[00:48:14.970]Well, thank you so much.
[00:48:16.860]The information that you shared with us today was very rich.
[00:48:20.760]Thanks to both of you, Dr. Olson, Mr. Hibbeler.
[00:48:23.310]Thank you so much.
[00:48:24.610]Now, we have to take our break.
[00:48:26.950]Let's take 15 minutes to stretch,
[00:48:28.920]and we'll see you all back here at 5:30.
[00:48:31.000]Thank you so much for coming.
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