Journey to Wellness in Indian Country
"Once you know something, it's your obligation to do something"
In the 19th century, the American government decided the most efficient way to rid itself of Native American culture - and Native Americans - was to round up the children and send them off to residential schools.
The repercussions of those decisions are felt every day in Native communities and by Native people.
Tadd Johnson is the University of Minnesota’s first Senior Director of American Indian Tribal Nations Relations and Director of the Tribal Sovereignty Institute. He says anytime a group of Native folks are in a room and he asks whose life has been affected by the boarding schools, almost all hands go up.
Rebecca St. George, Duluth's City Attorney, said every time a group of Native women are in a room, and someone asks whose life has been affected by violence against Native women, hands go up.
While the solutions to much of what Senator Mary Kunesh calls "resounding pain" remain with tribal communities themselves, there is an important role for non-Native people, allies or not: take a critical look at what you've been taught - and what you haven't been taught - and do the work to educate yourself.