All My Relations: The Impact of Lateral Oppression in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities


MR. LYONS: This webinar is supported by the
Tribal Training Technical Assistance Center, so Project Directors are Lori Kind and Gloria
Guillory. The Contracting Officers from SAMHSA Maureen Madison and Jon Dunbar.
And again, I’d like to welcome you everyone here on the call. My name is Don Lyons. I
support the Training and Technical Assistance Center as a Coordinator.
It is my pleasure to welcome you to part two of lateral goodness webinar series.
And just a reminder, this is Part II, Part I is on our website which will be on the last
slide here and we can also put in the chat function for you. The first one looked at Lateral Goodness,
an Introduction and that’s recorded so you can watch that at your leisure. And also this
one will be recorded after we finish today and the third, Part III of the Lateral Goodness
webinar series will be aired on July 25th, at the same time.
So this is Part II and so we’re going to get rocking and rolling here so can I get that
next slide, please? All right. So, we’re going to open up in the
best way we know how in a good way to make sure we’re coming together in a good mind
and saying good words and really helping our people in a good way.
So I was asked to give the opening and I am going to do that and I’m going to sing a song
and the song is — I’m from the Great Lakes area,
and a Great Lakes area song for which inaudible
comes from that area and this is a sidestep song. And the song is something where we’re
inaudible. So, I’ll sing it a
couple times through to open us up in a good way.
(SONG IN NATIVE LANGUAGE) MR. LYONS: Next slide, please?
So it’s my great pleasure to introduce a good friend and mentor and person who’s, you know,
done wellness work in Indian Country for 20 plus years and has done some incredible work
for our people out in the community. Barbara Aragon lives in Sacramento, California
and has done this work for 20 plus years and is just awesome. So I could spend the whole
webinar introducing Barbara, but I think she has some words to introduce herself.
So without further ado, I’m going to pass it over to Barbara Aragon. Welcome Barbara.
MS. ARAGON: Thank you, Don. I appreciate you inviting me to be a part of this webinar series.
I sat in on the one last time with you and Connie and it was great to have a good foundation
to build on. Like you said, my name is Barbara Aragon.
I’m calling in from Sacramento, California from my home office and I’m Laguna Pueblo
in so I was born in Albuquerque and I’ve lived both on my Pueblo and on my reservation.
But most of my life, most of my professional life, you mentioned the years, has been working
out of California and working with the tribe in California and I always have to acknowledge
them because without them, I always say they talk me how to work in Indian Country and
I really appreciate their hospitality as I’ve lived in their region. And so that’s how I
got to who I am. I wanted to welcome everyone that’s calling
in and that’s on the webinar. This is — I’ve done a number of webinars for the Technical
Assistance Center and usually, I’m with two or three other people and it’s more of a talk
show setting and so because I’m here by myself, I’m really counting on all of the participants
when we get to the chat areas to really feed in your ideas and your comments as we move
along. So thanks and I’m really excited about looking at this important issue.
Next slide, please? First of all, the learning objectives and
as I said, this is a second in series and for this particular day, the focus is going
to be the same as lateral trauma and lateral violence.
And these are the learning objectives for this workshop or this webinar.
Important for us to all understand the connection between historical trauma, current trauma
and the stress response sequence. We’ll be talking about that today and I’d also like
you to share your experiences with that. And along those same lines that we understand
how the stress response cycle and how when it’s not completed, it can contribute to lateral
oppression and violence. I also hope that we understand the importance
of developing a personal and professional self-care and healing plan to reduce lateral
oppression violence and to promote that lateral goodness.
And I really love that term, which I know Don coined, lateral goodness. So many times
we focus on the negative side and it’s easy to look at that in our communities and we
see a lot of experience, a lot of lateral oppression and so to begin to really move.
And what do we do about it? And I think this webinar series is great jumping off point
for looking at in starting this conversation. So thank you.
Let’s see, next slide, please? Okay, all my relations. And so I wanted to
describe and to explain how the title of this webinar came about. And first of all, one evening, it’s probably
been a couple of years ago, there was a family that I go into the sweat lodge with here in
Sacramento or in the Fair Oaks area. And it is my family, my culture family in many ways
here in this urban area. But a couple of years ago, we went in and
the young woman with three small sons that she is really has seated the importance of
culture and tradition. And as we sat in there, just as Don ended the song, all my relations
when he offered, I can’t remember if it was a prayer or a song that ended and everyone
said, all my relations. And the little guy, he was probably about
five years old, he said all my relations, just like, you know, everyone else and then
I heard him whispering to his mother in the dark, what does all my relations mean, you
know. And I had to chuckle. And then, but it really set the tone for that,
you know, for that ceremony for me because I started to think about that as, you know,
as the four rounds progress and listening to the song and I thought, you know, he’s
asking something that he knows to say it but he’s looking for a deeper meaning. And it
made me look for a deeper meaning for myself. And as a result of that and as a result of
conversations with Connie and Don, we began to talk about lateral violence and lateral
trauma. And in that, and so, I did a series of interviews
and I’d hoped to have some clips of them but it just isn’t possible right now, but as I
go out in doing wellness work, I’d ask people if there was a term in their tribe that was
basically all my relations which is what we look at if we look at the closer term.
And a number of folks I asked people from the inaudible area near by me from Micmac,
you know, Anishinabe, and where ever I go, most folks would say, yes, we do. And sometimes
they’d know what it was and they would, you know, say it in their language. But I said well, what does that mean? And
there was a really common theme they would say, you know, it means that we are one but
with all living beings. And I remembered one young man who’s going
into ceremony this summer, 12 or 13 years old, and he began to name animals, he began
to name nature, and he said, that’s what it means, that we’re all one, that we’re all
related in everything that we do as human beings impact, you know, these other beings.
And so there was a really common response and so, you know what? I just lost my screen
here. But, let’s keep on going. So that’s how we started out with the term
all my relations and the interviews series. And so I’m just wanted to share that with
you. And can you go over the next slide, please?
Okay, and is this the balloon slide? Hello? MR. LYONS: Yes, this is Don inaudible. MS. ARAGON: Pardon me? I lost my —
MR. LYONS: No problem it’s a belonging activity. MS. ARAGON: Oh, okay, okay, the belonging
activity. One of the things I wanted to share with you
as a belonging activity is a song — it’s not a song, you don’t want me to share a song,
but a story. And it’s back up, so thank you.
And so one of the things I wanted, I grew up with was listening to traditional stories.
And there is a story I want to share just very briefly and I believe this story comes
from the Alaskan area and, in fact, I had told this up in inaudible and one of the women,
one of inaudible that worked with the tribal inaudible came and said, oh, I remember that
story. So can we have the next slide, please? And so the story is about an orphan boy and
the orphan boy lives with his grandmother and not only had he been orphaned, but he
was also blind. And his grandmother would often take advantage of him because he couldn’t
see what was happened. So often, she would have more food than she said there was and
she would give very little to him and then have more for herself.
And she would often chastise him and saying, you know, you should be helping me out more
or if you could see, be hunting for me, you would be fishing.
And the boy was filled with grief. He was filled with shame because he really believed
what his grandmother was true, that was his role, to take care of his elder, to take care
of his grandmother. And so after a time, he ended up — she sent
him out to shoot some bears that came about and it was a mother and three little cubs.
And if it came out, he wasn’t able because of his blindness, even though she told him
what to do and where to aim, he missed the bears.
And he was filled of shame and he went back and he cried himself to sleep thinking, you
know, what good am I? What good am I? You know, I can’t do what I’m supposed to be doing.
And then a loon came to him that night and the loon was his helper and the loon took
him on a journey and took him out to a black lake and he dove with him, this orphan boy
wrapped his arms around the loon’s neck and he dove with him three times deep into the
black lake. And on the third time, the boy could see.
His blindness was cured and as he looked around, he could see the beauty of the landscape.
He could see small animals. He could see so much but it never — it didn’t happen until
after he was able to dive multiple times. But as a result of that, the loon asked him
to look across the lake and as he looked across there, he saw his grandmother and she was
skinning bears. She was skinning the three bears which he had killed that morning but
she told him that he hadn’t. That’s where the story ends and it’s a story
that’s often confusing to people because people would say, what’s the ending? Tell me the
ending of that story. And I always ask them, what is it? What do you think the ending is
and asked them to write the end. But rather than looking at what the ending
is, I want you to reflect back on the grandmother. Think about the grandmother because we have
certain attributes, we have certain ways we look at elders and grandmothers in, you know,
in our communities. So I’d like you to, for the chat box, or to
raise your hand or what the process is, is to think about what are our views? When we
think about elders, when we think about the role of grandmothers, what characteristics
are of value that we associate with grandmothers and elders in our community?
So I want to give you just, you know, a couple minutes to start thinking about that.
You know, you may be a grandmother, you may have been raised by your grandparents. And
even if not raised, they might have had a big influence. Or maybe you didn’t have grandparents
for some reason. So I’m just curious about folks there about
what do we associate with grandparents and elders in our communities?
MR. LYONS: Barb you have one question. Debbie has put in wisdom.
MS. ARAGON: Oh, okay. Wisdom, so that we associate wisdom with our grandparents.
MR. LYONS: And Claire has put in grandmothers are giving, always take care of their children. MS. ARAGON: Oh, they’re always giving that
they take care of their children. MR. LYONS: Then we have a couple more there.
Loving, caring, protective. MS. ARAGON: And what’s being said in the chat
box I think is really important and really common, so thank you for those comments.
I think that is often the way we look at our grandmothers, our grandparents and what are
expected role or the values. But in this particular story, and stories
often tell how things come to be, but also they pass on value and I think the thing that
people contributed are very much the values that we attribute to grandparents.
So there’s a second question on the screen and it is, what do you think might have happened
to this grandmother? So that if we see them as loving, if we see
them as protectors and if we see them as there, you know, for their families, this traditional
story doesn’t really show that grandmother. And so my question to you all is, what might
have happened where those values aren’t a part of this story?
I think I’d say in there, how are those values distorted? What might have happened so they’re
diluted in the telling of this story? MR. LYONS: There’s a couple of responses that
are popping up, Barb. One is alcoholism is mentioned in there and then another person
that mentioned she may have been abused. MS. ARAGON: Okay. Okay. So, here are some,
without knowing grandmother’s story, here are some ideas, some suggestions about what
were, you know, what were factors that might have distorted those values that we mentioned
or that we think about? And alcoholism, there might have been abuse and what we know from
this story is that grandmother has experienced loss.
For some, you know, in the story as I heard it, the boy is orphaned, so I’m thinking either
her son or her daughter has, you know, died and that’s why she’s raising the grandson
since he’s an orphan. And so, there’s grief there. There’s a level
of grief that may be in place that is impacting grandma in this story.
Okay, any more before we move on? MR. LYONS: Yes, there’s quite a few that popped
up. MS. ARAGON: Okay.
MR. LYONS: I’m kind of catching up with them. She may have never learned to care for others
is one. She could have likely come to believe that through her own past experiences. Maybe
she was forcing him to care for himself. MS. ARAGON: Well there might have been some
of that wisdom in there that was mentioned before. Okay.
MR. LYONS: Resentful because the boy was thrust upon her and she didn’t want him.
MS. ARAGON: Ah, okay. MR. LYONS: There’s one that mentioning that
the grandma believed that here was not enough and bitterness and ego. And there’s a question,
and where are the boy’s aunts and uncles — MS. ARAGON: Ah, so there’s —
MR. LYONS: — who would help her with the boy?
MS. ARAGON: Good comments and good questions. MR. LYONS: inaudible that was also going to
say here treatment of him may be was intended to toughen him up. MS. ARAGON: Yes, and we do hear those comments,
you know, in our communities. And so we’re going to come back. So let’s keep grandma
in mind and some of the comments that were made.
So can we look at the next slide, please? So we started with a story looking at relationships
within our community. So, next slide, please?
Okay, so we’re going to look at types of trauma. First of all, the first one is collective
and historical trauma and you were already introduced in the past webinar about historical
trauma. And so, just if you weren’t on that webinar
or just for a refresher for this webinar is collective and historical trauma and these
are trauma caused by events that target a group of people and the effects are passed
down through generations. And so, what we know in our communities, many
times that that trauma, whether it be by war or whether it be by epidemic, by loss, by
forced movement that it has affected the collective and that it is being passed down through generations
from maybe four or five generations and it’s impacting today.
It also happens through ones identification with the historical experiences of his or
her family and community. Many of you, especially if you’ve been to some events where they talk
about historical trauma or you’re told stories by your ancestors around loss.
And you see, maybe, points where people will say, ah, you know, that’s when that massacre
happened there. Or oh, that’s where this happened, you know, my uncle, what’s happened to my
uncle. Or we see, oh, this is where by this curve, people driving and drinking, you know,
that there were a lot of deaths there. So when we look, it’s impacting us on a collective
level but also has echoed through, you know, throughout to our generation and now on in
a grandmother, issues that echoing. And that’s where I really think if this work
is important is how do I keep it, you know, from reverberating to my grandchildren to
great-grandchildren. So thank you. Our next slide, please?
And then the other term we’re talking about is social trauma. And social trauma are caused
by experiences with prejudice and discrimination on a personal level, as well as the, you know,
inequities and mentioned cultural and structural that are based on our race, our gender, sexual
orientation, our religious or our spiritual beliefs and our own, you know, physical or
mental, emotional abilities or disabilities. And so that is also trauma that we experience. And the other piece on here is that our nervous
systems react to prejudice and discrimination and that inequity. And so that when that occurs,
when we grew up with that and we’ve lived with that, when it’s been passed on from generations,
we can be stuck in survival mode. And so when you look at the whole fight and
flight response, the stress response and we’re going to talk a little bit how that cycle
works and that if it isn’t completed, we can really get stuck in a certain place and so
that our sense of safety and even the right to be here, the right to exist in this world
can be compromised and that’s part of the social trauma.
Next slide, please? So here’s the natural stress response sequence.
You know, and it’s really important, I mean to me, it’s really interesting because we
learn a lot from animals and I think it’s really appropriate as Native people because
they were our teachers. A lot of our stories, even the one that I just told, the loon showed
up as a helper, you know, here was the loon as a teacher.
And in many of our stories, our traditional stories, the animals came together and they
taught us how to be. And many of our stories said they were here before us and they were
planning for us to be here. They were, you know, they were already planning what we would
need, you know. But also, the stress response really a lot
of it you’ll see, if you have animals, if you have cats and dogs, you can see this in
them, and so, relaxed and at ease. And I have cats that wander. I don’t have
cats but I have them in my backyard. And with cats, they love to sleep. They love to be
at ease. And so cats will be there and they will be resting and I watch them in my backyard
sunning themselves and all of a sudden this bird will fly in and that cat is just ready.
That cat is ready. And that’s pretty much, you know, like a stress
response. We can be at ease and when we have a response, when we have a threat and we go
into that fight/flight, you know, or freeze. Our body already responds to it.
And we talk about, you know, the rush of adrenaline or cortisol into our system and so, we go
there very quickly without even, you know, thinking about what’s happening in our body.
We go to that place. And so, in the olden days, back in the day,
we might have had real physical outlets, so we might be in a fight or we might be hunting
or we might be doing something where we’re releasing, physically releasing, that, you
know, the adrenaline and the cortisol, and so that happens. But the natural sequence is that after that
has happened and after we’ve done, you know, released that then there’s been that discharge
and the cycle come back around and we can go back to ease. Then all of a sudden, ah,
we can relax again. Ah, okay, we went hunting, we went through that. We fled from whatever
danger, you know, we were experiencing and we’re back to our every day, you know, cycle.
Okay. Look what happens when that sequence isn’t allowed and let’s look at the last slide
— the next slide. Okay. So when that sequence isn’t completed
and we may be again at that relaxed stage, the threat comes, we go into fight or flight
or freeze and then if we don’t have an opportunity to release that, then we can get stuck there.
And so we can be stuck there in this place where we didn’t have an opportunity. Maybe
we’re in a situation where we could not flee. Maybe we weren’t allowed to fight back or
to protest what was happening to ourselves. And when we look at historical trauma that
might have occurred at the boarding school or it might have occurred when we were driven
from one place to the other, you know, under, you know, by forced removal. And so that release,
that discharge didn’t occur, and so we can get stuck into that fight, flight or freeze
and it hasn’t been released in our body. So, look at the next one.
And so tying this back to — if we get stuck there, and I always like this quote, it’s
from Sophocles, it says to the man who is afraid, everything rustles. And so to me,
it means if I’m living, and I grew up in a dysfunctional family and I always own that
because I need to do my work around that. So if I grow up in a family where there was
dysfunction, where there was domestic violence, I tend to be very hyper-vigilant. And so being
really aware of everything that’s happening around me, and in that case, everything can
seem like a rustle, something that might seem really innocent to someone else, if you’ve
grown up in those situations, then it can be really fearful and you’re looking for,
ah, what’s going to happen next, you know, and be living in fight or flight or freeze
mode. Okay, next we discuss about resolution. Next
slide, please? Here’s another chat. But what I know is that
there are things we knew traditionally that helped us move through there, that we have
cultural practices that took place when other — when people were out, whether they be part
of a war party or whether they be returning as a Veteran, you know, or went through a
transition time, there were cultural practices that helps us move through that natural stress
response. And I have some coming up on a slide, but
I’d like you to being to write in, do you know of anything for your particular culture
or indigenous culture that was in place that helped you move through — moved your tribe,
moved the people through the response cycle? I can’t see the chat box, so I don’t know
if folks are writing things in, but I hope you are. This is the exciting part for me
because I wanted to see what your ideas or what your practice is in this area.
And if we’re not getting any, we can move on to the next slide. Don, you can see if
there’s any chat happening. Hello? MR. LYONS: There’s been a few, I was on mute.
Yes, and Martin brings those — it looks like Martin Martinez, and I think I can get in
this all right here. There’s been other times, I think he was talking a little bit before. Story telling in tribal communities keeps
the stories alive today. So as tribal members, we all know that leadership who inaudible
this trauma to and inaudible the people have never said they will never repeat this again.
The Native leaders will never trust and relax with this country leadership inaudible.
I think that’s a good point to build off and looking at that and maybe the question would
be, does not looking eternal but looking internal of how do we develop trust within our communities
to take ownership of issues and really look at sustaining our self-care as a nation and
what we can do to address that? MS. ARAGON: Absolutely. And I think that does
— is connected to when we look at the stress response, so that unless we’re doing that
and we’re looking at that self-care, then we can be stuck because that’s one of the
symptoms of not completing that is that there is a high level of distrust.
MR. LYONS: There’s a couple more talking specifically about the natural processes.
MS. ARAGON: Okay. MR. LYONS: inaudible meditation has been mentioned,
peer gatherings and talking. And there’s also a mention of we used to have ceremonies for
individuals returning from war but inaudible the results of going away from that have greatly
impacted our Veterans. That’s a very good point.
MS. ARAGON: Those are great. MR. LYONS: Yes, yes. Talking to elders and
inaudible. MS. ARAGON: Great, great.
So let’s look at the next slide. Those are great examples and they’re going to come up
here and they were just mentioned by you all. So these were some of the things that helps
complete that because we did live in times where there threats. Often they were natural
threats, you know, that there were some of the things that we see today, you know, like
blizzards, the hard winters, you know. But there always different things that helped
us move through that sequence. And like someone mentioned, the ceremonies, you know, there
was grief and loss back then. And so there were certain seasons around doing our grief
work. You know, we weren’t expected to grieve for a week and then get back to work. Often
there was a whole year of grieving and where there were certain things we did and didn’t
do. Rites of passage, like someone mentioned,
those warrior ceremonies, you know, people coming back, you know, after — at that time,
it might have been a war party, but more today, it’s the Veterans returning with the impact
of, you know, post-traumatic stress, so yes, those were in place.
Song and dance, the victory dances, the honoring. You know, I know in Oklahoma they have, you
know, the soldier dances where people will talk about, you know, the war deeds or accomplishments.
Those are things that helped us move to a different place. Story telling like Martin just mentioned,
you know, both traditional stories or talking circles, those are things — and one of the
things I think is what’s happened is that, you know, they helped us see the all my relations.
You know, many times, we can see a bear as a threat, you know, if a bear — something
that can be threatening to a human being. But if you look at our dances, look at the
ceremonies, the stories, they transform that and begin to say that there is our relatives,
that bear has something to give us, that bear is medicine.
And so I think the story telling like Martin said is really key in helping us see ourselves
connected on a larger cosmos level of the world. And as someone mentioned, meditation and so
weaving, you know, sewing, beading, you know, those are really meditative activities, you
know, that were done traditionally. But there was also a lot of counseling and teaching,
you know, when women got together and they were doing their weaving.
And so all these cultural practices that are, you know, folks are reviving, were really
helpful in helping us move through and complete that stress sequence.
Next slide? I was just aware of the time. And so, one of the things, and so story and
ceremony, many of the things that were just mentioned help us transform the things that
are scary in life. You know, things that might be fearful, things that might seem — unless
we understand and unless we give them meaning, unless we form relationship, we can be, you
know, we can be afraid or scared of those things. But what happens with our ceremonies, what
has happened with our stories is it takes that scared to the — next slide — where
those same things become sacred. And so I will say there’s just a little transposition
of two letters in there where those things that are scared can be something sacred to
use. And unless we do that, unless we have those
things happening to us, then we can be like everything rustles, like that quote was before,
when we don’t see the sacredness of all our relations.
Next slide? I know that we have inaudible.
So, if we don’t complete that sequence, these are some of the symptoms, and agitation, anxiety,
and I’m not going to read them all here, but that there’s a tendency to overreact or violate
boundaries. We can have this inability to stay committed to relationships, jobs, that
sort of thing. So we’re always on the run. There is that jumpiness or hyper-vigilance
that I mentioned before. People can have flashbacks of trauma that had occurred and how challenges
and sleeping, it can affect sleeping, eating, all kinds of our physical routines.
And it can manifest in our muscles and we can have physical pain. You know, some of
you may have it manifest in your shoulders or with headaches or in back pain. You know,
so this incompletion where we get stuck in that fight or flight, it’s telling a story
in our body often. And then it can lead to a self-harming.
Someone mentioned earlier, maybe there as alcoholism involved, maybe there was, you
know, so that self-harming can occur or it can flow out other harming, you know, harming
others. You know, and in this case, those that are
often the closest to us, you know, people like us, our family, our tribal members, our
coworkers. So it’s this other harming behavior that we’re now calling lateral oppression,
lateral violence in a mixed form. Next slide, please?
And so, and this is just a few of those symptoms that I named previously. So that restlessness,
that anxiety, that tension, those overreactions, that fear, unless I deal with them, because
I grew up in a family where I wasn’t taught how to deal with them.
Then unless I find ways to do that, often when I am shaken, when I am in grief, when
I feel threatened, then what is — all of those things inside me can easily splash out
on those around me and I bring that energy to any setting that I’m in whether it would
be with my own family, whether it be in the workplace, whether it be in groups, so that
splashes out on others. And so, again, impacting all my relations, but not in a good way.
Okay, next slide, please? So, this is a definition that was presented
during the last webinar that Connie and Don did and it defines lateral oppression and
talking about the shaming, the humiliation, the belittling and to that violent behavior
directed at members of groups or other members of the same group. It’s all our relations
basically. And it’s often seen among the oppressed as
we’re inaudible spreads out to our loved ones, our coworkers, our tribal members. And often,
a feeling of helplessness we inaudible in negative ways.
And a quote from Jane Middelton-Moz Institute there, there’s some good stuff on that website.
Okay, next? So, what is lateral goodness? And this is
a great picture, this was actually taken on the inaudible reservation and you can see
Don in there. If you don’t know Don, there he is dancing with the elders and the leaders.
Because that’s what we really to move through. We can talk about lateral trauma and oppression,
you know, all day long, but we really want to look at what we do about it? And I love
the inaudible. So how do we do this in a good way?
Next slide, please? All my relations in a good way. Some of the
things that have come up, and these are really — and if you’ve been at GONA, Gathering of
Native Americans, I really like that curriculum primary because it is trauma, you know, trauma
informed approach because it really, you know, for — to address trauma, we really need to
feel safe. We need to feel safe to begin to really look at that. So, we were looking at making changes in our
families and our systems. Looking at ways — how do we foster a sense of belonging?
How do we make people welcome, just like the GONA will in that first theme of belonging?
And the other things that we look at, how do we recognize and honor others and begin
to acknowledge our own assets and our own strengths? But also to see them reflected
in other people, in our coworkers, in our children, our grandchildren or our — you
know, the importance of honoring that. And how do we affirm one another? How do we
look at working and communicating with one another in a healthy way?
And that’s why I love our traditional stories. Often the animals that come together and their
planning, you know, plan together. They’re sitting around the fire and they’re looking
at the issues that surround them and in their own diversity where the bear is talking to
the crane and, you know, and to the squirrel and the turtle, they’re all — we’re seeing
that communicating with diverse — among a diverse group. And then the final one is how do we give of
ourselves to family and give to ourselves? That’s our own self-healing. And if we do,
if we have that self-compassion, then it flows out just like those negative things in that
bucket did, the good things can flow out and befriend the coworkers and the tribe.
Okay, next slide, please? And so it starts with me. This is a slide
from the last one and the only thing I’ve changed here is that in the very beginning
where it says me and self-healing. So next slide, please?
And so, for us to heal, we have to look at our own trauma, our own personal trauma that
we’ve experienced, whether it be historical, current, you know, social trauma. And how
do we being to move from that place of hurting to our own personal healing? And when we do
that, then we can promote and we can start living lateral goodness and that energy goes
out from us. And I like this because I know that for me,
it will always be something that I need to be committed to. I’m not finished with that,
the healing piece. But the more I work on it, the more I hopefully am sending out good
energy, healing energy. Next, please? Next slide?
And so this is a chat question. If you look at that healing first on the last one, there
was a part of self-healing. And one of the things — some of the things that I do is
I mentioned, you know, going into the lodge, I have a spiritual practice.
I also go to a support group, you know, that supports me also. I do things physically to
help me release that cortisol, you know, so that I might go running and my granddaughter
and I will go jogging, you know, I can’t say we’re running, we’re jogging, we’re moving,
and that there are certain things that we do to release that. And so my question for you all is, what are
you doing on a personal basis? Because if we’ve all experienced this trauma, what is
our plan? And I really would like to hear some of your ideas of what you’re doing. I
might steal some of them. I’ll give you a couple of minutes to fill
in some of the blanks or to fill in that response. Getting any good ideas, Don?
MR. LYONS: Yes, there’s some coming in here. MS. ARAGON: Oh, good, good. Like I said, some
of the best ideas I’ve picked up is in workshops when people in the — the participants have
shared oh, I do this, I do that and I will just take them and tweak it to fit myself.
MR. LYONS: They’re coming in, but I’m having some trouble with my chat function here so
if Tiffany can see them better than me, maybe she can help me out. But I see them popping
up, but — MS. ARAGON: Oh, okay. Okay, one is collaboration,
you know, collaborating with others. So Tiffany, can you — are there some that you can share?
MS. JEFFERSON: Yes, a couple of people said — one person said that they actually do yoga,
meditate. Someone else coming through that said about gardening.
MS. ARAGON: Oh, great, great. I like the gardening. I just started in the last year, and I know
Don has, too. And so it is amazing what you learn in trying to get measure, you know,
from a seed, so I like that a lot. MR. LYONS: Is there some inaudible.
MS. ARAGON: Definitely. MS. JEFFERSON: Someone else said walking on
the beach. The yoga was a hot yoga. MS. ARAGON: That’s great, walking on the beach.
You know, water is such a strong symbol, you know, in our communities, it give so much
to us, you know, and it’s a spiritual force. So often as a metaphor, water is seen whether
it be the ocean or a river is a symbol of our interwork, our soul. And so, yes, so I
like water, too. I’m a person that likes to go see what water can teach me.
MS. O’MARRA: And, Barbara, this is Connie. We got a couple other ones, too. We have Darla
saying that she was gifted with self-awareness about inaudible and used their community and
they’re having a second community self-awareness training in a couple of weeks.
MS. ARAGON: Oh, that’s great. MS. O’MARRA: Yes, yes. And another person
said they go and visit their grandma and spend time with family just hanging out and listening
to their stories of their aunties, and just, you know, going for a hike and clearing their
mind, that’s from Megan Ray, of use those presentations as well.
MS. ARAGON: Absolutely, those are great ideas, you know, as far as having that balance for
ourselves and addressing, you know, our own pain and so that when we’re going that, when
we find those healthy ways to do that, then our buckets, you know, our burden basket or
whatever metaphor we want to use, is filled with that. You know, self-compassion, that
commitment to healing and that’s what then comes out from us. So it’s turning around,
you know, that lateral violence to that lateral goodness. Great ideas.
Next slide, please? And if there are more, go ahead.
And so, well this is the next thing I wanted to put up is that, and it was mentioned just
before, and if you have any other ideas. I’ve been really fortunate and blessed to
go to communities where there are tribes really stepping up and saying, we want to look at
lateral oppression. We want to look at lateral violence. And we want to address it.
And one of the tribes, the circle of care, tried to — and often one of the pictures
that was shown previously was one of the gatherings. And but with the — I think it was probably
15 years ago, I may be mistaken but it’s around that time where I was down there and was able
to help facilitate at their first Gathering of Native Americans.
And as I’ve been able to come in at different times or hear stories, they have really taken
on, I’ll say they have kind of a GONA culture in that they had a number of different Gathering
of Native Americans. They had training facilitators and they really customized and culturalized
wellness curriculums. So they’ve looked very deeply at their history.
They’ve looked and developed not only wellness curricula, but they’ve not only — they’ve
taken it to their different districts and I think they’ve just done and amazing job
about continuing to work that wellness and looking at ways to customize it to, you know,
the GONA nation. The other one, Havasupi, Connie and I were
there just recently. They did also have a Gathering of Native Americans, but they wanted
to focus on lateral violence. And we went down there, oh gosh, just a few months ago,
down into the Grand Canyon to Havasupi and workshops specifically on lateral violence
and lateral oppression. And then the Washington tribes, and I mentioned
them and I don’t know everything, but I know that they do a lot with their Veterans and
that they often have, you know, camp outs for their Veterans and gatherings for their
Veterans. So very much recognizing and honoring that the Veterans need healing and that ceremony,
that there are cultural things in place that can help.
And I think that’s real key because often our Veterans come back and are affected by
PTSD. But because we honor them, they often become our leaders also. And so the importance
of well leaders, well, you know, that they’re doing their healing work really impacts the
rest of our communities, also. So, any others that you can think of? Your
tribe or tribes that you’ve worked with that you want to mention that are putting forth
some efforts around lateral violence or are really promoting those lateral goodness efforts? MR. LYONS: This is one. Yes, I wanted to — there’s
a lot of communities, I think, I’m up here in inaudible country and beautiful Redwood
County and I was asked to do a presentation on lateral goodness. And I think it’s really
a good point to be made that it’s a process, you know. And if we really look the stuff
of trauma, you know, that’s 500 plus years. And so not one program, one project, one workshop,
one session, one meeting is going to solve all those issues. But it’s a start to move
forward. And so I think the communities and inaudible
is another one that comes to mind Terry Byrd there, just doing some incredible work with
the young people, Turtle Mountain inaudible. Just really working on the young people and
being honest about, you know, this is a process and generational thinking and starting in
a good way and looking at harvesting the resilient factors that come off that lateral goodness. MS. ARAGON: Absolutely, that’s such an important
point is that, and I always say that this isn’t an event, that you could just have and
then the lateral, you know, that lateral goodness is launched. It’s a beginning and it’s by
ceremony where it will launch something. And like you said, it’s a process and we have
to, you know, continue to commit, you know, our own self-care. I can’t give away what
I don’t have. So I always have to look at my own healing issues, what’s in my burden
basket? What’s in my bucket and how do I transform that to positive?
And that’s something I’ll do all my life that it is, it’s exciting to hear when individuals
are doing that. It’s exciting to hear when tribes are doing that. And they’re starting
that process even though we may not see the results right away, how do we do that for
our grandchildren? How do we do that for, you know, Don, you have a new baby coming,
you know? We do it for them. Any other comments that, I know I’ve very
aware of time here. Is there a next slide? I guess that was it, the questions and the
comments. So I want to thank everybody. There may be
more coming in but I’m really conscious that we’ve got four minutes according my computer
and give time if Don — I really, you know, I wish I could see everyone’s
faces. I wish we could be face to face. This is a list of the resources that just
came up. The Trauma Releasing exercises, some of the information came from that book. And
David Berceli is actually someone that is developing exercises that they’re being tested
about how do release that trauma and have grown up in those communities.
We’ve grown up in families were it is stuck. What are some ways of doing trauma or semantic
work to release that? And then also there’s an article by Daniel
Dickerson you might be familiar with about the power of drumming or in healing work,
and so that’s something to look at. And then the last article for some of the
graphics, Understand the Effects of Prejudice and Discrimination and Inequity in the Body.
And so those are all available, especially the Lee and Woon article, it’s available online
and for more information. And I believe also the Dickerson. The Berceli,
I think, is for ordering. But I wanted to share those because they’re
resources that have helped in forming this presentation.
MR. LYONS: Thank you, Barbara. You’re worthy, you’re worthy.
And we have a few questions. We can probably, if it’s okay, to do a soft ending here. I
see one person has their hand up, so I’d like to get inaudible on there.
MS. ARAGON: Okay. MR. LYONS: So, Tiffany, you have a follow-up
and I think it’s Thelma that has a question. Make sure Thelma, when we unmute you that
you’re unmute, too, you have to unmute yourself as well.
MS. SIMON: Oh, are you ready for my comment? MR. LYONS: Yes. Oh hi, Thelma.
MS. SIMON: Hi, this is Thelma Simon. Good to hear all your voices.
I’m working Indian health at the Fort McDermitt Federal Clinic and we have a hand drum project
going on right now. But the key factor is, of course, selecting those teachers who, you
know, who mesh with other families who are teachers and that we get that right group
of people where there’s no political, you know, overtones or anything that will, you
know, stop the project. And we’re just starting with nine boys because we have nine drums. And the second thing I wanted to add was that,
you know, outside of the normal things that we do for stress like planting, sewing, designing
regalia, what not. I recently bought an expensive camera and I take pictures of my grandkids
out in natural setting like say the Ruby Mountains where the Shoshone Treaty was signed. And
those types of things which, you know, are able to engage us in conversations and appreciate
the past and learn. MS. ARAGON: I love that. I love that. That’s
a wonderful idea. I’m not a professional photographer, but I love to take pictures and I love the
combination of your grandchildren and out in natural settings. You know, it sounds like
the historical setting also. MS. SIMON: And it’s also a very major accomplishments
in that holistic approach like they’re academic, they’re dancing. My oldest granddaughter just won last Spring,
she’s the University of Nevada Reno Princess, but she’s the Youth Princess, the representative.
You know, she’s not a college student yet. But, you know, those types of activities and
letting them meet other kids from other areas who are striving and who are succeeding academically
and in leadership and they’re preserving what songs their taught.
And, you know, there’s a lot of young people out there who do, they want to, you know,
engage and hold on to what we have. So that’s the positive comment I have for this morning.
MS. ARAGON: Thank you so much because everything you mentioned builds a sense of belonging.
You know, one of the earlier slides about the importance of belonging, the importance
of affirming and honoring. And so what you described right there was
that alone, if we all did that in our family, there would be a sense of — build that that
sense of safety and affirmation to our children and grandchildren. So thank you.
MS. SIMON: You’re welcome. MR. LYONS: And that’s a good example of a
digital way that we can promote lateral goodness. Now that idea plan, and I had take out a picture
of my daughter at the Pacific ceremonial of the circle inaudible. You’re almost kind of
reclaiming those places in one way or another. MS. ARAGON: Absolutely. Absolutely.
MR. LYONS: Thank you so much everybody. There was a request to put the reference up, so
Tiffany, if we could do that real quickly. I did want to let people know that this recording,
this will be recorded and available on the website. The website was in the chat function
there so you can copy and paste that and save it on your web browser. We’d love to, you know, hear from you and
get more TA requests to support some awesome work out there in Indian Country and your
community. So just a quick a quick commercial. This is
Part II of the Lateral Goodness Webinar. Thank you, Barbara Aragon, again, for jumping on
and sharing some beautiful stories and thoughts with us.
And the Part III, which will be a panel discussion talking about lateral goodness. We will be
having that on July 25th from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. And make sure that you
register for that. Be sure to save the date coming out and we look forward to seeing everyone
on that call and continue the conversation, continue to support each other and take care
of each other and we’ll do good work together. I’m going to leave the last words for you,
Barbara. MS. ARAGON: Oh, again, thank you. Thanks for
people that, you know, that came in. Like I said, sorry we weren’t face to face because
that’s how I like to relate to folks. But, you know, Don has my email. If anyone
has any questions or comments or maybe didn’t get a chance to provide input, you know, to
the chat and there are things that you’re doing in your community or personally, I would
love to hear about them and I’m sorry I didn’t — I forgot to my email address on one of
the slides, but I’m reachable through Connie or Don and would love to hear from you all.
And just keep walking that good road and doing your healing work.
All my relations. MR. LYONS: Good job, Barbara, take care everybody.
MS. ARAGON: Have a good weekend.