A new story from Native America Calling


Do these readings in native communities? Like, for instance, bitter tears listeners, how do they usually react? What do they say after hearing a poem like this? They often tell their own stories. Like this morning was visiting with the class that you and D about and out of the 6 students, there was three of them that were native students. And I asked them about their reaction to just what you said because I would talk to them about my book stringing groceries. And although it was usually their young students, I was using their grandfathers and grandmothers that went to boarding schools. And when they tell the stories that they've heard, they just weep. So there's still what's called intergenerational trauma, we're in historical trauma, we're in unresolved grieving. So many bodies for survivors haven't told their stories. When students said that, her grandfather absolutely refuses to talk about what happened to him at peer Indian learning center in South Dakota. And I told her, my experience has been that when men won't talk about their bonus experiences, they were most likely molested. Either by, well, the women, the nuns, the people that worked in the dorms are priests, and even older boys, but the statistic I heard was when all the boys are molested and then they enter and became perpetrators. Denise, I know you're also a founder of the national boarding school healing coalition. We do have to take a short break, but when we come back, I want to ask you about that. And what the purpose of the coalition is and some of the work you do. So we'll be right back, please. Stay with us, folks. Support for this program provided by vision maker media, who envisions a world changed and healed by understanding native stories and the public conversations they generate. Nurturing the next generation of storytellers with courage. Generosity, creativity, respect and commitment. 45 plus years of native stories and indigenous knowledge through film and media can be found at vision maker media dot org, whose slogan is together we are vision makers. Your listening to native America calling still time to join our conversation with Denise Lajoie dear if you have a comment or question, please give us a call, phone lines are open right now. One 809 9 6 two 8 four 8. That's also one 809 9 native. Denise, the native boarding school healing coalition. Tell us more about it and just how is awareness changed about boarding schools for the general public over the last couple of decades. Yes, it started at an organizational meeting held by the Native American rights fund in boulder Colorado in 2011, we had they had gathered the call together anybody that was working anywhere organizations working with boarding schools. And then we formed the national Native American born in school healing coalition are nabbed for short. And of course, healing within is in the title. So our main goals at that time and was to bring awareness of boarding schools to national level and to work through Congress to have them organized a commission to go throughout the United States and take border school survivors testimonies and talk about what healing means. I was 2011. It wasn't until and they worked until two years ago when the news of cam loops hit national and international news about the news of the unmarked graves there. So our relatives across the medicine line was telling news organizations where you better look to the self to our neighbors in the U.S. because the same thing happened there. So now this was in place and then the secretary Deb haaland was in place at the department of interior and then my book stringing rosaries. So I started getting calls from Al Jazeera from China, New Zealand, Australia from all over ABC nightline, CNN, and doing over 50 interviews in the last two years. So and then, of course, nabs also got tremendous amount of attention finally finally after working for over a decade, it took what happened in Kamloops to bring national attention to what the work was being done by nabs. I was a former president and then board member, but I'm off the board, but I'm in touch with them. And the incredible remarkable work they are now doing with what they're working in conjunction and cooperation with Deb haaland. So now there is actually an act going through Congress as we speak the boarding school, at truth in truth and healing commission. There's going to be a commission forum passes through whatever it needs to do through Congress. And hopefully funding will be available for just what we had wanted to do in ten 11 years ago to send a commission throughout the United States the question will be made up of boarding school survivors and intergenerational such as myself that didn't go to boarding school, but suffer from the effects of my parents having attended boarding school. And mostly look at what healing would look like. And hopefully monies would flow into communities and so on to work with healing programs specific to boarding school healing, so it was what a long journey, but it took the finding of what happened at Kamloops and what you just mentioned at the top of the hour with finding more unmarked graves. Secretary Deb haaland had researchers look for I've developed a list of boarding schools along with nabs and other researchers and so she has, they have another list that hasn't been made public yet, but she also said that there's 54 or maybe more grave sites that she knows at boarding schools. And like tomorrow, I just read about the cemetery. They also have unmarked graves there. For taught, we are going to be doing ground penetrating radar at fort elders pointing out to where they believe they said they saw kids being buried there so that will probably happen sometime this spring. So yeah, either one marked graves in the United States absolutely. So it's going to be tough as those start being made public. She didn't want to make them public because she doesn't want people going and docking or whatever at these grave sites. So I don't know though the entire list of schools that have graveyards. I didn't look for that as part of my research and writing the book. I never thought to ask or look for schools or look for information or in the historical records if they had a cemetery or not. But it appears quite a few schools to have cemeteries. Denise, you have one more poem to read for us today and it's about your mom's experience at boarding school. Can you read it for us? Yeah, this is a longer poem. It's called at boarding school. At boarding school, mom learned to net, I'd hold a skein of yarn in my arms, sway back and forth, plus she wrapped it into a ball at boarding school mom learned to embroider. It's in towels held names one for each day of the week. I used when washing and drying dishes each night. I born in school mom learned to darn socks on quiet winter nights sitting by a lamp, head bowed over a lightbulb with my white cotton sock stretched over it carefully weaving frayed edges together. At boarding school one learned to watch clothes worked in the school's laundry, blew in the whites, ran clothes through the mangle, careful not to catch an arm, hang on clotheslines, at boarding school, mom learned to sow made all my clothes even when I complained that kids made fun of me, my homemade skirts, dresses, parents, and darned socks saying we were poor, she stole aprons over the head bibs, wrap around waist everyday calico ones, ghazi,

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