Indian Country 52 #16 – Lost in Transmission
“There are many difficult issues facing the Oglala Lakota people of Pine Ridge. Stories about alcohol and drug abuse, poverty and depression attract much attention. But to some, these are just parts of a much larger picture.
“I think of suicide in Native communities as an extension of the genocide that occurred against Indigenous peoples starting back in 1492,” said Ruth Hopkins, a chief tribal judge for the Spirit Lake Nation, and tribal judge for the Yankton Sioux and Crow Creek Sioux Tribe. “And I think there’s evidence to show that it’s still continuing to this day.”
According to Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, Ph.D., “Historical trauma is cumulative emotional and psychological wounding over the lifespan and across generations, emanating from massive group trauma. Native Americans have, for over 500 years, endured physical, emotional, social and spiritual genocide from European and American colonialist policy.”
Brave Heart, a Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota, is cofounder of the Takini Network, an organization with the goal of helping Indigenous peoples heal from historical trauma.
According to Brave Heart, “The historical trauma response is a constellation of features in reaction to massive group trauma. This response is observed among Lakota and other Native populations, Jewish Holocaust survivors and descendants, [and] Japanese-American internment camp survivors and descendants.”
“The cycles of abuse that continue from boarding schools, having your parents taken away or your children removed from your home and the breakdown of the family that we were exposed to – everything is connected really,” Hopkins told Truthout.
“Because of where we were placed on these remote reservations,” she added, “taken away from our homelands, the economic struggle we deal with to this day, all of those are reoccurring issues that have to deal with intergenerational trauma.””
– Truthout, Suicide on the Great Sioux Nation .
Download the 18″x24″ poster (.pdf), Indian Country 52 #16 – Lost in Transmission (Historic Trauma).
Indian Country 52
Indian Country 52 is a weekly project by David Bernie that uses the medium of graphic design by creating posters that promote issues and stories in Indian Country.
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This work by David Bernie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may download, share, and post the images under the condition that the works are attributed to the artist.