Historical trauma is the focus of a two-part Peninsula College event, sponsored by Studium Generale, Magic of Cinema, The Center for Teaching and Learning, and ʔaʔk̓ʷustəƞáwt̓xʷ House of Learning, PC Longhouse.
On Tuesday, May 4, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm, and on Thursday, May 6, from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, audiences are invited to a screening of the film Dodging Bullets.
Dodging Bullets, a 2015 documentary, confronts historical trauma through interviews and discussions with young Native Americans whose lives are stricken by the effects of this trauma. Historical trauma is the emotional and psychological wounding over lifespans and across generations and communities caused by massive group experiences of violence and destruction of cultures, traditions, and identities. The film explores research that develops a better understanding of trauma and provides insight into ways Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals can help communities work through this trauma and support healing.
The people interviewed in the film come from a variety of social and economic backgrounds: a middle-school student living on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation recovering from the trauma of losing her brother to a shootout with police; a former A.I.M. (American Indian Movement) soldier who, now late in life, speaks about the importance of love; a sociologist and psychologists who are focused on on-site research studies in Indian country; an NIH-funded scientist who has studied and evaluated the epigenetic changes caused by trauma; a recovering alcoholic who has gone back to culture and is working with youth in Indian country to teach them mino bimaadiziwin (to lead a good way life).
The substantial impact of Dodging Bullets comes from the personal stories captured of First Nations People who are resiliently living with the effects of historical trauma. Ultimately, it will take understanding and acknowledgement of historical trauma and modern-day issues, as well as systemic changes to health care, before there can be true healing in Indian Country. Without serious change, the scars of their ancestors will continue to haunt the Seventh Generation (a term used to describe contemporary Natives who are seven generations after the last Indian Wars were fought).
To join the screening via Zoom, please use the following link: https://pencol-edu.zoom.us/j/82059572372. Meeting ID: 820 5957 2372
On Thursday, May 6, from 12:30 – 2 pm, join Studium Generale for a discussion of historical trauma with Kendra Aguilar (Luiseno) and Gayla Johnson (Lower Elwha Klallam).
Kendra Aguilar is a Payomkowichum (Luiseno) descendant and graduate of Evergreen's Native Pathways and MPA-Tribal Governance programs. Her doctoral work focuses on the impacts of Indigenous Educational Trauma, both individually and generationally, and community-based approaches to solutions and repair.
Gayla Johnson is an enrolled member of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and has lived and worked in Clallam County her entire life. She shared the following: "In the past 3 years my life focus has been geared towards bringing community awareness to Generational Trauma, Two Spirit and our people walking in two worlds through Native eyes. I want folks to understand that no matter what race or color, we all have culture within us and learning about yourselves can lead to an open conversation and sharing similarities, differences and understanding of those who are different than us.”
Please use this Zoom information to join the Studium Generale discussion:
To join the screening via Zoom, please use the following link: https://pencol-edu.zoom.us/j/89616075652. Meeting ID: 896 1607 5652
The screenings and the discussion are free and open to the public.
For more information, please contact Dr. Helen Lovejoy at email@example.com or (360) 417-6362.