Wisdom, Stories and Healing

by Mary K. Clark

Do you have an interest in learning more about healing stories, untold stories, indigenous cultures and topics such as intergenerational trauma? I stumbled upon a treasure of a site today and came away with a greater understanding of the human experience. The Wisdom of the Elders site includes a section called Discover Our Story which includes stories, recovery materials, curriculum and is a rich resource to go back to time and again. An informative write up of the  site can be found in an article entitled, Wisdom of the Elders Nonprofit Celebrates 20-Year Journey written by Pam Hughes. I agree with Hughes when she shares that the site has universal appeal.  She writes:

[The Wisdom of the Elders site] has walked carefully, thoughtfully and slowly, producing materials for its website based on audio and video storytelling that is rich, effective and universal. The organization is celebrating its 20 years in existence . . .

Wisdom of the Elders records and archives oral history, cultural arts, language and traditional ecological knowledge of North American Indian historians, cultural leaders and environmentalists for projects with cultural and educational institutions.

These projects aim to heal prejudice, correct misconceptions and bring wellness back to Native people, emphasizing the richness of Indian culture and its centrality in world cultures.

At the Wisdom of the Elders site, I was very pleased to listen to Woody Morrison Jr, a Haida Storyteller, recount his healing journey – it is rich in personal and historical narrative and is embedded in two parts in the Discover Our Story (DOS) TV Episode 1: Robert Miller. Robert Miller’s contribution to the television episode adds depth, understanding and additional historical perspective. Miller is a Native American author, lawyer and Lewis and Clark College professor.

The movie Rabbit Proof Fence is mention in the above DOS TV Episode. The movie is one I highly recommend and coincidentally viewed again in recent weeks. Stephen Holden in his NY Times review writes:

This sturdy, touching movie, directed by Phillip Noyce, who also oversaw ”The Quiet American,” personalizes this historical outrage by telling the story of three young girls who escape from a settlement and set out to make the 1,200-mile trek back home on foot. The events are based on the experiences of Ms. Garimara’s mother, Molly (Everlyn Sampi), who is 14 at the time of the movie; her 8-year-old sister Daisy (Tianna Sansbury), and their 10-year-old cousin Gracie (Laura Monaghan). All three are mixed-race children fathered by itinerant white fence workers.

This movie is very well done, informative and inspiring.

I’d love to hear about other related resources.

– Mary


©Copyright 5/19/2013  by Mary K. Clark.  All Rights Reserved.







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