Real Talk, Good Action: The Indigenous Deaf Community
Thursday, November 17, 2022 | 7-9 PM ET
When discussing racial tensions, experiences, and events — Indigenous Americans, also known as Native Americans, are often ignored and overlooked. In this webinar, part of the Real Talk, Good Action series presented by the Dismantling Racism Committee, we invite you to meet some Deaf Indigenous folks in our community. Come and learn about their experiences, tribes, how they navigate in the Deaf community and their Indigenous community, and the oppression they face. Learn about their issues and why we need to pay attention to these issues. Panelists include Sarah Anne Young Bear-Brown, Vergena Kellie Chee, and Rima Ortega.
Please consider a donation to the newly established BIPOC membership section so we can continue our advocacy efforts and plan important events like this series.
If you are interested in attending this event live, please sign up to receive a link. If you’re not able to attend live, please do not register to allow others to participate live. The ‘Real Talk, Good Action’ webinar series will be recorded and made available online for anyone – we ask that you be mindful of this opportunity and sign up only if you are planning to attend live. Additionally, if you are hearing and interested in attending this webinar, we respectfully ask that you watch the recording when it’s made available after the event so Deaf people are able to participate live.
>> Hello, everyone. Welcome to our webinar. Discussing the Indigenous communities. Before we get started, I want to give you a description of myself. I am seated in front of a white wall background. There is a brown table beside me. I am wearing a blacktop. And it is quite cold. This top has a logo. I have hair that falls over my shoulders, glasses, I am a white woman. And my name is Lisa Rose. And I am a member of NAD. So my pronouns are she and hers. There we are. Before we get started, I do want to provide some groundrules. I'm sure you want to participate. We encourage you to use the chat. If you would like to ask any questions, raise your hand. If you would like to make any comments, and do not prefer to use the chat, raise your hand. We will recognize you and allow you to come on screen to ask your question in American Sign Language. You will notice at the bottom of your Zoom screen, you would like to share any comments, please be respectful so, if you see something that comes up in the chat that is not appropriate, we will ask you to leave. Next slide, please. We want to take the time to acknowledge the Indigenous lands that we inhabit. We ask that you all join us in recognizing our communities and elders. Both those in the past and those in the present and future generations, as well. Now, it is my pleasure to welcome Alan Wilding. We are thrilled to have Alan moderating our discussion about deaf Indigenous communities. We will pass it on to you, Alan.
>> Hello, everyone. Hello. I am going to go ahead and start with a visual description of myself. I am a white person, balding with short hair. I am wearing a Black shirt, a polo with pockets. Behind me I have a Black curtain. And you can see my white wall peeking through. My name is Alan Wilding. I am from Idaho. I am a co-Chair of the dismantling racism committee. This is under N.A.D. I have been serving for a few years now and I plan to continue to serve. I am excited for the panel today to see different perspectives and I also wanted to start with our panelists and so, I am going to start with signing their short descriptions. So I am going to be looking at my screen here. Tatana Mate and so this is a person from the Buffalo Sioux tribe. In 1964, they said yes, we are Indigenous, we are Native Americans. And we are -- and white people, -- savages and they never looked at how we pray. How we communicate with nature. How we communicate with the sun, the moon, and the sky, the earth, the animals. The trees. And they view us as idlists, savages. That we pray to no one. Without an understanding of communication. But we cherish nature. We understand the great spirits that live in the things around us, that live on earth. And white people, they don't have the same experience or knowledge. They don't have the same relationship or communication with nature that we have. And that makes them colonize our land. They had forgotten how to communicate with nature and, us native people, we are still preserving that. And we will keep preserving that. Until white people view us and thank us for our help. So that quote was very fascinating. Through our history, there's a lot of oppression of Indigenous individuals, native individuals. And so we will talk more about that. About the sign for Indigenous. About the Indigenous community. And so, I am going to call our three panelists to come on camera. And ask them to introduce themselves. What their tribe is, and anything specific they want to include about their tribe. Panelists, could you come on the screen tonight? I'm waiting for the other panelist.
>> Sorry. Everything was moving around on my screen.
>> Ok. Sarah, you can introduce yourself. Sarah's saying I'll go last. Or first. That's fine. Ok. Hote. That means hello in my language. My name is Sarah Young Bear-Brown. My sign name is -- it refers to Little Bear. I am from the Muskwaki nation. This is in Iowa. You can go ahead and introduce yourself.
>> Oh, no, we can go around and take turns. Hi, my name is Vergena. And my sign name is this. On my cheek. And I am with the tribe that's called Yaateeh which means unique girl. That's what my name means. Excuse the interpreter. So, there are four that I must name, which is Sleeping Rock, Towering House Clan, metal people and the red running into water people. And these are the four clans that I hail from. I'll pass it on to you.
>> Hello my name is Rima. My sign name is an R tapping my chin. I am from the Chumash nation. Our island was called Santa Ynez. That's a beach territory. And my family is from there. And they moved here on my mother's side. On my other side, I am Apache. And so, that's who I am. I have both the tribes within me. So, my family calls me and I am going to spell it. It means "moon girl" and that's my -- because I was born with a full moon. So that's when I am.
>> Rima says I forgot add well -- that I am part of the Navajo tribe, as well.
>> Sarah is saying I forgot to mention my tribal affiliation is the fish clan. And my tribal name.
>> Rima says yes, I also forgot to share that we have a tribal name, as well. It's called the swordfish.
>> So, if you guys don't manned expending upon your different clan names, -- so I saw "fish," "swordfish." Do you mind expanding on what those are and add why they have these different names and why it's important to mention them on the panel.
>> Rima is saying did someone repeat the question? I did not see it. I cannot see clearly. >> I'm just reiterating if you could share why it's important to mention your clan names. I know there is meadow, swordfish, fish. So why is it important to mention them? What's the meaning behind them, if you could expand upon that. And so, if you could just share with the community why it's important to recognize these names.
>> Rima says yeah, I can start. Should I go ahead? I will let you know that I have to keep scrolling. The images move on my screen and I also have individuals here who keep coming up to me. So -- be aware of that. So with the Chamash, we eat a lot of fish. Clam, and so, acorns as well. I can't spell all the words. It's like blue something, I can't spell it correctly. But we eat a lot of that, as well. So we look for big meals. And the swordfish tends to be a big celebration because when we catch her, it's pretty hard to catch. So we celebrate that. And, we tend to feast on the swordfish. So, that's why my clan has that name. Did I answer the question?
>> So we have four. And the Navajo as well. With the first clan, thats given for my mom. The second is for my dad. The third is from my mother's clan. The second is from my dad's. And so, really I was given two, from both of my parents. And it really refers to cousinship and when you marry someone, you make sure to check with the clan to get consent for example with Sleeping Rock or the Towering House clans. Typically we check with the clan, because if we are affiliated, or familial, then we do not marry. So we make sure there's no familial relations and then we are allowed to move forward with the marriage. That's how I have two from my mom and two from my dad. And they have given me that and I carry that with me for future generations. In the United States we have this idea of names. But with our Indigenous cultures we like to check for kinships to know how we should proceed in relationships with individuals. That's why we use the clan names. Oh, sorry, um -- and so, when I marry a man, they will let me know if we can or can't get married. And once I get married, those four clans will be reduced to two clans. Because now I'll be moving forward with the next generations. I can let go of my parents' clan names. And Rima says yes, it's very important in our communities when I was married as well. We wanted to make sure we have different tribes. But that those tribes are in union with one another and so in the past, when we had tribal lands, and wars sparked because of stealing, that was a big issue with our tribes. And so, what our communities are seeking is to instruct one another to have a good attitude, good character to be in relation with one another in union. And to be aligned. And so it's important to learn how to be a good relation. It's important for our communities. Go ahead, Sarah.
>> Well said. I was going to talk about the different tribes. I remember hearing a story of how we started. And it was a long, long time ago. And it happened that the tribe had a heavy fog and we couldn't see anything. It was completely dense. Couldn't see the fog at all. But we are wondering how we can continue living with this fog for weeks. How are we going to hunt? How do we get water? How do we survive through that fog? And so, we lived one week, two week, and the fog dissipated. But who guided us? What animal? It's guiding us for food, for water. So, how our clan came to be is by the animals who guided us. Who helped us survive through that fog. And so, some tribes believe that a dog is a messenger or protecter. And so if they die, they will come to this messenger and that messenger is the judge of them. And so, this is just how we think of our clans and how they come to be. >> Rima says that's really cool. And Vergena says I would like to add as well that when we are in other states, someone is always, you know, letting us know like if we are siblings or cousins. There's that strong relationship. And, that's what's important. Yes, clans are important, but the relationship and passing down that history and that knowledge and keeping that in the clan moving forward for generations, that's what's important. Rima saying I would also like to add -- oh, go ahead, Sarah.
>> Yes, so our elders do give us names, Sarah is saying. My children have got their names from my dad. That's the elder who gave them their tribal names. And so this is clan given. And I got my name from my mother's side. And so, different tribes and different clans, different tribes have clans. Some don't. And so, I just depend on mine and so, just like Vergena was saying, it depends on what side of the family where you got your names from. >> Rima says when there's a new generation for example, maybe they will have with other generation, they focused more on the culture and marry within the culture, within Indigenous clans. Then we can see for example, Navajo, Apache, all of the different tribes when we are going into a new generation, the families are kind of diverging, marrying Japanese folks or Black folks or Latino folks. Now we see more of a mix within the clans that was not there in the past. And so, sometimes we feel like we lost our clans but it's not a negative thing. It's just change in an era, you know? And we want to continue to educate our children, because it's so important to have that essential information. >> Vergena says yeah, I would also like to share about tribes and clans. So we have different labels. I think we have how many different recognized tribes?
>> A lot. All over the United States. And so, we have different names. Of our clans. Like Apache, et cetera. And so, those identities are passed down to name our tribes and our clans.
>> Sarah is saying it's sad to say that because of the government, there's a lot of tribes that weren't recognized. So they are unnamed.
>> Yes. Rima says they have also been marginalized.
>> So there's a lot of detribalized people and we have our own culture and our own language that we pass down and so it feels, yeah, it's sad to see that there are so many unrecognized tribes and that they have to be in that situation.
>> Rima says it's an unfortunate shift in the current era.
>> But that's a good question.
>> Vergena says ok, is there another question?
>> Yeah, Elvis, go ahead.
>> Well, while we are waiting for Elvis, I would like to talk about how the U.S. has 574 tribes. Have they continued and still exist? No, we have lost some. And some have come up and we have new tribes. And so, we are seeing a growth. For example, before, you know, we had millions of millions of people. And now, because of all of the genocide, there's less than 10% of us. And so we are slowly regrowing. But, --
>> Vergena says I do notice that there are some questions popping up in the chat. Should we answer those at the end?
>> Sarah's saying I think Elvis moderates the questions. Hi Elvis. And Elvis is saying thank you guys. You have been talking about it. And so, I was going to see if -- I know someone mentioned that Alan's technology, he was freezing. So -- there is a second question that we have. But before that second question, a lot of you saw in the chat there was a question about what's the difference between tribe and clan. And then we answered that. The next question we have is, do you guys prefer the term "indigenous person" or "native person" and why? And if you explain about the difference between the two terms. And why you prefer one over the other.
>> Rima says I can answer. When I was a little girl, we used the term Native American and that stuck. That was the term that was posted everywhere and the general public recognized it. Now, we see Indigenous. And I was maybe in my 20s but, I think Native American is a term more recognized. I don't have a problem with the word Indigenous. But, the one that I identified with first was Native American. That's where my heart is aligned.
>> Sarah says -- same. We used to use the term Native American and we have used it for a long time now. And Indigenous popped up. I didn't understand what that meant, necessarily. I'm like oh, what is that? A new term? Ok. But -- there's a lot of people here that are -- but that doesn't mean they are all Indigenous. There's a misunderstanding of what Indigenous actually is. There's Indigenous people to other countries. Like -- in Australia, they have aboriginal people Indigenous to that land. So we have to expand upon what Indigenous means. And native people still use their language, their culture. Indigenous people is different than native. I call myself Musquake instead of Native American, because I feel like Native American is what the government has labeled me. That's my race. Or American Indian for example, that's a label given to me from the federal government and so I want to show where I am from. Where I am coming from. That's why I call myself Musquake and so we all have our own tribes. And we all have our own names. And so, if I want to talk about where I am coming from, I don't use any of the terms. I use my tribal name. Indigenous could be from anywhere. That's from my understanding.
>> Rima says you're right. There's a lot of confusion around that term. Vergena says yes, I do think that Indigenous is more general. And so, chatting with my mom about this topic of Native American, in our lives, we have often been mislabeled. We don't have these terms in other countries. Right? And so, what my mom envisioned is that Indigenous is a negative term. And that it has a lot to do with history, with war, and the denegration of Native American people. There are varying perspectives. Native, Indigenous. All of these labels. Think it's important to know the history and be able to take a step back and analyze the background. In depth. To know what it means. And so, Native American, native, all of these terms are complicated nowadays and that conversation can go on for quite some time. Rima says yes.
>> Sarah says I agree. Elvis says oh, I forgot to introduce myself. I'm so sorry. My name is Elvis. And so, I am a white person with curly hair. It looks like it's a mullet and, behind me is a green screen with a white door. And I am wearing a light tan ruffled shirt. I am deaf. I was born in Mexico. That's why I am part of this discussion. So thank you for explaining about the terms. Indigenous and Native American. Thank you. That was a very clear explanation. And -- with Indigenous, yes, we will continue that means that you are Indigenous from wherever in the world you were born. But, native relates to your native history here in America. And that pertains to your different tribes. So thank you for explaining that clearly. I saw a question from Stacy. With relationships. When you are married, do you marry Native American? Or outsiders? Explain about marriage.
>> Vergena says I can respond. In our tradition and culture, our practices, and what our parents typically teach us is that we must marry a native person. Period. To keep our heritage alive. And so, we don't want there to be any confusion or loss of knowledge. And to value our native peoples because we are dwindling in numbers. And so -- we understand that we can marry a native person, but they should not be a sibling or from the same clan, for example. We can marry someone from a different tribe. But the important part is that they do identify as native. Now, marrying another race or a white person that's strongly discouraged. But the problem is that, as a deaf person, that's a challenge for me. Because you know, there are many people that are white that we meet who are deaf but not many deaf native folks. And so as I became older, I realized when I was a student at Gallaudet, there were maybe two or three of us. Where were the others? And so, I learned in that time period that there are not many of us now. And trying to be understanding and accepting that, yes, they want us to marry native folks to keep our traditions alive.
>> I know a lot of people wanted to date me and I was like nope. No. I'm going to data native man just like me. And it's funny because, in Iowa, there's not a lot of native people to be honest. We are about eight or nine percent. And mostly it's white people in Iowa. There are very limited options for me. I'm like oh, who am I going to find? Where can I find somebody? But it's a funny story. I dated a white person and I couldn't marry them. And you know, that was off. And I met another native deaf man. And we talked and we felt an instant connection. We went through the same experience with racism, oppression, in deaf school where he grew up. I grew up going to a deaf school and I experienced that same kind of racism and oppression. His family didn't know sign language. He was Choctaw in Mississippi. He has a deaf brother. Deaf cousins. And he told me that his family didn't teach him any language. Didn't teach him in his culture. And so his mom has two deaf children but she didn't know sign language. They wrote back and forth. And so that was heartbreaking to me. A little bit different from my experience. And so he moved from Mississippi to Iowa and he had culture shock. Because -- in my tribe we still pass on our tradition the old way. And he wasn't used to that. It was overwhelming for him. And so, he finally settled in Iowa for the past 10 years. Our children are involved with our tribe. They are half Choctaw and half Musquake. My children are native as well. One is hearing who is a CoDA. That's my son who it is 8. And may daughter who is 6 is deaf. And so -- our family is a deaf family with a CoDA of course. I cherish my family. I value my family and I know this experience is very unique. I am lucky, because not everybody is as fortunate. So it's sad to say that our community is small. A lot of us --
>> Rima said the family's small, too. Right?
>> Yeah. There's not a lot of us around. And it's hard it find other people, other native people to be in relationships with. I was fortunate to find a native deaf man. So we have been together 10 years strong. We have our two children, but yes. I'm very happy. >> Rima says that's so cool. That's nice. I am from a third-generation deaf family. And so, my mom and my grandmother were deaf. I have cousins, as well. My sister's deaf and I am deaf and then I have a daughter who is deaf. I have two kids. One is deaf and one is a CoDA my son. But he uses American Sign Language. It's funny because in their childhood, they really didn't know much about native folks. Because in our area, it's a strong white population. My parents really hid our identity. Because people assumed that we were Mexican and there was strong antinative sentiment here. So we passed as Mexican to avoid that oppression. That stuck with us, how my family and I were treated. We didn't want to experience that. And yes, my parents did encourage us to marry native folks but I was young, I was naive, you know. Didn't know much about native culture and so I preferred another race. I preserved white people. And then at that point I had phot yet recognized the importance of native identity and so when I had children, and they are not native, my parents, they didn't force me but before that, my mom was more like -- ok. It's fine. I accept that. But now, like 10 years ago my mom kind of had a regretful moment where she said she wished that I had kept our viable values and pass that forward. It was too late. I already had my three children. It was something that I learned. My sister did marry a native Cherokee, I believe. And they live in Oklahoma. They got married and I started to learn a lot. And I wish I had followed her footsteps. I just wish that my parents had taught me the importance of it. But, that was something that I didn't learn. Now, thinking about -- Fremont -- that was in the year, the 1980s and '90s. That was a different time. Vergena says yes, a different time. Times change.
>> Sarah's saying you're young. You're fine. You're not old at all. You have plenty of time. You are super young.
>> Rima says I'm almost 52.
>> I mean I have kids. I'm in my 30s. But, yeah. Alan, is freezing.
>> Alan, you are freezing.
>> Alan, yeah, you are freezing.
>> Rima says but anyway, yeah, my kids are now grown and I am a grandparent now. I have my grandson here. He had long beautiful hair and recently cut it. And you know in time it will grow. But we have our own -- it's a blessing to have that.
>> I mean -- how many years has it been that you have been since you have been in school?
>> Vergena says about three years. So -- hopefully --
>> Elvis is saying hello I'm back again. Alan is still having tech problems as we've seen. I saw Cecily was here. You can turn on your camera and ask your question. Cicely?
>> Yes. You can go ahead. And Cicely is saying I am a kindergarten teacher. Well I have two questions. I noticed you guys sign native on the cheek and native on the hand. And so, what's the difference for Native American? What is your preferred sign and -- if I have a Native American student, what biases should I be aware of to be careful of when I am interacting with that student? I would love your advice, please.
>> Rima says from my understanding, these terms, native, signed on the cheek, typically we learned these in school through colonization. We just accepted that as the term and that's what was popular in that era. Now, there's nothing against well when we learn more about each other, it becomes our choices. Of how we want to sign and respect other choices. I personally believe with native signed with the hand shapes are fine. But no one's going to force you to sign a specific way or say that you are wrong unless the person themselves explains to you what their preference is for those signs. And then you follow their preferences. If you use a sign like this, native on the hand or Indigenous like this, that's something you might get a response of. That's because we are still learning and that's all about our personal journeys and experiences.
>> Vergena says I want to clarify, thinking about the institute and Indigenous peoples that -- when we go through institutes we see these signs and we become used to signing it that way on the face. And we often tend to accommodate other people's level of comfortability for using the signs. So it's quite tough thinking about which one we prefer with the F handshake or D. There's no right or wrong. Use what's comfortable for the individual and follow their preferences.
>> Sarah saying I agree. We vol different languages we grew up with. We can't expect to be the same. Everybody has their own way of expressing things. And we are signing in our own sign languages. And so, it's important to know your identity and your background. Maybe you are Indigenous and you want to sign it on the hand or on the cheek with the V or F handshake and that helps you fulfilling your identity. I used to use the -- on my cheek. I changed to the V on my cheek. There's no right or wrong way. It's important to note the individual's background. Just do your research. If you are a any of it yourself and are trunk thinking what's the most appropriate sign, that might be the journey for you. But there's no right or wrong way. We are all native. Cicely is saying is there any advice for a teacher?
>> Rima saying yes, whichever signs are comfortable unless you have some people who are argumentative about it. But whatever sign is comfortable.
>> Vergena says really follow what your students prefer. Use what your students prefer.
>> It's just important to refer back to them to talk with them and whatever they decide. Yeah. Just follow that.
>> Cicely is saying thank you.
>> Elvis is saying thank you, Cicely. A very good question. It's important to talk about signs. In the deaf community we don't want to offend each other with what we are signing. With like Mexican, there are different ways to sign it. Mexican with an M hand shape T depends where you group and where you are from. And, there's no one right way to sign it. And your question brought up another question. Have you guys had barriers to communication in your tribe or in your community?
>> Obviously, yes.
>> And so what happened with that?
>> Did you have communication clues? Or, were you totally in the dark? What was your experience with your hearing community? >> I'll start. As a kid of course I was born. I grew up in the community, I had no communication access. And my parents became more prepared to advocate for me. And they started to learn basic communication. They also wrote back and forthwith me. I went to a school with an interpreter, a mainstream school. And of course the teachers themselves were native because we were on a reservation. So there were a lot of misunderstandings and having to navigate between English and sign language. And I would go to pow-wows, I would go to different celebratory events and I would be -- I could identify my identity. When I was 8, I went into the deaf school. And the rest is, the story goes on from there. But, yes, it was difficult. I was quite isolated being the only native kid in the deaf school. And, everyone was white and my family is not white. So it was a complete different experience for me and I am here at Gallaudet University. >> We are so proud of you, Rima says. Keep it up. Oh, do you want to go, Sarah? >> No, I can go last. I don't mind waiting. >> Rima says of course you know, I was lucky, because I have a deaf sister. And my grandparents are deaf. And I have a grandchild of deaf adults. And so, they knew signs so we were fortunate. And so we have communication among ourselves. But learning the native language, that was another story. You know? It was just language happening all around that I didn't have access to. My mom thought about teaching us. But, we never did learn. Especially after we went into the deaf school. Now my sister did start to learn as she got out into the world. There are a few things that she picked up and -- wow. And that was later in life. In her 20s or so. And I just wish that my mother had taught me. We would make shawls, we would make ear rings and the like. And just -- I wish my mother had taught me the language that would have changed everything for me. Now, I can understand, you know, our cultural practices and more, but I am still continuing to learn as far as communication goes, that's always been an issue for me and my deaf sister. But we have A.S.L. and are able to communicate in my family so we are fortunate in that aspect. >> I am blessed. When I was eight months old my mom very -- she took it upon herself when she realized that I was deaf, to contact local schools and learn to do a -- what to do with a deaf child. And so, she found that she could learn sign and so that's where where she went. To learn sign. She went to an ASL teacher. They got one to come visit our home. And so -- people learned sign language from me. So I learned a lot about my culture. My family. They made sure that I understood, made sure that I was involved. I was never dismissed or left out. For example. My uncle, he will always come up to meaned ask -- do you understand? Are you following the prayer? And then if not, he will explain it to me in A.S.L. He will sign to me. He will make sure that I understood better to make sure I have access to my culture. My family always communicated with me. Kept me in on conditions. One negative, though, about my tribe d there's a lot of lack of information about interpreters and so, when I go to a council meeting, think maybe once I asked if there was an A.S.L. interpreter and they said no, you have to be a member. I said how will I find a member of our tribe, a member of this council that's an interpreter. So my family's stuck having to interpret for me. I have another option. So that's one negative in my tribe. >> Rima says wow. >> Yeah. My family, a lot of them know sign language now. Now I have a deaf daughter. I communicate in that way. >> Oh, that is so nice, Vergena, Rima said. >> Elvis said yes, communication is important to success and learning your traditions. >> That's how we understand our native culture and how we pass it on. There's one person -- one woman named Arselly? You can come up and ask your question. They wanted to know about how, as a native person, you pass on your culture. Sorry, Arlyce. Interpreter clarifying. >> Arlyce you are cut off. >> Is that better? Ok. I'll try to go quickly. And so, I am related to three different tribes. Even though I'm 100% white. And how I memorized those -- sorry -- my sister's boyfriend is related to Sioux and I have a beautiful nephew that died of pneumonia and my sister's daughter married a Cheyenne tribal member and another member of my family married somebody from the Crow tribe. And so, and the native reservations some of them are featured in a museum. Some in Washington State. And they typically go, my family and friends go, to visit. And a lot of native people don't recognize me as a part of the family. Is this because I'm white? >> Rima says because you look white. That's natural that they feel that way. >> Yeah. Even though a lot of my family is native. So I am wondering what the problem is, if I am -- is it because I'm deaf? Or white? Or both? So what do you guys think? Growing up I have always been kind of rejected from native people. But -- I was visiting this white girl and hoped that somebody could accept me. And they rejected me as well. And so -- I decided to never go there again. I always -- some Indigenous people do tolerate me. I just try to go where I am tolerated. But I never knew if it's because I'm white or deaf or both. >> Rima says I would say honestly because you are white, obviously. I doubt -- I highly doubt it's because you are deaf. Because we do see some people who are native that are very accepting of deaf. But, white people are not welcomed 100% welcomed. We tread carefully with white people. We do want to protect ourselves because we are so small in numbers and we want to protect our culture, allowing a white person to come in does create some discomfort for us. And you know, they will feel unsure about welcoming you into that space. And that is nowadays even worse. We sometimes just outright are -- from white people. But you are still beautiful. Still beautiful. >> I moon my family members seem ok. But -- >> You are beautiful. >> Yeah, I'm just, maybe, I thought it was because I was deaf or something. But -- I did have hard feelings about Indigenous native people, but, reading the history about what happened to native people, that changed my heart and I am completely in support of native people. >> Thank you. >> Being from the east a lot of people ask me oh, are you part native? And I'm not. And so, because I have smaller eyes and so -- maybe that's what people thought. Sarah's saying I'm sorry, but, that you experienced that. But -- yeah. then it's hard to experience dejection and not being accepted. So I had invited a deaf friend to -- been invited by a deaf friend to go to their house, a white deaf individual. And then invited them to come to my place and they had to leave and my family didn't want them there because my experienced enslavement from white people. And we don't want to invite them. And people might be traumatized with boarding schools, what happened to people experiencing that? They don't want to reexperience that trauma. We don't want to welcome white people into our homes and have the feeling of discomfort. And it's not necessarily we want to offend the individual person but we don't want to traumatize our family. >> I would like to add my experience also, Vergena says. About my family and our small town. When I was a kid, we were strongly populated by native individuals and then one day we had a white man come to our home. And I had never seen a white person in my life at that point as a child. And, I just felt like -- ooh -- it gave me goose bumps. And at the time, we were such a small, small community. So we were kind of taken aback by this white person. So it could be that native folks feel that way about you, as well, because they are not used to seeing a white person like you. And so, it could be because of their upbringing, being from a small town. You are are the first white person they see. I know of course you are motivated, you want to be involveed in the native Cuba. That feeling, that -- could have to do with their own upbringing as well. >> Sarah's saying good question. And Elvis is saying thank you for your question. >> Do you mind talking about your experience on the reservation? I know you mentioned some of it and how you had been close and I experienced going to a reservation several times. In California, there's the Piway reservation. I have a deaf friend who is native from there. And they went to visit several times. And they have their own law and I thought about that my whole life. How -- native people have their own law in their reservation. I saw someone else who has a question. Crystal? Crystal? You have a question? Sarah's saying no, I haven't seen anybody come up. Crystal? Sarah's saying I'm going to go ahead and clarify something. About the sign for native on the cheek with the V hand shape. Some people think it's based on paint. But it's not. It's paced on the high cheek bones. This feature. Yes. >> Yeah. See in my high cheek bones. They are higher here. Rima says mine as well. The feature. >> I just wanted to get some background on that sign. >> Since crystal's struggling to turn on their video, they are having some tech issues, I saw some other questions pop up with the two-spirit Indigenous term or native term. Do you want to expand upon that? >> Could you repeat that again? >> Elvis is saying two-spirit term. Do you mind explaining about two-spirit? And Sarah's saying -- now the community, we have more labels here in America. Gay, lesbian. But in our culture, we call it two-spirit. That's someone -- we don't necessarily label who we are. We are fine with men, we are fine with women. We are ok. With either. We are fine with supporting men, women, in our tribe and so we incorporate both of those spirits. We don't typically have labels. But -- I think it's a nice name and I like that name. But there is just a newer term that popped up in the native community. >> Rima says I want to clarify what two-spirit means. And like I said, I am learning many things later. And I am learning them from my sister as she learns. And from her experience. Well, thinking about sweat -- >> Sarah's saying I'm clarifying that two-spirit means somebody in the LGBTQIA lesbian gay spectrum. And so that's just a term that we have. Someone wanted to know what that meant. But two-spirit is not related to animals, no. >> Rima saying oh, two-spirit is something I'm just beginning to learn about. So I can't really answer that question. >> I'm so me, Sara's saying. >> Rima is saying so I'm learning something new. >> Elvis is saying again language barriers and with being hearing or deaf and so we might have barriers to communication. And so, I have been in presentations for three hours, four hours, where I don't know what's going on. You know, Coco, the movie from Pixar, the day of the dead? Growing up, I never understood what that meant until Coco came out and I saw that representation. Before, I had a lot of barriers to my communication. Now I'm learning. >> We are lucky because you are talking about your struggles growing up and sharing. So -- we do have another question. There's one that we will put on hold. But Richard? Do you mind turning on your video? Richard? Richard? Ok. Can you turn on your video? Ok. We have you here. Go ahead and introduce yourself and ask your question. Richard is saying hi, this is Richard. McCowin. I happen to know Sarah. I have a very short question. My mom -- wow -- she's a strong and proud native person. My mom's mom. So my grandma, migrate grandmother and migrate great grandmother. They were 1100%. And then -- they were 100 percent. Then we mixed and so my grandma is Iroqois nation. I am not sure exactly what tribe. I suspect Pawnee but I'm not entirely sure. And so, I know people are mixed with white or they might be mixed with Black. I am mixed with Indigenous, but it is hard for me. So, what do you think about me being part native? We must, you know, recognize what we faced in the past. And so what do you guys think about that? My identities? And Sarah's saying I met many, many people that are like oh, I'm part this or part that. From a tribe oh, I'm not sure where Richard went. But we are answering his question. So -- I have had many, many people throughout the years who are like oh, I am part of this tribe, I'm part of that tribe and I'm like ok that's great. That's great for you to recognize that. But -- I think they are trying to make a relationship with me or say something. But they don't always fully know. >> Vergena says I would like to add that in this journey, often we have folks who like to come up with labels and sometimes, I also meet folks and they say those things that I'm half this or one fourth that. They are looking for their history, for example, their family trees. And so for me, as a full native person, I can't say that I know everything. Right? They are calling for us not to know this. >> Sarah says yeah, we aren't dictionaries. >> Rima says -- folks like to ask like what kind of native are you? And they want to hear a response to. That and I say I'm Chamash and you know, when there's typical tribes that have larger numbers, those names are seen more often. But folks tend to look at me and say oh, you look Hawaiian or you look Mexican. I say no, I'm native. So sometimes we have to be a little clear with them and we have to address the attitudes and say ok, sure. Instead of starting a controversy with them. Sometimes it's just not worst it. And so we don't live together, I am not in their lives, I have my life. And my life only. And sometimes I'll see white folks, you know? I don't live with your history. So I don't know your stories, your parent stories. So it's not for me to agree or disagree. If they want to share who they are, that's fine. I respect that. But the point is to have a good attitude. That's what's important. It's not worth being controversial. >> And Sarah's saying I'm not against people or even white people. Saying I'm part of this tribe or that tribe and I'm native. I don't know why they always have to tell me that. >> Vergena said that's not a good analogy. The you are white. You are white. No point in that. You are simply white. >> Rima says I agree. >> Elvis is saying yes that's true. The next question, a person who has been struggling to turn on their video. We will come back to them. So -- Vernon, do you mind turning on your camera? We will do Vernon then crystal. You can turn on your camera. They are on the camera now. I see them. Saying hello. Hi everybody. I have been enjoying watching this presentation. It's been a I mazing. I love Native Americans. I don't want to -- I don't want there to be a point in time where there isn't any Native Americans anymore. Think you need to write your family history. Document it. It's very important. To pass this down. We don't want that to go away. >> Rima says I agree. >> Sarah saying of course. About tribes and clans, Vernon is saying there are many different, many different tribes and clans throughout the United States. And so, studying in native lodges and -- it's just very interesting. My dad let me know and I'm like oh, wow, really? I have a small percentage of native blood. From the Blackfoot tribe. And so -- and in the -- we have somebody working the -- work as a U.S. Marshall that married a Black foot woman. So it was a different time. I mean there are different people, different native people Indigenous to Puerto Rico, Dominican republic. And so, now more and more is being recognized. My wife is part native or Indigenous to the Dominican republic. So I see her high cheekbones and I know that means she's native. Very distinct to her. So I am very proud of the native community. >> Rima says thank you. >> And so, itence important to keep your tribal and Indigenous languages and laws. I know that people recognize French language, English. And, um, Indigenous language. And so, in New Zealand, they have -- recognition of their languages. And, Sara's saying in Australia, I see that their aboriginal people are starting to have their language recognized. Vergena says yes in New Zealand they recognize their Indigenous language there. We don't want any of them to dissipate. We want it to keep going. >> Vergena saying I'm not sure if you recognize, but they are starting to come up more and more in film, in -- different maps, et cetera. So -- really, I think there are a few other -- which one is it. I don't remember what film. But they just added videos you know like the movie Prairie? So there's a lot more that that's starting to be available nowadays. >> Sarah saying oh, yeah I saw a movie. Vernon saying yes, I saw ASL, French, in different countries they pass laws to recognize Indigenous languages. We have English recognized and that's all. Not even Spanish here in America. Yeah. It's oppressive. >> Vergena says yeah, there's a lot more recognizing Black culture but Indigenous have been disregarded. I am wondering where are those resources in we have to emphasize catching occupien that. And Rima says yes, we have to continue to expose folks. >> You know what? -- Angelo Saxon view on America caused oppression for Indigenous individuals. The history, the culture, their lessons, it's just gone. And Sarah's saying -- back when my dad came, seeing what was handenning, there's a lot of tribal men that were just, you know, lost. Itence disappointing because we lost our way of life. It's been convoluted and messed up. Vernon saying yes, times are changing. But we have to cherish the native community. >> And I know that we will grow. We will grow. We can't give up. And Sarah's saying -- yes. But one positive thing is -- there's a lot of tribes being established. Establishing language apps. Musquake has a class to teach our language. We have level one, two, and three. So we are being able to preserve our language and teach it and so, one negative is, though, in our tribe, our spoken language is lost because there are not many elders left that know the language. So how to pronounce the language is being lost. We don't want that to happen to us so we are trying to take action and learn as much as we can. We have to do our own homework. We have to keep preserving our language. We can't just talk about it. We need to take action. And need to keep going. That's how our language survives. >> Rima says I agree. >> In south America, Central America, there is a lot of Indigenous people there. In Mexico, there's a lot of Indigenous people there. And so, we have to support them. Make sure that they can grow in the future. And so -- >> Vergena says yes, thinking about Indigenous and native people, in South America and there is still so much history and culture. So beautiful. So when you move into their homelands, you can see that history and the land history. >> I think that America needs to break its borders like in Texas, we need to be able to be free flowing throughout the nations and so maybe we can see more native representation that that way. >> Rima says also, I -- oh, -- >> Elvis is saying -- wow, there's a lot of discussion going on about the different cultures and I know there's a mention of Black culture and BASL and now we are talking about Indigenous languages. So, thank you Vernon for coming and asking your question. But I see Jimmy is here and wants to ask a question. Go ahead, Jimmy. Turn on your camera. But, yes, Indigenous language. Wow. Preserving all of our languages is important. Jimmy? Can you turn on your video? Go ahead and introduce yourself. Jimmy is saying hi my name is Jimmy Chalis Gore. Your presentation is amazing. I remember being a little boy, well as a little boy in oral school at the time, maybe I was six to 12 years old. There was another boy at the school and I didn't know that they were Indigenous. I thought that they were just, you know, maybe Black. But that's just the one person in our whole school. People would pick on them and I'm wondering why they picked on this kid. He was smart. Tough boy. And so -- now looking back, about four or five years ago I was with my son traveling. In Wyoming. You know. Strong native area. And -- I just started to feel some disgust because you know what U.S. President, the worst President that cause the massive genocide to native people? Maybe you guys can guess. >> Vergena says why do we have to guess? It was all of them. >> Abraham Lincoln. Even though he signed for Gallaudet, caused a lot of Indigenous death. Native death. And, again, we applaud him because he signed the contract for Gallaudet to be established, but it's embarrassing that we laud him for these things. And he's a murderous President. They agreed to just take land. And America encroached on native territory. And they broke those treaties and came in and moved in. A lot of native people decided to hide in the forest and stay. They strategized and there was a war. And went back to the forest. But -- again, there was a genocide from that. A lot of native people were killed and Abraham Lincoln and the American people at that time thought of it as a victory. And -- still, Abraham Lincoln decided to kill babies, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers. And completely decimate them. I keep thinking to myself, Lincoln? Really? And I'm just disgusted. But -- I just wanted to make that comment. I think Gallaudet owes you guys. Your stories are beautiful. And I can't recommend it myself but I think you guys need to talk to Gallaudet and I think they owe you. It's embarrassing to see what Abraham Lincoln did. >> Sarah saying contact Vergena. She's a Gallaudet student currently right now. >> Sara's saying yes, I will add something. Andrew Jackson also was a completely horrible President. That was the revival act is what he signed and that was to kill all. He wanted all wiped out. All native people. And so, through that bill he wanted to kill us. That was Andrew Jackson. And so -- for a cap from a native person, they would offer $2 for a teen, maybe a couple more. They would scalp people and so yes, they did that. Americans did that. And so, there's just a lot of atrocities that happen. But the history isn't there. The it's not documented. There's so much to learn. >> Rima says it's a shame. It's an embarrassment on Americans. Why is this my country? Why is my country doing this? Rima saying thinking about the Chumas people in southern California, we were so numerous. And then white people settled there. >> St. Francis. >> In St. Francis and they started to colonize and kill the Indigenous folks and push us out and they would use Indigenous folks as slaves and they would sexually molest them and many other atrocities. We had long beautiful hair. They would cut our hair short. They would keep us in basements and use native peoples as sex slaves and they would kill others and, as they found more native peoples they would bring them in and kill them and the numbers dwindled drastically. >> And Jimmy is saying two days ago on TV they leased something, I didn't catch the name, but in a church basement, they found people's bodies. They dug up and found people's bodies in a church basement. Can you imagine? Like kids being in there and never coming out. It's disgusting. It's disgusting. >> Rima saying yes, that's why our families hate white people. Detest white people. >> And, I as a white person, I have to accept it. I understand what you are saying. I mean we have eyes. We have hands. We have feet. We walk. We eat, we breathe. Everything is the same. So why does it have to be different if I am white and you aren't. Why do we have to wipe out people? It's disgusting. >> Thank you, Rima says. >> Elvis is saying thank you. It's a good discussion. I saw a question pop up about the three of you. Have you experienced powwows? And if you could share your experience about powwos. Sara's saying I can go. I can go. >> I see you want to go, Sarah. Go ahead. >> Yes. And so, I have been to powwows since I was a baby. We have dance, jingle dress dancing. This is what it looks like. That what's we use for our jingle dress dancing and so -- my family has been involved with powwows for a long time. My nieces, nephew, we have been dancers and so -- my kids are now going to powwows as well. This is the sign for powwow. >> Oh, we have done it like this, Rima says. And we all have different signs. So it's so nice to share among us. This is how we sign powwow. >> Oh, that's cool. I didn't know that. I didn't know that. So -- and powwows, this is how we do t I just want to emphasize this is how we do it with Musquake powwows. Back in the day we would harvest all summer. We would harvest and then when we were done, we could cook, we could feast and we danced. We would dress up and so, we have been doing that for hundreds of years. In Augsburg August, we just had a pow wow. We couldn't host any during COVID, so it had been two years that we didn't have a powwow. Timely we got back together and hosted one. It had been too long. Oh, my gosh. >> Rima says I miss our powwows. We have to travel so far. I wish we could reserve a place closer. But -- that's in California. Here in Arizona, we have to find a place to go and typically it's further away but in California, we are pretty close to be able to do powwows. Thinking about our cultures and the beautiful regalia that we use. And having the small cute little ones in the powwows. I am more fascinated by the drums. I am so, so, moved by the drums. >> Yeah. You can feel the beat. >> Vergena is signing yes, I used to go to powwows often and I would see my friends who participated in powwows. You would do different tribal dances, we would travel to see them and it was so nice. The music, the sounds, the good was so delicious, the events, yes. Rima is saying my family didn't practice powwows until I learned about it from, and my sister was involved in a powwow. I wish I had done that before. Now I have three nephews who also were champion powwow dancers. At 7 years old they were participating. They still dance even to this day. >> Awesome. So, what is the sign, oh, Elvis has a question. Elvis is saying there's a question that popped up in the chat. What is powwow? I know you showed the signs that you have. It's fascinating to see the different signs. But what does a powwow mean? Do you mind explaining what the event is and then we will move on to the next question. >> Sarah's saying like I was explaining, we harvest, we work very hard and when we are done, we celebrate with a powwow. That's our gathering. Our celebration. We enjoy music and dance together. And so -- that's what I think. Yeah. We have been doing it for over 100 years. >> Rima saying yes, you are right. It's like our gift. Our award becomes given, we greet, dedance, we sell things, we buy boots, we buy things from one another. It's really nice. >> Ok. So -- this question leads into the powwows. Can white people participate? And watch powwows? Sarah says yes. Yeah. >> Definitely. >> So how do we get the information for powwows? Where do we go? Sarah's saying social media. >> Rima says of course. We welcome white people to watch but not to be involved. Now husbands, children, other folks can participate, but we do not allow outsiders to participate in the powwow. We want everyone to come together and learn about us and honor us, definitely. But to have someone come in and take over our practices, it would kind of be like -- what are you doing here? These are our cultural celebrations. This is how we come together to value native culture and history. And so I do see that kind of behavior sometimes. >> Sarah's saying yes, and I forgot to add for powwows, it used to be a competition, too. We do have competitions in our powwows, like women, men and children teams. Different groups. So there is something that's competing for money. Sometimes it could be up to a thousand, $800, it just depends on the powwow, what we are doing. So we have competitions on a reservation for that. But just wanted to add about the and Rima says you are absolutely right. Amber says -- I'm going a little bit off the topic, but with powwows, at least here, as a student, they have PISGAH or ISGAH, Indigenous folks here in Virginia, Maryland area. And so they do have powwows here in the springtime. So as the avents approach, we will let you know. Rima says powwows you have your own animal related dances. For example the wolf dance. The coyote dance. And, as Sarah mentioned earlier, powwows can have their own spirit animals. And so, sometimes you are dancing for example to the coyote spirit animal or the swordfish spirit animal so you will have a variety of dances going on. It's very interesting. >> Sarah's saying yeah. >> Elvis is saying that's cool. Oh, go ahead, Vergena. >> Vergena is saying I also wanted to make a comment. About native and Indigenous and the other terms. And we are not using the word Indian that's not appropriate. It's typical to refer to the people in India. We do not use term Indian to refer to ourselves and Rima says yes, it requires constant education it teach folks about what labels we can use. >> And Sarah's saying the reason we don't use the term "indian" is because when Europeans came to the Americas and they saw us, they are like oh, we are in India. And so -- they thought they landed in India. And that's why they labeled us Indian. And so -- we don't use that term. >> And Elvis is saying that's a good point. To mention that we don't use that term anymore. And so, thank you for telling us about powwows. Do you dies have any holidays that you celebrate as native people? We have, you know, Valentine's day, Halloween, Easter. What are native holidays that you celebrate? >> Vergena says -- my all-time favorite is Neena, typically in the spring and summertime. And there's another one that's a native holiday but I can't remember the name for it. But we typically gather and celebrate in the wintertime and in the springtime. And it happens with the seasons. It's typically, a multi-day celebration and we have seven different folks who come. And we have variety of people like those who have been ill, et cetera, and we did this for seven days. We help one another cook. We feed one another. We have music. And it's just a time of enjoying. Enjoyment. And then we go visit other tribes. In this tribe, we typically have another round of celebrations with them. And so, it's one of my favorite, favorite holidays of the many ones we celebrate. >> And there's a lot of events that we go to and we get to see our cousins, our family, our friends and we gather and eat and so that's kind of like a holiday. We just get to get together and, yeah. They are great memories. >> And Sarah's saying my favorite holiday is the Musquake annual powwow. I always looked forward to that every year. It's the end of August, oh, my gosh. >> Hey everybody. When we are together, idants, I single. I Ate. >> Onall -- our tribe didn't own land, our land. We had a reservation. And a settlement that we bought. And our tribe is one of the only that had a settlement. But that's my wrap up point. I have to go. But I think it's very important for you guys to look at Iqua. That's an Indian child welfare act. ICWA. So ICWA is very important. It's a hot topic right now. Because the supreme court is thinking about removing ICWA. And we don't want that moved. We need to keep ICWA. The Indian child welfare act. Because white parents, I think it was in Texas, I believe, wanted to adopt native children and they were mad that they couldn't and so, they were trying to remove this act to be able to adopt these children so they took it all the way to the supreme court. We have 574 tribes. What's worse than that is, the oil conditions are paying to remove ICWA. They are sponsoring this. Because they want the land. They want the oil. And so, it's very important to read up on and research about ICWA. The Indian child welfare act. We can't have it be removed. We need your help. We need you to spread the word, to sign petitions. But I do have to go now. >> Rima says thank you, Sarah. Take care. >> Take care, everybody. And Elvis is saying thank you, Sarah, for inspiring us with your words. Take care. >> And Elvis is saying -- we have another question from Lisa. Lisa, you can turn on your screen. >> Lisa's saying hello. Oh, it's been fascinating learning about and diving into the native Indigenous culture. So I think it was about two days ago, I was in a Zoom meeting with two native people. And we were talking and I was just wondering how you feel about the term BIPOC. Or IBPOC and so -- is that a label or term that you accept? Or do you feel is BIPOC a term that you don't agree with? I know it's B and then I. So, B representing a different cultures I representing a different culture, then POC in general. What do you think of BIPOC as a term? >> Rima's saying -- I feel like if we just were to use the term BIPOC that erases some of our identity. But, we can't all be lumped up in one term together. I think we need to recognize each of us, I would rather -- we just keep recognizing each culture, respective culture. And so -- that way we are not lumped together. That's my thought. >> Vergena says yes, we have had these terms and labels we have been set up with for quite some time. I wonder why we felt the need to use BIPOC. I would suggest and remind everyone, you know, what the meaning is behind those terms. >> And so, if we were to lump them all together and in with maybe one, you know, was more important than the other, we would forget about everybody else. We need to recognize everybody's culture and value everybody's culture. I mean, we are small. We don't want to lose our culture. And so -- I don't think it's a negative thing. But it's just a fact that we need to recognize and value. >> Yes, I do value all of the Fay tif culture. I see the turquoise and the jewelry that you have. It's just beautiful. >> Vergena says yes, when we go out west and into different communities we tend to sell things generally that are hard to find in our areas. So that's harder in the east compared to the west. >> And Rima is saying I do want to add something. BIPOC individuals might start selling Indigenous or native jewelry. Just for the representation or whatever. But then we lose that business. You have to allow our native culture to represent ourselves. We are selling it to buy food. We can't just be under one umbrella term. We need it make sure that we are identified, recognized and that we can function on our own. And, Elvis is saying I have a question from somebody, but I am -- Rima is saying you are freezing. Lisa's saying you are freezing, too. >> Elvis wants to clay are fie the term BIPOC. Oh, am I freezing? >> Yeah, you were discussing flipping the BI and becoming IBPOC. Talking about native folks? Or folks coming to the land or your folks coming here? I am just curious why the IBPOC in this discussion. Whoever wants to respond in relation to this. >> Yeah, I have always wondered why B is first. But we are on native land. So the I should be first. Because it represents Indigenous. >> And Rima saying yes, we live in a different rather. The times are changing. The B.L.M. movement has come up. The BIPOC term has come up. And you know, we are getting forgot about. That's my opinion. >> Lisa says I feel the I and the B should be flipped in that acronym. That's just my thought. I think it should be IBPOC. That would be so nice. >> Rima saying I don't know, I don't think it's my place to discuss. And Elvis is saying, you know, we could have a long discussion about terms. Oh, -- am I clear now? Is my video good? Elvis is saying we can have a long discussion about IBPOC, BIPOC or just POC in general. But we are limited on time. So we can move on to the next question. So what native crafts do you like to make in your culture? >> Rima says so my mom is a seamstress and, my uncle makes these types of jewelry like the bracelet that I have in metalwork. And my dad started the family to sell these types of pieces. And so, and so -- I have both of those in me. Right? But I hate sewing, even though my mom encouraged me and said in the future, I need to -- and for business. I tried my hardest to sew and it just did not suit me. And so I see my family and all the crafts that they make in our enjoyment time together and the things that they pass down soon some day they hope I will sew like my mom. >> Yes, me, too. I remember it's funny because I was learning, again, learned my culture late in life and my sister started making earrings. Long earrings, necklaces, um -- moccas ishes ns. So that uses bison. Or Buffalo. We have used that and painted that on things and just made jewelry, sold things and made money from that. I saw this crafting and my sister taught me how to start beading and sewing ear rings and I got to like three or four beads in and I'm like ok, I don't have the patience for this. You are patient, I'm not. And so -- I am making dreamcatchers and that's cool, but I don't have the patience. >> Vergena says, you know, I just have to take those small steps to learn how to sew but I am in college and so busy right now. >> Well, I am sure you will. You will have the time. >> Do we want to go to the next question? >> Elvis? Elvis? >> Hello? >> Elvis is saying oh, sorry. Am I clear? Is my video good? I have a question. In the native community or in your tribes, do you support Thanksgiving? Do you celebrate that holiday? And so what is your opinion about Thanksgiving? And Rima is saying ok, like I said, I learned late. But growing up, we weren't educated on this. Until after I graduated. And then we realized we shouldn't celebrate Thanksgiving because that's when Columbus conned us, you all know the story. We encourage each other to not celebrate Thanksgiving. We never say happy Thanksgiving. What we sign instead is -- "gathering." That's what we call T we call it a gathering. And it's a day of mourning for us. We have a moment of silence. We light candles. It's not a happy joyous day. Not a happy moment. It's a sad day of mourning. We don't celebrate on Thanksgiving. Some people celebrate or gather together on Wednesday or Friday in protest of the holiday. I have some attitude about it and people are kind of like -- why? And but I'm like sorry, to them. But we don't celebrate Thanksgiving. What's what we practice. We don't celebrate the holiday. It's a day of mourning for us. >> Vergena says -- really -- when I was growing up my family did celebrate, but not so much Thanksgiving. It would be gratitude for the family. Gratitude for the cooking. Which that's related to our history. And that's kind of gone away now and so we just tend to give gratitude to pray. It's a day of mourning for us. We do appreciate one another's presents. But -- I think 500 or so different tribes, right? We don't really celebrate. We have different beliefs. And what that day means for us is different for all of us. And thinking will friends and being thankful for friends and family. So that what's we focus on. >> In the word Thanksgiving, we just say friends-giving or gathering. There's another word that we use. We don't say thanksgiving, because we aren't giving thanks. >> Elvis is saying true. I like Rima your point in the Black community, a picnic is not an appropriate term. Like Thanksgiving is not an appropriate term. And so -- we have to change what we say. Gathering makes sense to me so where our family is gathering together. And so we do have one final question. How do deaf people at large support you guys? How do we support your tribe? Your community? How do we buy from your businesses? How do we support the ICWA law? Where is the petition we sign up on? How do we advocate? >> Vergena says two things. Make sure to support our Gallaudet native students. We have our Pisgah group. You can follow us, you can support us, you can find raise for us. For our elders. We are very young. Right? And so we are looking for elders who can teach us from different tribes. So please contact us. Please. We just established ourselves last year and so we are trying to grow. But, make sure to support actual deaf native businesses. Encourage deaf native and Indigenous sellers, contact us as well. We can provide you with a list of business owners that are native owned. >> And it's important to support the culture and the people that you identify with. If you have native blood that you identify with or even if you are from the Black community or Japanese community, support your people, too. You can show us support by buying from our businesses as well. Think more education and just be open minded. Have a good attitude. And also, children that have part native blood, support them. Encourage that. Make them believe in their culture. Because we learn from each other every day. >> And Vergena says I would like to add a few things. Just to let you know that, Indigenous people are very peaceful. We follow our close railfays for example. We tend to keep to ourselves and be quite. And so, make sure to be respectful of Indigenous peoples. Our histories and our tendencies to be very common into ourselves. Respect our boundaries, please. Lisa says -- wow. That was very educational. And just thank you so much for sacrificing your time to be part of this. There are so many comments coming through in the chat of praise and gratitude. To you both. So thank you so much for your time. Thank you for being part of this. And, for being ready to support. And yes, we need to support the ICWA. So thank you again. Thank you for those of you who came to the webinar. We appreciate you, as well. >> Thank you. >> Vergena says I really enjoyed this and it's my first time being involved in something like this. Starting to plant the seed. These are baby steps forward tore for me. >> Lisa says well we were happy to give you an opportunity to be a part of this. Thank you so much. >> Love you guys. >> Thank you for letting me be a part of this. Thank you. >> Goodbye, everyone.
Previous webinars in this series:
- January 27, The Healing Process, Part 1
- February 24, Black Deaf Excellence
- March 24, The Healing Process, Part 2
- April 21, The Other Side
- June 9, Interrupting and Dismantling the Institutional Racism
- June 16, Intersecting LGBTQIA2S+ Identities and Anti-Racism Work
- August 18, What is Invisible Racism?
- Our webinars are intended to be a safe, secure, and learning environment for all participants with the purpose of encouraging productive discussions
- All participants are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and courteous manner, and to show respect to everyone at all times without any form of harassment.
- The NAD does not tolerate harassment of any kind, including but not limited to: race, national origin, age, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, religion, or political affiliation. The NAD reserves the right to expel any person who engages in violations of this conduct policy, and also reserves the right to ban such person from future events. No refunds will be given to any person who has been expelled from the conference for violating this conduct policy.
- Anyone can report harassment or inappropriate conduct. If any person’s behavior has made you uncomfortable, or if you witness inappropriate conduct towards someone else, please immediately contact any staff or security affiliated with the NAD.