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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The Seventh Generation: 5 Student Projects Making A Difference


If only we all had that seventh generational consciousness, it would make such a difference in the world. -Angela
12/3/14
Mental Health: When Traditional Healing Meets Modern Techniques
“With a history of injustice and violence, helping women is a big piece of mental health. A lot of our tribal communities only have whatever we get from Indian Health Service and tribal healers,” said Amanda Takes War Bonnet, who is a grandmother, a graduate student at Sinte Gleska, Rosebud, and the public education specialist for Native Women’s Society of the Great Plains.
Historically, Takes War Bonnet said the elders and ancestors practiced ways that kept them in balance. But today, much is lost through a modern lifestyle. “We are told all the time how to take care of your body, your heart, diabetes, obesity—but we are not taught how to take care of our brain. How do you take care of your mental health?” she asked.
Amanda Takes War Bonnet, Rosebud, is working towards uniting modern and traditional therapy techniques for women suffering generational and other traumas. (Christina Rose)
Amanda Takes War Bonnet, Rosebud, is working towards uniting modern and traditional therapy techniques for women suffering generational and other traumas. (Christina Rose)
Takes War Bonnet believes, “We were really strong women at one time and we need to empower our women. They are weakened from the injustices. Education and awareness are important, especially when we have such a thick silence. People need to develop and attend webinars, community workshops, read, research—you need to know a lot. I really encourage women to do that. We need more mental health workers and healers, we used to need more teachers, now we need more guidance counselors in the schools.”
Chelsey Spotted Tail, a sexual assault advocate with the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, works with Takes War Bonnet as part of mental health internship. Spotted Tail credited Takes War Bonnet with helping with the summer Isnati (womanhood) ceremony and activities that helped women heal.
Dr. Mary Ann Coupland, a clinical psychologist and teacher at Sinte Gleska University, said Takes War Bonnet is a person who does many things for people under the radar. “Amanda is on track to graduate in the spring with a Master’s Degree in mental health. The only thing that would stand in her way is missing class because she is too busy helping the people.”
Girls Basketball Teams
Jon Berryhill, 37, Three Affiliated Tribes, is a student in the United Tribes Technical College’s Business Program. He is making use of all the resources and connections that UTTC can provide. “I am learning to ask questions now, instead of waiting until I am done,” he laughed.
Jon Berryhill, in black, and the assistant coach, Phillip St. John, are hoping to bring holistic success through the team sport of girl’s basketball. (Jon Berryhill)
Jon Berryhill, in black, and the assistant coach, Phillip St. John, are hoping to bring holistic success through the team sport of girl’s basketball. (Jon Berryhill)
Berryhill recognized that there were very few opportunities for girls to play basketball before high school, so he and two other students organized an elementary school level girls basketball team. Now in sixth grade, the girls have been playing together for three years. “They are doing very well,” Berryhill said. “They are one of the top two teams in the state.”
“The team is about 80 percent Native, and our kids are developing confidence in their teamwork. It’s nice that they know they can compete,” Berryhill said. “Basketball is a tool. We are trying to create a student athlete who will succeed, who will go above and beyond, who won’t settle, who will go to college, and have dreams of being the next Shoni Shimmel. We see inner city teams, but not too many Native girl basketball teams.
“These girls are already playing at the eighth grade level,” he said proudly.
Developing Safe Activities for the Youth
“We want to provide something for the youth that we wished we had when we were growing up,” Waycen Owens Cyr, 19, Fort Peck Community College, Wolf Point, Montana, said. As the student president majoring in computer technology, Cyr said, “We do as much as we can to make sure students have the help they need to maintain their education. If they have a problem, we help.”
Waycen Owens wants to provide safe activities for the youth, the kind he wished they had when he was young. (Waycen Owens)
Waycen Owens wants to provide safe activities for the youth, the kind he wished they had when he was young. (Waycen Owens)
Cyr has made it his mission to provide safe activities for the youth. “We organize movie nights, Christmas and Thanksgiving events, giveaways for the students; and keep the student life active. We show newer movies and promote safe activities.” Cyr said, noting that even older people attend the events. “Our plan is to hold safe events for the youth in the area.”

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/12/03/seventh-generation-5-student-projects-making-difference-158095?page=0%2C1

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