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Friday, July 6, 2012

We are not the past: Overcoming Stereotypes

The Ponca Tribe, Second Edition
James H. Howard
Introduction by Donald N. Brown
New introduction by Judi M. gaiashkibos
Judi M. gaiashkibos, an enrolled member of the Ponca tribe of Nebraska, is executive director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs and president of the Governor’s Interstate Indian Council.
Her mom was one of the students at the Genoa Indian School, a federally operated boarding school where Native American children received vocational training. The school was open from 1884-1934 and now is a museum.
It served as a training ground for assimilation into white society. Unlike some children, gaiashkibos’ mother went to the school willingly....

“When you say Native American, usually something comes to mind. It is an image, a stereotype. We are very limited in your mind what we can do,” she said, adding that it isn’t a challenge that European descendants have to face.
But one of the messages that she preaches is overcoming preconceived notions.
“Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, but you can’t paint us all with one paintbrush. All Indian people are not all one thing, but we can be everything we think we can be,” gaiashkibos said.

Read more:

We are not the dead, we are not the past, we are still here... Trace

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