Dineh Jean Whitehorse: Boarding schools, relocation and sterilization
November 30, 2014
By Brenda Norrell Censored News
SAN FRANCISCO -- Jean Whitehorse, Dineh from Navajo Nation, spoke on abuse in boarding schools, bias in children's literature, relocation and the sterilization of Native American women, during the American Indian Movement's gathering, AIM West, Nov. 21 -- 22, 2014. Jean spoke on the boarding schools which were designed to strip the identity, family ties and the language of their ancestors from Native Americans. "I still speak Navajo, that is what the government tried to wash out of our mouths," Jean said. In boarding school, the goal of the school was to make Natives like whites. She said they were given a number in boarding school, and were not addressed by their name. She couldn't even speak to her brother at school. "There were no holidays. Our parents couldn't even visit us." Then for Jean, like many other Native Americans, there was relocation to the cities. But the good part was she was in the right place at the right time. She was in the Bay Area in the time of the occupation of Alcatraz, she said.
Jean described how she was a victim of the United States secret sterilization of Native American women. The United States secretly engaged in sterilizing Native women when they were in IHS hospitals for other reasons. After she returned home from the Bay Area to the Navajo Nation, she was treated for an illness at Indian Health Service in Gallup, N.M. "Two years later I found out that I was sterilized."
Listen to more of Jean's comments at AIM West on Earthcycles in the video library. www.earthcycles.net
AIM West Conference 2014 links at Censored News
Dineh Jean Whitehorse: Boarding schools, relocation and sterilization of Native American women