Fri Nov 19th, 2021
Tags: ancestral lands, Culture is Prevention, indigenous people of these lands, language and culture, Native American Heritage month, Native Americans, Native Connections Program, Precious Collins, Southern Ute Behavioral Health Division, Southern Ute Indian Reservation, We are RESILIENT
That might sound a little weird to say it like that, “Happy NAHM!” But we should be happy. Yes, we as Native Americans, as indigenous people of these lands, have been through so much since our creation, but that just proves one thing: We are RESILIENT! We are resilient people who, thanks to our ancestors, have made it to this point in time. Yes, we recognize and talk about history but sometimes it is focused on all the negative things that have happened to us. This is an opportunity for us to remember our teachings from our ancestors and to keep moving forward. So, let’s take a step forward together.
We want our children and their children to be here generations from now, right? We want our language and culture to be carried on, right? We want our people to remember their ancestors and ancestral lands, right? How can we help make that happen? There are many ways we can do this but let’s focus on one important way for this article – forgiveness.
Remember the past and take the lessons forward. Forgiveness is hard. Especially when it involves some of the historical traumas and events that happened to our people. Maybe it’s something our own people, family, friends, or community did to us. No matter what it is, forgiveness isn’t for them, it’s for us. Forgiving someone or people doesn’t mean we are forgetting what happened, or that we are weak, or it’s our fault or responsibility to forgive. It’s the exact opposite. According to the HealthLine.com, “forgiveness helps us heal.” Holding on to the negative thoughts, anger, and resentment can negatively affect us physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Forgiveness has been proven to have health benefits such as lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety, and even improved self-esteem. Forgiveness also allows us to learn healthy ways to think about ourselves and others, seeing that others do not have the power to affect us negatively. We have an opportunity this month to recognize our past for the good and bad, to celebrate and thank our ancestors for giving us life, and to forgive. Forgive ourselves, others, and things that negatively affected our way of life, our culture, language, etc. That is going to be an important key to our future, especially a healthy future for our Ute People.
Reclaiming and picking up where our ancestors left off.
“Culture is Prevention” is a great way of thinking for our community and those who work in programs that provide services, information, and support to our Native community on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. We can reclaim, relearn, and pick up where our ancestors left off so that our way of living, thinking, behaving, and doing can be taken into the future. We all belong to this way of thinking. We all have a role in our culture surviving. Help us pick up where our ancestors left off.
For more information on how our program will implement “Culture is Prevention” here on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation, please contact the Southern Ute Native Connections Program at the Behavioral Health Division 970-563-5700. We would love your support and input!
Don’t forget to check out our positive norming flyer in this issue: “We are Ute. We all belong.”
Culture Forward: A Strengths and Culture Based Tool to Protect our Native Youth from Suicide. https://caih.jhu.edu/programs/cultureforward Sept. 30, 2021
Healthline: How to Forgive. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-forgive April 27, 2020.
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