tv Race Gender and Violence on the Western Frontier CSPAN January 13, 2019 2:19pm-4:01pm EST
today in los angeles, we have a significant native population . it comes from all over the country, including the people that are tongva. you will see many murals honoring torporina. if you see a native woman in a mural, that is most often a representation of her. a tongvan phrase means we are still here. our cities tour staff travel to santa monica, california to discover its rich history. learn about santa monica and other stops on our tour at c-span.org/citiestour. you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> american history tv, a panel of
historians discuss the ways white settlers, federal troops and native americans and directed and challenges they faced on the western frontier. topics include gender identity, examples of survivalist cannibalism, and immigration detention. this 90 minute discussion is part of the western history association's annual meeting. by name is diana distefano. this is a roundtable called "reimagining expansion: some race, gender and violence." as you can see we are being found today. that is kind of exciting. c-span is here. prettyndtable is set up normally. we have two moderators today. than the rest of us are going to be talking briefly about our current research.
then we will open it up for questions and discussion and we are hoping the audience is going to be participating a lot in these conversations. over on the end is dee garco. she is affiliated with the university of montana. is here from the north. and james brooks is from uc santa barbara. catherine franklin is from texas tech university. carol -- i always miss of your last name. from you into charlotte. -- unc charlotte. to my right is craig smith is from virginia commonwealth university. ka is frome mencha
texas christian university. i think we are going to each talk briefly about our research and then open it up to questions. celeste, do you want to start? >> i prepared a few remarks. this is the research. -- new research so i have more questions than answers. when the policy pertaining to parent and child separation of apprehended, undocumented families service this summer, the trump administration shifted course to expand family detention and set a child separation. although the u.s. currently has the largest detention system in the world, it would still be to grow its family detention capacity to meet increasing conservation efforts. ps beingthe tent cam built are expanding. while the scale and extent is
unprecedented, the call for increased detention facilities has an extensive history, one that began in the turn of the 20th century and features incarceration of immigrant women and their children. 1882 helpedn act of usher in immigration surveillance, specifically at the u.s.-mexico border. began withigration the act in 1875. in terms of enforcement we see that happening in 1882 on the southern border. chinese men were apprehended and house in local jails instead of bureau of immigration detention facilities. by 1907, new immigration legislation and expanded enforcement of female immigrants precipitated the construction of facilities to house and process these female detainees. alleged immigrant female prostitutes were often indefinitely held to testify against -- this created an administrative dilemma.
who would be responsible for immigrant women and where were they await trial? thehis early period detention of witnesses was not universally agreed upon. debate existed between bureau officials as to the effectiveness of the policy. some wondered if funds were better spent on guarding chinese immigrants and not on "these useless investigations" of immigrant female prostitutes. conflict arose between the bureau in both the u.s. attorney's office and the department of commerce and labor. bureau detained women in jails rather than detention facilities, attorney general's on the southern border are hesitant to place them in "ancounty jail, as in inappropriate place to keep women were not criminals." the department of commerce and labor was shocked by the bureau's enforcement practices as they strongly believed "that
attention and jail of persons who are not held on suspicions of wrongdoing was abhorrent." what that shows is not everybody was actually on the same page, but ultimately immigration detention did take its shape of u.s.-mexico border on the backs of these female migrants. -- the borderland can be a violent place. there is also moments of resistance. that is the second part. however, women sought ways to circumvent the immigration restrictions they faced. part of my research draws on these board of inquiry transcripts. the board of inquiry deliberated over the admission of excludable immigrants, and oversaw their interrogations. what i found these interrogations was that the psi -- bci operated to encode
corporately mexican female immigrants as sexually deviant. served as aously stage for them to respond for the own performances of processing. slew ofrformed a admissible activities, including a devoted mother, curriculum and hard-working labor. when his attempts failed, women did not let up and go home. many crossed until they reached their intended destination. additionally female detainees filed appeals, samiti grievances and were noncompliant officers demands. there were moments of resistance. borderlands can be a very violent space, and how do people then survive in this violent space? what is interesting is two weeks ago i was part of another workshop at the university of california irvine. -- that organized
workshop was about humane approaches to borderland history. not so much you made approaches, but looking at family, kinship, love. is mentioned the title -- it "doors and windows with heart." about whens really we find this love and intimacy and family, and it's interesting that two weeks later i'm on this panel about violence. it seems both really do go hand-in-hand. i have a series of questions but i think i will wait until the end. >> good morning, everyone. thanks for coming. my name is craig smathers. i am working on a project at the moment tentatively titled
"discovering two spirits: queer stories of american history." i began-year history embarking on about five or six years ago now. friends i have and have known for a while were talking to me about many of the issues afflicting them and attacking their lives in contemporary america. those issues related to violence, relate to the politically ignored by the so-called mainstream lgbtq humidity, to say nothing -- community, to say nothing of the broader society in which we live. i continued to have his conversations with friends i have in those communities. i decided to embark on this project, which by way of
definition two spirit is an umbrella term, a generic term designed and coined in the 1980's, early 1990's to speak about people who embody both male and female spirits. that is a very simplistic definition. as i research has been uncovering and talking to people and digging into the archives, definitions of who a two-spirit person is and how their identities change over time are far more complex than that political definition that was diploid in the late 1980's. largely in response to aids activism and the aids epidemic of the 1980's that brought two-is agether in spirit communities. we have women like barbara cameron to thank for that among
others that i can talk about later. front about my position allergy -- positionality in relation to the story i'm telling. i am not native. i am not gay. i am only marginally american. i was born and raised in australia. i have citizenship now, so they me out for things i say -- as far as i am aware -- [laughter] so, i am very aware and sensitive to the fact that i am a guest and visitor here on turtle island. respective of being led by native narratives and what people are saying about the history i am writing about, which is what i am trying to do.
i'm trying to do something very different with this story. i am combining archival research and trying to read against the of some veryunts violent episodes in which spanish, french, and english engageds and invaders in violent and heinous acts against people they accused of being sodomites or her now for hermaphrodites, act that tell us a lot more about the invaders then they do about native communities and kinship. this, what i am interested in is having native voices and the native people i am talking to really interrogate
those colonial archives and have those voices interjected into europeans andich americans over the last 400-5 hundred years have been rewriting history. one of the things i have noticed in doing this work is that there toan overwhelming tendency engage in both rhetoric and active elimination to try to completely exterminate and people we now call people from native communities. alarming toicularly spirit people today because it connects to their living history. , many ofes i tell them the violent stories of ofonialism, they are unaware , they are in colonial archives,
in some cases for 300 years, but i go through these stories with prescient.ey are so they really do impacted their lives and connect with the stories. violence against transgender people in native communities and in the broader community as well -- i don't know if many of you have been keeping up with this but transgender murder rates have been on the increase over the last three or four years, and there was a spike shortly after trump was elected to the presidency. in the media lost about those accounts is that there are native transgender people who are the targets of that violence. this is nothing new. the history i am talking about from 300 or 400 years ago is today.
i am trying to have two spirit people in all of their complexities come to the forefront of what i am writing, but also have them critique colonial history in a way i don't feel has been adequately critiqued. my motives for doing this are goten first by the sense i when i began this project -- and i alluded to this earlier -- that mainstream lgbtq politics is very much wedded to a neoliberal inclusionary, civil kind of narrative, and that has led to some very interesting encounters in recent over the nature of lgbtq history in north america between two spirit people and white,eople from
african-american, and other communities. in some cases, one of the areas -- and i can talk more about this example later -- but, one of the areas that became crystallized for native people was during the fight for the dakota access pipeline in 2016 when two spirit people were at the forefront of that activism and were joined in protesting the army corps of engineers, etc., to try to halt that project. people saw that activism is an example of how they are connecting their identity to community, to sovereignty, to the respective ceremonial spaces. lack, white, and lgbtq people black,s sp really --
white, and lgbtq people saw this ofpurely an example environmentalism. there were some exchanges andeen two spirit people lgbtq people in washington, d.c., with the army corps of engineers. i'm trying to connect this to the physical elimination but also the discursive historical illumination of two spirit people from native histories. i trying to re-center and demonstrate how to -- how to spirit people are critical to understanding -- two spirit people are critical to understanding native communities. i will stop there. >> i am working on a project that does not have a good title
right now. funny titles like flesh eating frontiers, for example. his i am interested in cannibalism in the 19th century euro-american imagination. as an historian, we often are , but i amcts interested in the way what imagining has real power. in the case of 19th century , carol is interested in the construction of cannibalism from the .uro-american perspective often it is attributed -- let me look at my notes before i start to lose my train of thoughts.
in racistested constructions that link cannibalism with native americans and how that informs stereotypes of native american people, but i am also interested survival cannibalism in disaster situations experienced by a euro americans and how that construction of native cannibalism as well. i want to talk specifically today about an incident that two of family60 on the oregon trail. , i want to backup a little bit and say one of the things that really intrigued me was one of the things that dominated the euro-american imagination was the fear of violence from native american people. likely for more
whites to perpetrate violence against native american people. intriguing is an part of the story, the fear that was incorporated into that settlor, colonial experience, especially on the oregon trail. there was a lot of concern, of course, by whites, that they were going to be attacked by indians, and of course, it was usually the other way around. the dominant historical narrative that came out of that experience was of whites persevering and fighting for their right to the land, and of course being entitled to that land. that is the context for what i am interested in, but i wanted to talk a little bit about this one case because i think it's interesting. a lot of people know about the
donner party and the trials that led to survival cannibalism. they were forced to either dead in order to make it through the winter. that's the most famous story, there are other cases of survival cannibalism as well. an encounter came from a by ative written in 1892 woman named evelyn fuller. in 1860, she left with her family, her parents and 10 children, she was 13 at the time. they left wisconsin and had a pretty typical journey across the plains. arrived in idaho, they were supposed to receive a that werescort typical in the area, but the commander of the four -- fort
asked if all the women and girls in the party would come and have a dance with the soldiers, and the women refused to go. anyway, he was reluctant to go with the escort -- send them with the escort. soon after the military escort left them, they began to be harassed by what they thought were indians. in the story, she says the leader of the group was a quite man with paint on his face. isin, a whole other sidebar were the people attacking and harassing this group native at all? anyway, long story short, the wagon train was attacked.
they completely fell apart and split into groups. emeline's parents were both killed. with four of her siblings, one of which was an infant, and a few other members and they basically just ran. they ran without any supplies. up on a river and hoping that someone would come along and rescue them, that the other members of their party would have gotten to four wall wallah and sent help back. wallah wallah and sent help back. anyway, things deteriorated pretty rapidly. i just went to share with you a little of what i have been writing about this episode. hunger dominated their thoughts. thee who have not endure
awful pangs of starvation can have even a faint idea of such horrible suffering and death. then an idea took possession of our minds which we could not even mention to each other, so horrid, so revolting that to even think of it was the awful madness of hunger upon us. we cooked and ate the bodies of each of the pool were children -- each of the four children. mr. chase's little boys and my darling little baby sister, whom i had carried a my arms through all that long, dreary journey, and slept with and hugged to my heart as though it possible i would shield her from all danger. she, too, had to leave me. although emmaline had done everything in her power to nurse
this baby, it was not enough, but the other people in the group would not share with her sister for fear of depriving their own babies. emmaline writes i had to give her up at last and i was left alone. all who had depended on me were taken away except for two stepbrothers who had gone on and of whom we heard nothing. they were killed later. dead, eaten all the newly they dug up mr. chase's corpse, intending to eat that, too, but really came. they were rescued. but only after being forced into this terrible situation. curious about is,
for women, and for a girl like emmaline who was 13 at the time, trauma and violence her storyer, and how has become part of this imaginative history in a way that is really powerful. emmaline in her narrative talks how angry she is. this is the seminal event in her life. she loses her entire family. she gets married. she has an interesting life after this. this is what really shaped her. i think about how violence and and howffected her life women across the american west experienced these shattering experiences.
in diving into that and how we should talk about that as historians, and when you haveen to cut up your baby sister and eat her, how that violence permeates your personal experience and then the story we tell about settlement. i will stop there. >> good morning. i have always been interested in how the accounts of native american people reflect the image of the observer and their experiences and desires sometimes without anyway to communicate what is actually going on with ethnographic information about native american peoples. taught and thought for
over 20 years, it has become clear to me that we all speak think we allpeople speak with a european mindset, but it is not clear that we do because we are not all 15th and 16th century european americans. but i'm interested in the morenal debates about race than observations about cannibalism in culture. i quickly found that natives are not always accused of cannibalism. there are specific times when natives are accused of cannibalism. that often corresponds to changes in european thought processes about race. -- i thought i would find that cannibalism was but it was the time,
not. there were times when no one was --used of it, and times intense times when everyone was accused of it. these theories about race often have roots in times of political -- upheaval.s evil the nativeut on american people by use of cannibalism. when euro americans is struggled with new concepts and new definitions of race, it shapes how they presented material about non-europeans. i am hoping this will serve to purposes, to attack the euro-american accounts, but to make it easier for us to understand what is actual in the accounts, especially when we do accountsnative peoples
. a couple of things i have found about violence that have been , theinteresting to me importance of violence to european americans and the underlying assumption that europeans were shocked by violence when europe is a pretty violent place. weird stigma that europeans accused native americans of violence through cannibalism to categorize them arehe other when often they accusing them of the types of violence they themselves are committing or have committed against other groups made of fine as the others such as jews, people. pacific i read a accounts and they talk accused ofe being cannibalism and that's the worst thing they can be accused of,
and then you read accounts of their own wars or accounts of the civil war, and they are accusing each other of cannibalism and desecration of bodies. this is not a new approach for europeans. and violence becomes an important marker, i have discovered, of groups that possess resources. accused of are not cannibalism are seen as easily enslaved or easily pushed aside. groups accused of cannibalism are seen as uncivilized but not primitive, as withholding resources such as gold or other issues, as presenting a , as groups that could be easily absorbed into an empire and turned into part of the empire. sign of am is a complex society and violence is seen as a sign of a complex society, which goes complex to
what a lot of people -- those counter to what a lot of people think. dissertationin my after six months of driving across canada and hitting 15 archives. i thought i was hallucinating because i thought i was reading the same account. discovered i and had read the same account for different times by four different authors. plagiarizing each other off of william duncan's account of resumed cannell is north cannibalism on the coast. other people were using his illustration and sticking in their people's names and using the mess fund rate -- using them as fundraising letters, not letters to the u.s. government. tore are almost no articles the government about cannibalism
, but it is in the literature. i am assessed with how this shapes how you talk about things. a lot of people i am reading are using the tools they have to explain what they see and do not understand. i see a lot of parallels between cannibalism and jewish blood libel. that's what the europeans knew. they knew jewish blood libel and they applied it to the aztecs not to make the aztecs jewish or muslim but to explain to their what they would arerstand about why aztecs a threat culturally, religiously, socially, and why they have resources that the spanish need. to people through
cannibalism is really interesting. people ask me if i believe there was native american cannibalism and i am not going to answer that question. to turn a seeks familiar story upside down. my book is entitled the army stands between soldiers and indians in the american west. we have learned a lot about the american west, fluid and shifting borderlands, comanche and other empires, and a host of interventions that have begun to upturn the legacy of conquest. there is one story that has not changed, the so-called indian wars. the narrative of the great plains during and after the american civil war remains locked in a tired old paradigm of clashing cultures and inevitable collision. , mostrprisingly professional historians, those of us who teach and research at colleges for a living one little to do with a suspect that seems so out of date.
scholars refer to the indian wars. we forget about the distinctiveness and terrific power of indigenous communities whether kyla, comanche, kickapoo, or santee. we lose the importance of leaders like crazy horse and sitting bull. we forget the actual and proper names of what we mistakenly call -- lakota or sue nations sioux nations. these men helped shape the northern plains and the united the 1860's, 1870's, and on. we speak of war chiefs and peace we rely on ways of talking that do not reflect the difficult decisions made a
native communities every day, still being made by indigenous communities as we speak. we also make other mistakes when we talk of indian wars. monolith of the united states army. we promote the fallacy of military economy that is, we assumed that the army -- military autonomy. , we assume the army makes policy. soldiers carry out policy. we do not make it. army officers and soldiers fought and killed indians, often in terrible ways, but they also did other things. they provided rations to indian families. they tried to stop whites from trespassing on native lands and were often successful. and oftenimes contradicted the more sanguine announcements of their own superiors.and in the black hills of what is
now south dakota, army officers worked alongside native men and women to oust white invaders from their land. there is written proof of this and at least one instance of photographic proof thanks to the montana historical society. are these cute little stories as has been suggested to me again and again, or can they tell us something about this state and the shape of power? materials at the national archives call into question many of our preconceived notions about the army and native peoples. the narrative of the so-called indian wars looks very different when we consider the frustrations of army officers who wrote again and again to their superiors protesting the mismanagement of indian affairs and the mistreatment of indian peoples. native a great deal of voice in the national archives. there are documents hundreds of pages long where native leakers
-- native leaders are speaking, and for some reason, we have not tapped into what they have to say. could scour the existence voices, we erase evidence of contingency, things that did happen. we also miss critical opportunities to overturn damaging stereotypes about native people, many of whom are our friends and colleagues. most of all, we have abdicated responsibility for these stories , ceding the topic to people who are immensely unqualified to write about them. i won't name the author, but there is a book about comanches
that has told more than a order million copies and in the first -- a quarter million copies, and in the first paragraph, the comanche people are referred to savage.tive and i know how my people feel about that. >> i guess in the role of , my first job should be to invite comments from the audience. who wants to listen to us? >> i agree. let's take questions. >> we have rich material and we are happy to take questions. >> a question for carol.
i was wondering if you did any cannibalism inof native stories. years ago, i represented a tribe on a product they were launching , and one of the spokespeople told me that they were never put , that they were a very powerful tribe, and she said we ate our enemies. your curious if in research you had done oral histories with the tribes themselves. not done oral histories and i am hoping that my work will spur some people to go back to some of these groups whether some of
about cannibalism were actually introduced by european americans. on the northwest coast in particular, there were no accounts of cannibalism from europeans. there were missionaries who meer mentioned it, and let tell you, protestants love cannibalism because it is a big fundraiser. all of a sudden, it would pop up among those people identified as converts. conversionuse letters to talk about how they were cannibals in the past. there were various religious rituals that involved biting people and eating people that have an pointed toward cannibalism. i am wondering if that was a ofresentation of the spread
disease and how that changed the community. the people writing about it it tolly are comparing the sacrament, and their lenses are so muddied. as christianity moves up the coast, i find light -- lots of accounts of natives who are now christian saying we were cannibals. if protestants -- if cannibalism as the ultimate sin, but then they practice the eucharist, which sounds like cannibalism, sorry
if i offended anybody, but i think some of the rituals europeans view as cannibalism actually represent other things. i think the eucharist got introduced to people as they were making changes in their --es i force or acquisition acquiescence. it was easier to say we were cannibals than to push something else. person, accounts are from converts hand-picked by the missionaries. problems in causes the record reflects about cannibalism. >> if i could point out, i
started thinking about diana's term of survival cannibalism. , it'sna's formation literally to survive the journey. but if you think about it as a metaphor, to survive the violence, i think about it in my .wn work in the first one, the interrogators are asking her why are you here, are you here to prostitute yourself, and so she is giving very long answers and explaining she is not. she is here to earn a living wage. she is very detailed in her responses. by the last encounter -- it starts in 1906 and the lasting counter is in 1910, and they are asking her similar questions, and all she is saying is yes, no, yes, no.
throughime she has gone this multiple times, she knows they have created a narrative in their head about who she is. she is not going to take the time to detail answers. it's almost a survival cannibalism. are you a prostitute? yes. are you here to do x, y, z, yes. the processeed up so she can go back to her attempt to survive. >> if i can add to that, no european or american accuses a native group or recognizes cannibalism. they only accuse them of astronomic, ritualistic, etc. they recognize survival cannibalism for europeans, but not all the other forms. native peoples in my own
research i discovered occasionally talk about other indigenous communities who they believe or claim to believe commit cannibalism. the incident that always sticks out to me is the comanches talking about the talk him is. --ill their -- talk when tonka ones. they kill their enemies and eat their hearts. what i wonder is are those stories they tell their children so they will be afraid of them? are there other motives? actions like scalping and cutting off fingers have specific spiritual importance for native communities across the plains, but at the set -- at a certain point, those things are also done to terrified whites. you think of comanches and the --ling of teamsters in
killing of teamsters in 1871. why did they do the terrible things they did to those white men's bodies? they were trying to say again and again, leave us alone, get out of our homeland. sometimes all they were thinking was how are we going to get these people away? andith oral traditions narratives, for cherokee people, are stories there about mythological cannibals, little people, stories, metaphors to help discipline children in many cases. the other quick point i would is that native people really loved messing with missionaries. missionaries were very stern and serious people, and some of the missionaries would write back to
boston, for example, complaining of this, that they were not being taken seriously by native , and that they were making a blue or red and crazy stories about cannibalism, sex, and so on. so, there is an element here where we have to be very critical when we read the oftennary stories because times the native people were playing the missionaries for fools. >> i love missionaries because they write to everyone. they write to everyone and they complain about everything. he never wrote to the government and complained about cannibalism, but he had a slide show he showed about cannibalism. the sources were african but he tweaks them to make them look like native peoples. i just love the missionaries
because they write to everybody, they complain about everything, so you have multiple sources to compare and find, why aren't they saying this to this group? it's very helpful, and yes, they -- wonderfully gullible >> gullible. >> incredibly interesting panel. i have questions for all of you. about they interested critique of the neoliberal ideology and lgbt activism. define asf you could quickly as you can what a non-neoliberal to spirit ideology -- two spirit ideology q movement.the lgbt i am also fascinated by the air after the conquest of the as deck -- aztec empire. have you found any testimony people in the how
shatteringd such experiences as you described were able to put themselves back together later in life? that is a story that does not always get told and it's hugely important for later complexity and historical intrigue. >> great question. i won't mention names because i did not ask anyone permission to use their name this morning, but a couple things about the thatberal trajectory native people are seeing, to spirit people are seeing. on the one hand, there is a push for a rights-based identity that is very much tied to mainstream ideas that we have of civil rights. , some to spirit
people have participated in those movements. i am talking about things like marriage laws, opposition to bathroom bill's in states like north carolina, these sorts of race, gender, sexuality-based pieces of that have been part of the mainstream media coverage of lgbtq politics over the last few years. , many to spirit people i speak to understand that and get it. me12 spirit person said to person said toit me, i just want what everybody else has. i want to raise a family with my spouse and go to work and go to picnics on the weekend, go to ceremonies, etc. there is that aspect of it. the other aspect i have picked
up on that people are very clear in articulating is the conservative slant in this neoliberalism is very much based individualistic, , me, me, meall approach to rights. we see a lot of people who are openlyartisan about this supporting republican politics as it relates to generic issues like tax cuts and so forth. that hasmething concerns. right? taken as a whole, that is of concern able because what they have seen of those narratives related to neoliberalism have frontloaded in lgbtq politics as they see it, have
erosion they felt they were making in the 1990's and early 2000's of the twortance of reconnecting spirit people with community and family. spiritmething two people have recognized they need to do in the native community and the broader community as well. they are overcoming the colonial education, from the violence to the schools, to the termination policies of the mid-20th century. they are making progress and byy are being assisted elders. within the broader scope of american society in general -- and this is slightly a sidebar, it may seem unrelated, but the elizabeth warren kerfuffle and
the manner in which white liberals are losing their minds over this respect -- reflects what two spirit people are very concerned about. overarching emphasis on individualism and how there you try to tell me that i cannot appropriate a two spirit identity? the vast majority of people have interviewed have said to me they ofe lost count of the number times lgbtq people have said to them, i have two spirits, too. that is an appropriation and that's how we are seeing it played out in this cultural moment around the elizabeth warren dna disaster. these are issues out there that are of concern and have people read thinking there political --
the political issues in the broader environment we are finding ourselves in. >> i may have forgotten what the question was. >> how do people recover from the type of experience you are talking about? >> you cannot generalize. one of the things i probably about of line's narrative is there is some question about -- of lines -- evelyn -- emmaline's narrative is there is some question about whether she really wrote it or whether she told it to her pastor who wrote it down and embellished it. but it makes me think about the these kinds of narratives. these narratives have a long and
purposeful history and american writing. it's interesting to think about, , they werefor women -- thetive stories about ,tandard captivity narrative something bad happens to you, you are kidnapped by indians or stranded on a riverbank bargaining, you suffer, you get through it, and you partially get through it, of course, because of your face. ofreally reinforces the idea appropriate response to disaster by women. atave talked some about this a conference. women are often removed from stories of violence when, in
fact, they are at the center of a lot of these incidents and encounters. i also think about their as caretakers,es preparers of meals, and what if the men die? they are expanding their roles. for women, i think the way he -- these stories are constructed afterward are intentional and part of a narrative. how do they actually feel afterward? how does it affect their lives? all of us who have had traumatic experiences, some people, it shapes the direction of the rest of their lives. some people just want to forget it. if you look at what survivors of the donner party wrote, there are all of those responses. there are examples of people who
basically felt it ruined their cursed fromey were that moment on, and others who moved on and tried to forget it, but of course, the shadow of the of thehanged most survivors until their deaths. i think you just have to believe there would be the entire range of human response to disaster and i think that something to look a little bit more at. >> i think it's interesting to look at how historians tease out ptsd,odern experience, for example, and how you read history backward and identify
tropes. because they are not going to come out in use of phrase historical trauma. do you sometimes have to wrestle with what you are extracting and try to understand how much speculation -- i believe, as you do, that it exists. having tried to find it in world war i vets, i have had that her luck than probably some of you, but i am interested in your experiences. >> that is a really good question and something i have in the course of my research. the collective memory of traumatic moments impacts society in the way people perceive their world and their place in the cosmos. is something people have had a general sense of and very specific examples .2.
some of the early stuff i uncovered -- examples to point to. some of the early stuff i , native people boiling weree in pots, some people aware of those stories and they connect those stories to the stories they tell, connect them to what they experienced over their lives, in some cases on the reservation and off the reservation. in other cases, people i have spoken to find that history to be both to traumatic to deal with and to eurocentric to deal with. one person said, you go off and write about one little war
and you are in a bird, and you are -- and you get tenure, and you are an expert on native americans. the historical consciousness, there is a general sense that there is this historical set of structures and policies and attitudes that have us here .ight now and it's always community centered. i have spoken to virtually no on who has talked about this an individualized basis. and if they don't know a story but it sounds like something that might've happened in the 18th or 19th century, they will ask an elder. there is inquisitive spare about -- inquisitiveness there are about how to make sense of
the trauma. lgbtq people, things started stone wall go from there. quickly,roader point, , it is the baton here something that one has to be very careful with. specific examples and conveying a narrative about a isctrum of experiences something i am super conscious of and i am not claiming at the moment that i am adequately able people'stice to perspectives. >> the reality of indigenous historical trauma is well .ocumented
in the last several years, there have been genetic studies done , jews who ares survivors of the holocaust, and there is a small but growing body of scientific, medical, biological evidence that shows that there are not only psychological but genetic markers of trauma. chronic diseases, pain, all kinds of other medical issues that can manifest in the bodies of survivors. this is fairly new in terms of scientificfairly new endeavor, but it does exist. ofhd at the university oklahoma was doing some pioneering work about historical trauma among native people before his death.
in speaking for native people myself, one of the things i am trying to relate in my work is not just -- is that the voices of native american people have missionariesbed by and filtered. at the same time, the other -- body body of elders of experts is elders and native historians. on has done incredible work the men who were condemned after the 1862 minnesota uprising. he transcribed hundreds of letters written by condemned their men talking about trauma, their fears, their worries.
angela wilson of the university has alsoia in canada written pioneering work on the death marches in 1862 when people were forced to march through the dakotas and imprisoned in the one place we can actually call a concentration camp, and they died by the thousands. scholars. with other it is critical, important, and revealing that a great deal of this work is being done by native women. the difficulty when it comes to indigenous historical trauma is stories are often private and personal. in my own experience dealing a 38 generation medicine
man, i learned that their family ceremonies, songs, the way they do things are intensely private and other people in the community don't have those songs or stories for a reason. think we still genuine to connect in ways with native people to talk to them about their history, but are to recognize that there lots of stories we don't need to know, that we shouldn't be asking about, that are not our business, that are not ours to tell. >> that's exactly the attention i was hoping you would address. it's very difficult for the personal,to separate
private, speculative, from documentary. articulating the sources can far.take us so that's when speculation takes over and you have addressed some of that. >> we have to be careful with speculation, too, because that can be offensive and prescriptive. one of the things i found is that a prominent gay activist cofounders of the medicine society during the cold war era was instrumental in of the people,ss but at the same time, he earned a lot of enemies because he was prescriptive and overbearing about it, and tried to use the was accumulating to justify his own position. that's something we need to be very cautious about and to
the elements of oral unaired art of histories within native cultures that are private and none of our business, frankly. to talk have any right about them in public. that is for the elders to determine whether we get that right. but inso wanted to know, the pre-industrialization of our food chain, there was a tremendous amount of starvation in the 19th century, and that sparks violence. that sparks cannibalism.
that sparks habits and ways and how to survive. as 10,000civil war soldiers are marching through georgia and the go through every farm and the women are there , as are thething men, the soldiers, because they are starving. i think the subject of starvation has a lot of behaviors that we living in our industrial society today have no clue what that was like. i am just curious about the research on starvation. >> mary rogers black -- do i have that name right? the article about the varieties of starving in a snow history. ethno history. varieties about the
of starving, real starving, historical starving that native people used to get food from british factories like the hudson bay company. she wrote something to the effect of they pretended to be powerless in order to build power. that is, they said they were in order to get food. i happen to publish an article not too long ago on the iowa -- a andand rations -- kiow rations. used as anwas intentional tool of genocide. there is wonderful stuff about native labor. i think there author goes astray is that the
officer -- author uses estimates from the bureau of indian affairs. at the national archives in washington, d.c., there are a istst many folders with le s on people whod are often cast as war chiefs, in 1868 to the fort once they are "on the reservation." they come on the reservation and get food because they are hungry. buffalo or being slaughtered by white commercial hunters. but they are smart and they realize that one of the ways to get more food out of white people is to say we are hungry. one trick they used to play on the indian agents up in the black hills -- some of those
indian agents were lying, cheating, stealing, robbing everything blind. one guy put an 11-year-old kid on the payroll. would line up for rations and then get in line again so that they got more food. army spent something like $4 million in 1870's money to feed indians who were starving and then begged and pleaded with the office of indian affairs to reimburse the expense. i have calculated the calorie count. they were barely getting enough to sustain them, but there were still buffalo out there. 1875 is the crisis point.
you essentially see alliances in the comanche empire collapsed because they don't have food anymore. and culturalritual issues that also affect native people across the country, but when it comes to native people and hunger, it's complicated. in my interactions with native friends, no occasion is complete without a feast. go on 19th century, they a hunt, they kill a great deal of buffalo, feast for a few weeks and eat massive amounts of wheat -- of meat. -- anel wrote about c army colonel wrote about seeing natives put away eight pounds of meat one night. and then they soldier through the rest of the winter.
hunger is something that also stocks the army. there are tragic stories about colonel nelson cole going on expedition through montana in 1865. by that time he and his men get back to therefore it, they have had to slaughter their horses and eat them. thankfully, they did not have to slaughter one another, but they are starving. they wind up having to take apart cottonwood trees and feed them to the horses to keep them alive. it's not just indians who are starving, the army also is. >> we only have one or two accounts of our tick exploration to -- i mean -- arctic exploration. there is an expectation of hungry times. but if you are interested in reading more about the progression of being hungry and when is it time to eat the dog
and when is it time to eat your friends, there is some great documentation out there. >> but there is a racial overlay to it, which is, in my research, europeans are allowed to have starvation cannibalism, but native peoples are not. i find no accounts of starvation cannibalism except for one in is anth century that outlier and too complicated to areain, but europeans forgiven for starvation cannibalism, not charged with a crime. but if you are natives, african, asian, you do not get that at all. in first thing i discovered my research is there were no accounts of native starvation cannibalism. it all has these other overlays. but there are lots of accounts euro americans starvation
cannibalism. >> often, the people of color are eaten first. they draw the short straw. that's a little suspicious, in my mind. in the equestrian communities, i have not seen any evidence of people in eating their relatives. that would be a tremendous taboo. they will eat a puppy. even now, they have specific puppies for occasional eating, who don't get played with and held in things. same for the horses. and that's heartbreaking for native man -- men who say their horses are their friends and allies. of eating their relatives would have been unthinkable. >> and they had a diet off the land.
>> many euro americans were absolutely desperate. >> this is not unique to north america. in work i have done on australia and new zealand, student starvation is a technology of power used by the colonizer. >> the only other thing i was going to add to that is that in the us trillion and new zealand context, one of the 19th and shary in addition to starvation as a tool to control people -- in addition to starvation as a tool to control people, they operated on multiple evil levels. tool of power could also
be enacted against the colonizer. i do work on the boundary commission. the u.s.-mexico boundary commission went to the southwest in the 1850's to mark the boundary line. ofre was an excursion documenting the boundary line and exerting power in scientific ways. at the same time, they are going through an area that is unknown and they are quite dependent on the native people of the region. how often wrote about native people would charge them a money for mules and food. they were paying about five times what they should be. so it's also using the -- native people using the power they can have on the landscape against the military excursion and violence they were perpetrating. i was just going to make a
comment in relation to starvation. oftentimes, it takes reading good fiction or good literature to get me to understand what was going on. someu are interested in fabulous starvation o literatur, ," andller's "the terror recently "hunger," a fictionalized account of the donner party. just in case you need to get in that hungry place. i also recommend the mennonite study from world war ii when they took conscientious objectors and kept them in a building at the university of minnesota and starve them down what starvation did to psychology and the body, and then followed them for another 30 years. there is a good book called the
ethics of cannibalism that has a good chapter on it. students are horrified. but that research has also been used with eating disorders now to understand what it does to the body. psychology and mental faculties change when they are starving, how it changes their choices. >> one interesting modern case many people don't know about is audrey hepburn. during the war in the netherlands, she starved along with her family and she had lifelong issues with eating for the rest of her life. it informed her work with unicef when she was older. >> listening to all of you, i am the spectrum of state sanctioned violence. -- celeste talks about immigration policies of that tear apart
families. there is the policy element of state sanctioned violence. there is passive tolerance of physical violence. in other words, perpetrators of violence are allowed to go without facing any consequence is, and that, too, i think is a form of state sanctioned violence, when no consequence on a perpetrator. greg talks about missionaries perpetrating violence against those who transgressed hegemonic norms, so there is another form of state sanctioned violence. remark aboutol's this study of conscientious objectors. that seems to me to be a consequence.nitive
it traumatized the bodies of conscientious objectors because they opposed a violent federal policy. shocking. you talk about colonialism and how they talk about the settler .tate they reverse the victim-oppressor model. white settlers say we are the victims of indian violence when the reverse is true. thoughts. i want to thank you all for such rich material. and then the violence of trauma itself.
that diane is talking about. how do people react under dire circumstances? this is all really great food for thought. i offer these comments not as closing but is another spur to the conversation. >> i was very struck by the conversation about eating the ,ody, whether it be ritualistic casting people as prostitutes or irreverent, or whatever it may be, transgressive, but it ,ll comes down to the body
sexuality, eating, sensual things that have to do with the body and territory. i am wondering, too, about the ritual, the religious, and the secular. ways, the morals have been mapped onto a police state, a criminalization narrative. i am always interested in how ideas travel and transform. so in all of your work, thinking , bodies, andies how the other becomes the other in ways that are either morally corrupt, actually corrupt, , or criminalspt
in general who need to be detained, isolated, deported, moved? >> the interrogation of these women at work event tree is very much a ritual. three men sitting on a panel interviewing this woman. the questions are not always the same. they do deviate. that is not quite standard. but i do refer to these performances. i refer to the board of special inquiry as a state. a ritual ofcting labeling this woman as other and deporting her. these women were not just alleged prostitutes. they were single women, women with children, women with interracial unions.
if you are part of an interracial union, they would use that to bar you from entering his well. the ways these women were actually very knowledgeable of immigration .olicy when they entered into that them may have learned at that moment what was going on, but others had come in with the knowledge already at hand because of the information they shared with each other and their families. sure if iot quite articulated the religious and secular portion that well. >> what you said made me think narrative,ower of the paired is of -- the power of
to take a culture transgressive behavior like incidentsm, to take in the colonizers stories and turn them into -- this is one of the things that fascinates me. and usinghose stories justification and entitlement to the land and to dominance. that's the power of stories. then to again, and ascribe that behavior to another group that is an even doing it as also a justification for their oppression. that, to me, is one of the things i'm really fascinated with. jogging that thought. >> something else that we tend , or, i guess a
better way to put it is that we or notaid of in a sense, familiar with enough to be able to talk about when it comes to western history in the 18th and ofh century is the role spiritual indigenous life. again, personal, private things, but after long conversations, , afterand other friends really exceptional experiences, it occurred to me that it's not just about native power. white said in the 1970's or what james wrote about .aptivity
everybody had to read that book in graduate school. we still remember it. >> we are all still recovering. >> it was a lodestone for all of us. something we don't talk about is we ought to is the role of the spiritual in native life. it occurred to me at a certain point that it is not just necessarily about power. what are 19th century on -- planes -- 19th century people on the planes looking for? they are looking for equilibrium. they are trying to bring the world back into balance. the world has been turned upside down. leader goes tohe st. louis, he says he sees worlds and worlds of white people. we can imagine how tribal leaders feel when they go to washington, d.c., and see tall buildings, railroads, and sewer fluids into the
ocean. how do they react to these things? they took action to try to bring the world back into balance. they do that through sacred ceremony, through medicine bundles. they also do that through violence. party means i war carry the pipe. that is the term for a war party leader. out in warose who go parties, revenge parties, the first thing they do is get together with potential supporters who are going to raid and fight with them and they send smoked the ancestors, and they ask for intervention. one of the people responsible for many of the raids into texas man called the
animal profit. .- owl profit he looks like in all. terrifying. what does he do? owl.oks like an terrifying. what does he do? he encourages leaders to accrue medicine through violence. perfectly. war was their sacred business. tying together violence, the sacred, and the economy. again, it's difficult to talk about spirituality because we don't want to offend, but in my own work, i at least try to -- thatdge that exist int exists and talk about it
ways that are respectful. native communities have many different voices, but we need to start talking to people and asking them, does this make sense? the vast majority of people in your town or community would say ok, this sounds ok, we are all right with it. >> this is an important point. for me, it gets back to the question about trauma earlier. and the tensions that these issues create. how do you get back to a sense of balance and harmony in a linear world? how do you get back to a sense of balance when you have europeans creating binaries and you are on the wrong side and they want to eliminate you? >> and the native world is fractal, nomadic.
native space is fractal, rolling plains, tundra steps. it is not binary. it is not linear. time is not linear. calendars are in the form of spirals, not grids. see, understand, and feel about the world in very different ways from non-native people. >> but they are meeting up with european americans who all you see violence as a sacred act. -- also see violence as a sacred act. that gets lost. you think about christianity in a battle with evil. it's about the violence and spirituality. it's why jesuits connected. they recognized the same idea that one group is linear and possessive, and one group is not. there is a cultural rational equivalent that if you believe
in violence and we believe in violence, we should be able to make you like us. the republic. of >> onward christian soldiers. >> there are many violent underpinnings that tie this together. >> i am wondering how we can recover the spiritual side of things. >> 20 odd years ago when i discussingproposed this, my committee said you will be ghettoized.
nobody does religion. and now the best work is coming out of that. done ate supposed to be 10:00? >> i think we are supposed to be done at 10:15. >> cut to a commercial already. >> sorry. it does not look like they are rushing us out of the room. do you have any parting words for the group? >> thank you very much. this is really thought-provoking. the other thing i was struck by is stories of how narratives get silenced and how important it is voicesg those silenced back. public memory is so powerful and we have to think very carefully about who is constructing public memory and whose voices are heard, and how the whole story
is framed. all of you i think have spoken to that. thank you. >> well-done. [applause] announcer: you are watching american history tv on c-span3. follow us on twitter for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest his renews. history news. >> tonight on afterwards at 9:00 p.m. eastern, a journalist discusses her book, it was all a dream. a new generation confronts the broken promise to black america. she is interviewed by the editor and chief of the route.
>> barack obama got elected president and our political climate totally changed. for me, it was the idea that the american dream may be impossible for black americans. there was an idea that you could do better than your parents. if you work hard enough, it doesn't matter, your lot in life, but it doesn't seem like that is actually the reality, even now, and i think that is a profoundly disappointing thing, at least for me. >> watch book tv this weekend on c-span2. >> sunday at 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 , historians discuss controversial monuments in the statues andng plaques that on europeans who massacred indians and others who
colonize the west. >> i am going to argue that the earliest pioneer monuments which the 1880's and 1890's, the same time confederate monuments were going -- in increasing numbers increasing numbers of really were about enshrining white civilization or white supremacy. you have white strong towering over indian guides as in this one in front of the statehouse in des moines, iowa. san francisco's pioneer monument , which has minerva, the goddess eureka, theving spirit of california. honoring men who achieved ,he conquest of california leading from indian savage read
fantasy andish mexican romance to white anglo , including, as we saw already in this discussion, the early native statue was protested in the 1990's and then last month. removed >> watched the entire discussion on controversial monuments in the west sunday at 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. eastern here on american history tv all weekend, every weekend, on c-span3. >> monday night on the communicators. >> what we are talking about here is fiber-optic technology. it is not new. it has been around for decades. allowsstrand of glass
unlimited amounts of information .o be pumped through it it is used around the world undersea used to carry communications. and more and more countries are ensuring that everyone of their citizens have access to fiber-optic communications. booke author discusses her fiber, the coming revolution and why america might miss it. leavinge right now behind a lot of the country when it comes to communications capacity, and as a nation, we are falling behind in the global race to be the place where new ideas >> in the final weeks of his eight years as president, ronald
reagan agreed to several oval office interviews where he reflected on his terms. three days prior to leaving office, president reagan is interviewed by nbc news anchor tom brokaw. he talked about his childhood, where he -- religious beliefs, radio and acting career, and several major events of his presidency. this 34 minute recording comes from the ronald reagan presidential library. tom: you've come a long way from that small town in illinois, dixon and the protective warmth of your mother. what is your earliest memory of your mother's influence on and you what she taught you that really shaped your life? president reagan: well, i had brother and a couple of years older than i am. suspects she was probably the kindest human being that i've