Thursday, September 28, 2006

sharing culture and vist to Tohono O'odham

am weeks behind on posts as I am now in NY.I just have been so busy , this is the first chance I have had to update! Here is a quick update of time since the Grand canyon.I can not possibly include everything , but I hope this gives a feel.
Deidre and I came back and held a wonderful day workshop on some of the ways of using narrative in healing work with trauma stories, specifically in an Indigenous context. The day was well attended and the people who came were all wonderful. It was a deep experience for us all.
The workshop was filmed by the folks at UA, from "", so at some point the whole thing will be online along with study notes and references. The folks , Lu,Anne and Claudia from Arizona Native Net, have started a wonderful project. It will be a good resource for anyone interested in Indigenous issues across all areas. Go have a look !
Deidre Left the next day( FOR Australia), and then I went on to offer a few more talks and sharings:One on " cyber E learning and digital story ",and then an evening of films. The films I screened were " Yella Fella" , "Green Bush " and the " US Deadly MOB".
The first two films were courtesy of Caama Films ( Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association ).The last was a short I made with my friends whose story it is
( Val Saunders and James and Amber Mercy ). After we had plenty of time for questions. It was a fantastic night and I gathered comments as well as some interveiws with folks as to their reactions.Everyone LOVED the films.

People are very interested in Australia and Indigenous Australian stories here. I am also struck again and again by our shared experiences and also the layers of issues. These of course are things I will go into more depth in my actual thesis work and will be sharing when I return.

I also met with the folks from the " Global Health Alliance network " through Public Health.Again very inspiring and dedicated people, including a wonderful woman who is the director , MS Brenda Manuelita. These folks specifically try and work with the issues of "Health disparities" in various communities , such as the Navajo (north of Tucson) and the people caught in the border issues with Mexico and USA( to the south).
I was very impressed with the program they have.I was also pleased to see the idea of using digital story as a tool in community health projects is something being embraced here.Thus we had many conversations about this area of shared interest.

I am very impressed overall with the University of Arizona and would recommend it to anyone . The American Indian studies program is one of ,if not the best in the country! and I felt the same with the public health program and also the Anthropology dept. I am so happy that SCU,( Southern Cross University) , my home university in Lismore is forming an official realtionship/ exchange with the UA.
I hope this will lead to richer outcomes and projects where we can work together and learn more about each other and become firm allies .I suspect I have chosen well in my choices of Universities as I am now at NYU and I am feeling this is also one of the most incredible places I could be. The Media , culture and History department under the wonderful guidance of Faye Ginsburg and Fred Meyer is totally inspiring. But , more on this soon!

Another wonderful outcome of my visit to Arizona is becoming involved in a " round table " of national and international researchers and community workers on the topic of " historical Trauma and recovery " and for me this was a highlight of my visit , to feel a positive outcome and possible continued involvement in this area.

Next , we have some photos of my visit to the south , near the border , to Tohono O'odham community college and community. I have just thrown in some general pics of the class and also the logo of the college .Then there is one pic here of me meeting and thanking one of the wonderful Elders I met , Mr Danny Lopez. I was made so welcome here and learnt so much in such a short time. I truly felt at home. I was also shown around the community and the pic with me with camera is at this special site where a wonderful new cultural centre is being realised. The mountain in the background is one special to the community and one of the reasons this site was chosen.
I also met a group of accomplished basket weavers and artists and had wonderful conversations with all I met.
I hope to return one day , as this place and people really touched my heart and the land is so deep and special. The desert so alive.
Ok , that's it for now , as you can see , my life is a whirlwind of action . I am so blessed and this really is only a glimpse.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home