I decided from the moment we started this project, I was going to make a film that addressed a large variety of issues regarding the history of Native Americans, and the lasting cause and effects of specific events. I focused solely on generational trauma, and compared the historical perspective to current issues to represent that present day Indigenous people are victims of colonialism, and the toxic environment they're constantly surrounded by is not something they created themselves. The topics I discussed were genocide, imprisonment camps, Indian boarding schools, stereotypes, sexual violence against Native women, and the importance of identity. I formatted the written portion of my work into a voiceover, and included two Native American students from Fort Lewis College as apart of my interviews. This project is more personalized to myself, because I, myself am Native American. Instead of looking to find and understand the other side that are not in agreement with my 'values', I decided to change my project to be more educational, with the purpose of appealing to the other side from a more educating standpoint, rather than my normal approach, being more bold, and aggressive. One thing that I learned throughout this project, was having the ability to hold myself in a more respectful manner when in a discussion, whether I agree or disagree with what's being talked about. When we were at exhibition, I showed my skills as not only a presenter, but as a human to listen and hear people, regardless of their bias. My experience when I talked with the people who showed interest in my film and written script was not what I expected. Before anyone came to my table, I had already prepared myself for the ignorant remarks and standoffish nature of others when they learned what my topic was, but the reactions were completely opposite. Instead, I was met with positive feedback, and understanding. One thing that I didn't expect many to understand was Generational Trauma, but through listening, I learned that a lot of non-natives know what it means, and often feel generational guilt because they don't know how to find solutions to these issues created by the ancestors of white settlers of America. As I mentioned before, I didn't entirely have a distinct two side debate with common grounds, and solely focused more on educating a history that's not taught, and from the perspectives of the youth of Native Americans. However, coming into this project, I thought I had the information and 'Native' points nailed, but through my process of gaining knowledge and hearing out other perspectives from other Natives, I learned that we're not all entirely different. Of course, I know that, but I always thought that because I came from a direct bloodline that had been deeply affected by the Indian boarding schools and internment camps, I was one of the few Navajos that had deeper ties to these events. Instead, I learned that from both of my interviewees, one full Navajo, and the other Laguna Pueblo, two people from entirely different tribes, shared similar experiences and perspectives that tied them to the history of Native Americans. It was definitely an eye opener. After completing my project, I learned that democracy is a system that's governed by the elected officials that represent the people. I didn't feel like there was a lot of democracy embedded in everyone’s projects, but in a way, we were all our own officials by addressing certain topics that many people either agree or disagree with. For myself personally, I made a film to project my ideas in a format that is easily accessible to the public (Youtube). In my own way, I represented a history that isn’t taught traditionally in schools, and not truthfully. At the end of this project, my political views haven't changed, and I strongly feel that they will remain that way for a long time. However, through this process of Rogerian rhetoric and learning to state our bias in a civil discourse, while also hearing out the other side and finding common ground, I think as a class, we all learned the important aspect of at least hearing what the opposite end has to say, and recognize that that's their opinion/perspective, and have the ability to respectfully agree or disagree. A role that Rogerian rhetoric plays in our society, is the 'propaganda' we see in political campaigns that are used to appease and appeal, rather than respectfully understand and compromise. However, I personally think that when a persons perspective/opinion begins with disregarding a peoples or people existence and right, the other side does not have a guaranteed hearing (ex. Racist, homophobic, sexist, etc.)
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