Jean Whitehorse, a Navajo citizen, described her survival of the United State’s boarding schools, relocation, and sterilization at the 42nd anniversary of the American Indian Movement.
Whitehorse said when Navajos were forced to accept a reservation that was only ten percent of their original land. She was educated at the Eastern Agency of New Mexico on the Navajo Nation and grew up with abuse in boarding schools. The “Board of Education was the ruler. It was to punish you. My whole boarding school experience was all about abuse.”
Then Whitehorse was sent to the Bay area to learn a vocation and was pressured to stay
Ms. Whitehorse even studied law for one year and she says she discovered the secret of federal Indian law: “I found out that it is not written to help us. It is written for Congress to use as they please.”
Whitehorse also says she was the target of another U.S. program: “Native American sterilization.” She states that “Some of us were told, ‘You’re unfit to bring your own kind into this world. You’re uneducated, you’re on welfare. Your children are going to be on welfare too.’ “I only had one daughter when they did that to me. Sometimes I wish I had four or five children.”
Listen to her presentation, and a talk by Yvonne Swan, Colville; recorded by Earthcycles: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/11027639