Sometimes, forgiveness is an ongoing process. For example, in Native American Survival Challenge: Forgiveness v. Anger (chapter 12 of One Sky Above Us: The West, a Film by Stephen Ives, 1996), Albert White Hat (1938-2013), a Lakota man and teacher of Lakota language, at 16 years old, went to St. Francis Jesuit Mission School, a boarding school. (Before then, he grew up in his traditional Lakota culture ‘of stories’.) The boarding school system killed the native Lakota language stories, and their culture, and for Albert White Hat, shame resulted.
The policy and laws, of which Albert White Hat spoke in this short film, were those imposed by the white-man’s government and the white-man’s schools upon the native people. These policies and laws systematically exclude(d) Native-Americans and their culture and history from mainstream U.S. culture and society. The policies and laws were/are imposed by the dominating culture and were/are unjust and they were/are intended to destroy native people and their culture, and appropriate native people’s land and resources for capitalistic gain and to the benefit of the rich, property-owning (property-stealing) capitalists.
The impact to Albert White Hat, as a result of these injustices to Native-Americans and their culture, was an overwhelming anger where he felt that he had no choice but to kill in order to honor his ancestors. Yet, he wanted to live and be happy. He felt that he deserved to live and be happy. He knew that he had to forgive in order to do so.
For the Lakota people (as is the case with other Native-American people) it is a daily reality to forgive what was done/is currently being done to their people, their culture, their land, and their entire way of life. Because Native-American people live daily with the injustices imposed upon them by mainstream U.S. culture and its government and policies, forgiveness is an ongoing process that will not end for hundreds of years.
One sky above us: The West, a film by Stephen Ives. (1996). Films On Demand. Retrieved February 1, 2014, from http://digital.films.com.library.esc.edu/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=1667&xtid=44418;
One sky above us: The West, a film by Stephen Ives. (1996). Films On Demand. Retrieved February 7, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tG7hEVUCwiU
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