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The Thick Dark Fog

Society & Culture  (tags: The Thick Dark Fog, Walter Littlemoon, Indian Boarding Schools, Lakota, human rights, PTSD, abuse, torture )

- 2507 days ago -
Walter Littlemoon was forced to attend a Federal Government Boarding School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota where his culture, language and spirituality were brutally suppressed. "The Thick Dark Fog" profiles Walter's journey to heal.


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Sheryl G (360)
Friday December 9, 2011, 10:03 pm
The First Nations People of North America certainly have had their Human Rights violated. I would like to state this is now ancient history but their human rights are still being violated. I place this story on for International Human Rights Day. To learn more on International Human Rights please go to:

Susan L (150)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 12:55 am
Bless the Native Americans for their perseverance to hold on to their American Indian beliefs, traditions & history. The way Native Americans were treated is a shame that America must admit to. On our trip last year through the mid-west, I was at awe. We visited Little Big Horn and it was quite educational to see the accounts of battle in the words of both Calvary & warriors. The museums around those areas display the respect of the land and animals that the Indians had. I have regret for the way they have been so poorly treated in their own land.
I also remember in Phoenix, when I was young, there was the Indian School on Indian School Road. Now, I wonder if those children were treated the same as at Pine Ridge, while we drove by and I often wondered, "why are all the Indian kids here?" It makes me wonder again....

Arild Gone for now (174)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 1:07 am
Horrible stories,thanks for reminding us Dandalion.

Judy C (91)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 2:54 am
Those dark and shameful times continue to leave their mark of trauma. It's great to hear of healing taking place! And unfortunately, there is still injustice. Everyone needs to learn about this. Thanks Dandelon.

Kathy Javens (104)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 7:36 am
Noted. Each sad story I hear, makes my heart ache. To know that the Native Americans went through hell, and did not deserve it, just makes me feel very sad and quite angry. But I am glad that there are healing processes that they can go through. I will keep all in my prayers. Thank you for sharing, Dandelion.

Past Member (0)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 7:42 am
thank you. all the movies and stories ive read..what we have done to indigenous natives and are still doing is indefensible and forever will be the shame and should be the shame of every american person.

Sheryl G (360)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 7:45 am
And I thank you Kathy for watching. I do this so that their cries will be heard, for it is bad enough these people suffered but to suffer with no one knowing is worse. I do this so that people will stop saying "get over it, that happened long ago"...they fail to realize that this hasn't stopped it just morphs into another form, people are currently in pain and suffering from these actions. I do this so that we all learn, for if we do not learn, then history has a way of repeating itself.

The next time it could be done to another group of people...we all must remember that fact. The human condition does not limit their arrogance on only one peoole it can seep into any society and culture. As it is International Human Rights Day....this is an important fact to remember.

Sheryl G (360)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 7:48 am
I just realized I had a typo in my first comment and it is an important correction for it changes the full context of what I said.

In the word NOW in the sentence "I would like to state this is now ancient history but their human rights are still being violated."

Correction...word should of been NOT

"I would like to state this is NOT ancient history but their human rights are still being violated."

Shelli S (374)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 8:44 am
PTSD is still not understood by many and for those who suffer from it, it's not easily explainable. It goes under-diagnosed and under-treated... My best friend(family), while growing up, is Lakota and to break through the anger, depression & pain barrier is not easy..
There's understandable pride and family unity, that can't be shattered!
R.I.P. Glendoris and Donald. Good video, thanks for sharing Dandelion.

Merike Lillenberg (52)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 10:01 am
Noted. Very sad! Why the government does nothing for them?

Sheryl G (360)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 11:23 am
Thank you Shell for sharing a bit of your personal story with us which collaborates the film.

Little Mermaid, the government doesn't do anything as it still wants what land is left. The government would just as soon each Indian either move, mix in with Dominent Society and disappear, or die off, that way there would be no more Indian problem for Washington to have to deal with. Why else would you give so little to a people so much was stolen from for which so much is owed to.

Caitlin M (104)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 11:36 am
Will we ever get to the bottom of how evil our ocuntry has been from the beginning?? This is horrendous. Most of us have always known that the native peoples were taken advantage of, murdered in their own lands or driven from them. But when such psychological treachery is foisted upon the peoples so that they and their future generations will be sure to suffer from alcoholism, PTSD, and other ineffective coping styles it is unforgivable evil in my book. These were governmental schools?? Disgusting. I didn't think this country could get any worse than what the Bush administration set as examples for us. But, low and behold, that had already been done many generations ago. How sad. Yes, Virginia, we are "exceptional," exceptionally cruel and opportunistic---a deadly combination. Deadening the spirit is a crime against humanity that must be understood and rectified. No wonder out Thanksgiving Holiday is a farce. Is is nothing but a bloody feast on the backs of our fellow travelers in this world.

Thank you Dandelion. We must begin to understand why the natives are suffering as they are and perhaps we'll be willing to be kinder today than we were then. Thanks for your work to bring the injustice to light. I appreciate knowing even though I retch with disgust at what is revealed.

Sheryl G (360)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 12:13 pm
Thank you Caitlin for your compassionate comment. Historical and current day Truth is not always easy to swallow, but we must do so in order that we remain viligent so we can keep it from happening again, or to stop it from going on today.

As with VietNam....what did we learn? Obviously not much, for we got Iraq that we learn was based on Lies. We need to face these Truths, head on, no matter how painful, to stop these horrific deeds from happening, to correct and make right where and how we can, and to begin a healing process. How can a Nation "heal" what people do not fully understand what happened, be it on this land or across the seas. So the information must be shown and be given, no matter how hard it is to hear or read.

Ingrid A (524)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 12:47 pm
I watched the video as well. How sad. Thank you for sharing Dandelion. Its noted as well.

MmAway M (514)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 5:09 pm
Dearest Dande, you get this out and IT IS SOOOO NEEDED...The Government seems to #!#! and sadly, when it comes to Bill Gates and other people they sadly forget these "NATIVE AMERICANS" that were here before them and all of their MILLIONS...These people suffer, and it hurts my heart.

Deborah B (72)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 8:26 pm
I don't know how often I bring this topic up to those who just look and really don't have any knowledge or regard for the first peoples here in the New World, as it was called by those who came over in their ships. There is much healing to take place here where the wounds are so deep I have no idea if they will ever stop bleeding unless the citizens become informed, we teach the true history in schools and an overdue justice of four centuries is enacted. Birchbark from my mother.

Sheryl G (360)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 8:58 pm
Is true Marilynn, where are the Bill Gates?

Susanne R (236)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 1:50 am
I'm glad Walter Littlemoon was able to reclaim his heritage and make peace with the injustice he had suffered. It's also great to know that he's talking about it (as his therapist recommended) not only to his partner, but in open forums. He's not only helping himself heal, he's helping others as well. Great video. Thanks for posting it!

Hartson Doak (39)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 9:51 am
Europeans have done horrible things to each other and to others. It is a time to come out of that past and into the future where ALL are equals in all things.

. (0)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 11:12 am shameful

Henriette Matthijssen (154)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 12:47 pm
Injustice on Freedom & human Rights is ramp-id everywhere & especially on First Nation people! How much we need to learn & understand we are ALL ONE. Thanks Dandelion for posting this video. Keep up exposing the TRUTH as it is only by knowing what took place that as a society we can heal. Those that have lied & deceived throughout history will do themselves in, evil always does.

Rhonda Maness (580)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 1:25 pm
Thank you, Dandelion, we all need to know what has happened and the injustice that still prevails. The story is sad and disturbing, but the raw truth often is. The only way for change ito come about is to abolish prejudice, ignorance and hate.Recognizing these horrors is only the first step.Illuminating the deep dark roots of the cruel stereotype is a promising beginning. Thank you, again.

Kamila A (141)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 1:30 pm
Thank you Dandelion. We need to open to the truth and let the pain of it be seen so that we never let it happen again. Its so important that the truth emerges in these days of great changes, and we can evolve by changing our insane ways, choosing differently. Its so difficult to hold, but repression can't hold the dam that is busting forth now with all this reality.

reft h (66)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 3:54 pm
thank you for sharing

Bonnie B (103)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 5:15 pm
Thank you for sharing this, Dandelion. Indigenous peoples all over the world have been and still are violated on a daily basis. I wish we could think this is a thing of the past in this country, but it is not. It is all too evident in the politics happening on this very day that there are still people who think their way is the only way and these people are willing to do any violence to force others to live the way they think is right. As Oscar Wilde once said: "Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live."

I'm glad these people are finding ways to heal, even when the odds are still strongly against them. The people on Care2 give me hope that one day humans will glory in the differences of all people and cultures, rather than try to destroy them.

Mary T (178)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 5:20 pm
Thanks Dandelion I agree that all the injustice done to the Native people of this country needs to be told the truth about how this is still going on, Not the way it is written in the history books, How is this a free country when the First Nation people have no freedom still, This country was stolen from these people and then was made to be the villains in all the movies and books for children to buy into this hoax, It is so important to open up the truth about this injustice done to the First Nation people.

Sheryl G (360)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 5:33 pm
Thank you Mary and to all others who showed great compassion. Change starts with each heart and each heart must reach another with the truth.

Patricia E G (54)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 6:28 pm
My deceased spouse had Native American blood in him from his father.
So in tune with the Native American life style and empathetic to their plight
we came to believe he must have been tribal in a past life.
I too have a great love and respect for the Native American or First Nation
People and their culture.

Thank you Dandelion for the Littlemoon story

Debbie Hogan (115)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 6:58 pm
I can certainly understand the anger, the depression, the sadness and the frustration. It's a crying shame that the true natives of this land are still having to deal with so much poverty and oppression after all this time...and yet, it is so inspiring to see that they still hold on with so much strength and conviction to their culture, their faith and identity.May they never lose this. When all is said and done, they were, are and always will be the true caretakers of this earth.

Elsie Au (259)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 10:14 pm
Thanks for sharing this Dandelion. I have a big respect to the Native American. They are wise and know how to live in harmony, the quality that is much needed now.

John D (49)
Monday December 12, 2011, 10:46 am
What the white man did to the Native Americans is simply horrible especially in view of todays dialog about "illegal immagrants"...Can you say hypocrisy!!

Sheryl G (360)
Monday December 12, 2011, 3:33 pm
I have a cartoon on my page John D. that I can't place on this thread, but if you go to my page you will see it. Scroll down below the flying eagle and under the butterfly. It's a cartoon showing the Indians building a fort type fence, in the center of the opening is a big rock with Plymouth Rock written on it.

In the water is a row boat with the pilgrims in it where one pilgrim man is saying to the group. The caption reads, "They say they are building a wall because too many of us enter illegally and won't learn their language or assimulate into their culture."

Monday December 12, 2011, 4:56 pm
Very sad!

Holly Lawrence (430)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 2:21 pm very sad...:(

Kenneth L (314)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 12:57 am
Unfortunately, some natives are racist against 'the white man' as much as vice-versa.

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 3:56 pm
Maybe they have a reason Ken.

The Indians never invaded someone elses land forcing them to live in certain areas that were considered uninhabitable at the time, they never forced their religion on others at the point of a gun, they never forced others to be sterialized without their consent, they never wiped out the only food source on purpose to starve others into submission....need I go on? Yes, maybe "some" might have a bit of an issue with the way things went down.

That being said, how does it make it any better or more right that generations of children were treated as depicted in this film? Should it all be excused because a few people are racist against each other?


Richard Smith (81)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 7:34 am
you have a different view of racism than my old Websters dictionary.

Racism is defined as a superiority that a dominant race imposes over another group.
Jews and Gypsies herded into Auschwitz would NOT be considered racists for hating the Nazi.

Prejudiced? yes..prejudging can work both ways ...even a horse can be prejudiced,
if its been beaten ..raise your arm quickly and it will flinch, shy away...prejudging .

If you are surprised that Native Americans have any prejudice against White people
then you need to hang around more native people and find out why.
Native Americans for the most part have been MORE PASSIVE then other minority groups.
There is a tendency among our native people to be LESS revengeful and take things internally
and hold them in where they manifest into more self-destructive patterns.

If you are offended by Native Americans not loving you,it might be because of the attitude
you are revealing in some of these might have some bitterness going on in you
that needs to be resolved.

Richard Smith (81)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 7:48 am
Thanks Sheryl,
this is a really excellent video short but so powerful.
I was an art teacher and for a time,a dorm parent, for a year at a boarding school ,so i can tell you
some inside information...yes,the kids were forbidden to speak Navajo in the classroom,YES the staff were horrified that i would "Hang out" with the kids,learning their language. YES there were many examples of public humiliation over kids who had been living so free on the Rez.

The kids were given special treatment and privilege who converted to Christianity. they were forced to get hair cuts, they were not encouraged to wear anything traditional ,UNTIL it came tme for fund raising when the school would select the Christian students to travel accross the country and have them dress in their velveteen blouses and broomstick skirts,the boys in their traditional white pants and moccasins ,all wearing family silver. But it was all for show. They would sing Hymns in Navajo for church groups and raise money. As soon as they returned to school. they were back to the old.."no Navajo speaking in the classroom!" this was in 1978-9

The only reason i stuck around is because i met a certain someone,a teacher, who ...i eventually married.

Sheryl G (360)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 8:17 am
Thank you Richard for sharing a personal story of the boarding schools. I'm also glad you met your "special" love of your life. Is good to learn that for someone, something good came out of the place.

The part of dressing the children up and having the sing songs doesn't surprise me. I know in the boarding school that my friends Mother went to she said how horrible the food was most of the time. However, when there was going to be outside inspection or someone important was coming, good food was served that day. She also said that they had very worn clothes that hardly kept the cold air from penetrating, but again, on the days of special guests, the nice clothes were pulled out of storage, warm coats and the children were put into those while the "guests" were there.

Richard Smith (81)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 5:16 pm
yes the trauma is being opened and elders ,feeling safe, are sharing now .
the stories here about the Seneca Indian school (In Wyandotte Okl) are much worse. a friend of mine,an elder who taught me some basket making skills, told me about her mother being tortured at that school. Lots of horror stories its bulldozed down and the tribe has bought the hill and the tribally owned Bearskin Fitness center stands over it.

When we rekindled some of our traditions again, i found a burl growing in an OLD oak tree that was right on the old school site. I sawed off the burl and with only hand tools I made a bowl from which we play our ceremonial peach seed game every year now. When you look closely into the burl you can see things...even a child's face with dark brown eyes staring back... the old oak has seen it all.

there are still a ring of cedar trees that stand where children used to go away from the school buildings to practice their language...some say the school children planted this ring of cedars as their own sacred spot.

Jane R. (1)
Friday December 16, 2011, 8:20 am
Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. Walter and I are humbled by your response. You might be interested to know that the full length (hour long) documentary of The Thick Dark Fog will be shown nationwide on PBS in 2012. It took Randy Vasquez and his staff 7 years to complete.

Sheryl G (360)
Friday December 16, 2011, 8:36 am
Thank you Jane for dropping by, and I should of mentioned that on this thread about the full length version coming up, so I am glad that you made mention of it.

I thank you and also Walter for sharing yours and his story, his life, on this film. It is critical that others understand what has taken place, it is also important for others who have had similar experiences to know they are not alone, that there is also a road to healing for them as well. Much gratitude sent your way.

Richard Smith (81)
Saturday December 17, 2011, 1:12 pm
One thing to note is that alot of these who were abused are aging and are slipping to the spirit world
their stories with them every year ,more and more they are leaving us.
How important it could be to document these in each of our communities. For as many native people in Oklahoma,you'd be amazed at the racism that is thick still ...everywhere.
I've mentioned this before but in Tulsa schools they still put on "Land-Run" events for children each year!
Children are lined up and given stakes where they run out and stake their claim of Cherokee lands.
This is part of their Oklahoma history courses!!!

KS Goh (0)
Monday December 26, 2011, 1:08 am
Thanks for the article.
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