All too often, white Americans mythologize our history to the point where we erase the horrors perpetrated by the leaders of our past. On Thanksgiving, we commonly celebrate the story of Native Americans and Pilgrims coming together while ignoring the centuries of bloodshed and trauma colonizers enacted upon the original inhabitants of this country.
The history of indigenous women in this country has been undeniably stained by centuries of brutality at the hands of their oppressors.
For too long, laws and policies in the United States have denied Indigenous women the basic human rights of bodily autonomy, self-advocacy, and justice -- all of which they are entitled to as a basic human right. The ripple effects of this long-standing abuse, mainstream ambivalence toward the problem, and lack of accountability for these crimes can still be felt today.
The first American school to teach American Sign Language (ASL) was the Hartford-based Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons in 1817 (renamed the American School for the Deaf). While the focus on educating persons with disabilities was groundbreaking at the time, it is clear from the institution’s name alone that there was an implicit, audist prejudice in its perception and approach to its students.