[smooth=id: 18; width:400; height:300; timed:true; arrows:false; carousel:false; links:true; info:true; align:left; frames:true; delay:7000; transition:fade; open:false; text:Images;]

Levina Wilkins

Lesson 4 – The Warrior’s Courage

Goal: This lesson assists the young and older adult in understanding how domestic violence is passed through the lineage and how it takes courage to stop it.”

Activity: Utilizing video #3 and video #1, we will watch and listen to Grandmother Levina Wilkins’ story and review her family lineage of abuse.  Grandmother Wilkins asserts that Domestic Violence is learned; therefore it is important to identify it, speak to it, and change the pattern. Exercises including review of one’s “Life Line” will assist in learning more about family history.

In the Hero’s Journey, the orphan takes a journey and wanders from place to place. During the wandering, the orphan meets various people and begins to develop relationships.  Caring and empathy develops.  It is with this support and in this caring the orphan takes on a cause that is greater than self.  We call it becoming the warrior.

There is a lot of incest on the reservation; a lot; and yet life of victims lives in denial; [They say] ‘oh, that’s [silence] the way of our life.  We’re traditional people.’  That is not tradition! That is not tradition!” Levina Wilkins

Grandmother Wilkins has become a warrior.  Through her life, she has developed relationships of caring that transformed historical trauma and domestic violence.  She challenges silence amongst Indian people, especially when silences of abuses continue.  She demonstrates the courage to speak of what she sees.

Please review the following section of some of the men and women in Grandmother Wilkins lineage.  Her courage to speak of this pattern helps break the cycle of abuse.

Grandfather “It isn’t the way we believed; domestic violence, drinking, again drinking, was my grandfather’s downfall. It was his own demons that were fighting within him that made him angry with her. So he would fight her, and she told me this herself, but she never held that against him. That was his law, which means like you know, his whiskey, his drink. That was not him.” Levina Wilkins

Father “I was a little over a year old and I do remember him hitting my mother and he was drunk. I do remember that. My mother runs in there and rolls me up in a blanket and she helped us get in the ditch. I remember we stayed there all night in that ditch, with two blankets. The next day, I remember my mom, her face, her eye here was just huge; her cheek into her eye. And it was just blue. And I remember my dad, he is sober now, and he is sitting there crying.” Levina Wilkins

Grandson I’ve seen my grandson just literally beat on his girlfriend with his fists. She is trying to protect her face and he is just wailing on her and I went over there and as old as I am I reached in that car and just grabbed him by his hair. Now I’m practicing domestic violence too. I was afraid he was going to kill her. I grabbed him by his hair and I yanked him out of the car. She was in the back seat and he was on top of her. And I pulled him off of her and I pulled him back and when he turned and he saw it was me, and he drew up his fists to hit me, but when he turned and saw it was me and he said, “Oh Grandma, if you knew what she was doing.” Levina Wilkins

Great Great Grandmother My thing was with my grandma. When she would tell me stories, and she would cry because of what happened to them. Her grandmother was raped. She was raped by the Calvary.” Levina Wilkins

Grandmother “I don’t know how my grandmother put up with so much. Yes, he was violent, but it was all due to him drinking.” Levina Wilkins

Mother “But I do remember him hitting my mother and I remember how her face looked and I do remember how I was screaming when he did it.” Levina Wilkins

Sisters “And during that time too, my sisters, both, both, met death because of alcoholism. One of my sisters got crushed between two cars. When she was crushed, she left three children, who I inherited because I didn’t have any and I was available you know, like, to take care of them. So I had three children at a very young age.  Then my other sister had four I think, four or five and she drowned down in the Yakima River, she left hers who became mine.” Levina Wilkins

Daughters “And my girls were all kind of grown now and getting married and doing their thing.  And then after a while they had children and they started practicing alcoholism. So I lost three girls in one year.  Three of my girls I raised and one grandson.  I couldn’t cope with that and it was all due to alcoholism, all due to drugs, all due to gang violence. And my girls, all three of them died like within three months apart. ” Levina Wilkins

For the Young Men: Grandmother Wilkins speaks of the lineage of men that were affected by alcohol, drugs, and gang violence.  She speaks of domestic violence through physical abuse. She offers a suggestion for healing.  “There are a lot of men that tend to seem to not be sure of themselves.  They have to rediscover themselves. “Levina Wilkins

Please answer the following questions:

1)   Name your father, grandfather, and great grandfather.

2)   Describe what you know of these men.

3)   Are you aware if there is alcohol, drugs, or violence in your lineage?

4)   Are you aware of your traditional ways?

5)   What are the traditional men roles in your tribe?

6)   Do you know Men Elders?

7)   Grandmother Wilkins shares about re-discovering one’s inner self and guardian spirit. What does this mean to you?

For the Young Women: Grandmother Wilkins speaks of the acceptance of the physical abuse and the use of alcohol and drugs.   She offers a suggestion of healing.  “I’ve also seen the women who do recover.  It’s hard for them to trust again.  So, yes, a lot of this has to be resolved within their self and their own being.  And they have to learn to love themselves again.” Levina Wilkins

Please answer the following questions:

1)   Name your mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.

2)   Describe what you know of these women.

3)   Are you aware if there is alcohol, drugs, or violence in your lineage?

4)   Are you aware of your traditional ways?

5)   What are the traditional women roles in your tribe?

6)   Do you know Women Elders?

7)   Grandmother Wilkins shares about re-discovering one’s inner self and guardian spirit. What does this mean to you?