#signsofyouridentity

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Speaking of Chilocco, just came across this amazing 1909 image of the Chilocco Indian Industrial School’s basketball team. (That symbol — which was likely [EDIT: let’s say “possibly” instead] appropriated from Native American culture by Nazi Germany around 1920 — was used in several Indigenous North American societies to represent well-being, peace, the four directions, or the four seasons.) #signsofyouridentity

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George Johnson Yup’ik Wrangell Institute, 1963-65 Chemawa Indian School, 1967-71 . “Students should go to school here and learn what we do — with fish and animals and how we live on the land. You go and stay too long in the Lower 48 and you forget things. ... This river here, the channel is always changing. If you leave for too long, you can’t find your way when you come home.” #signsofyouridentity

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Going through some collected archival photos sitting on my desktop and came across this jarring image of students practicing penmanship at the Red Deer Indian Industrial School in Alberta, Canada. The school operated from 1889-1919. #signsofyouridentity

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Esther Green | Work in progress in collaboration with @dzalcman of ( @signsofyouridentity) alongside @greggdeal @catherinebjewellery ... cannot wait to share more updates with you guys. #signsofyouridentity #photography

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Photo by @dzalcman | I'm back on the road to continue work on @signsofyouridentity, an ongoing project on the legacy of coercive assimilation education in indigenous communities. This is Lisa Schrader, a Lakota woman who attended St. Joseph’s Indian School and Red Cloud Indian School. “Healing requires acknowledgement,” Lisa said. “And when we were taken away from our homes and we lost our language, and we lost our culture, and we lost our identity, no one ever told us, Welcome home. I’m glad you made it back.” #signsofyouridentity

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Hi everyone, this is @dzalcman posting for the week with photos from an ongoing project on the survivors of Canada's Indian Residential School system. This is Gary Edwards. He attended three residential schools in Saskatchewan between 1970-1978. He first told me about his memories from school when I met him last November, and they remain some of the most terrifying stories I've ever heard. One in particular has stayed with me -- Gary remembers that routinely, after mass, the priest and two assistants would lock the church doors, don gas masks (the old-fashioned canister kind), and open clear, seemingly empty mason jars. Minutes later, some students would begin to vomit, or seize, or to develop severe nosebleeds. To this day, he has not been able to figure out what was happening during those weekly sessions, but he believes that someone was using him and his schoolmates to test nerve gas. While that's hard to prove, for now, there are many documented cases of medical testing and forced sterilization of indigenous children while they were at residential school. This project was funded by a grant from the @pulitzercenter. #pulitzercenter #signsofyouridentity

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There are plenty of threads that connect the experiences of Indigenous people impacted by boarding schools and other assimilation policies. Many of them are tangible: loss of language, disconnect from family. But one thing that I hear every now and then — mostly from those who grew up in remote communities on unceded or tribal land — is the unsettling sensation of being transported to foreign landscapes. In Australia, members of the Stolen Generation described the confusion of being taken from the desert to the tropics, or vice versa. Missing greenery, or being scared of the ocean. In Alaska, children from tundra villages encountered trees and mountains for the first time when they were sent to schools in the southeast. Sometimes I’ve heard it described as terror (imagine that this is the 1950s and you’ve never left home before or been exposed to imagery of other places), but more often as a pang of homesickness, or some kind of indescribable loss. #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity

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Esther Green Yup’ik Moravian Children’s Home . “It all puzzled me. I have a home. I have a mom. And when they put me there, I was in the middle of all these strange people. I got lost. I couldn’t express my feelings. I think the missionaries thought they were doing good, but they never asked us how we felt.” . “For people who are hurting and struggling and have no place to go, I think that was good for them, but for me, no. They took me away from the only person I knew, the only person I was close to, who was my greatest teacher. Parents are everything to their children. When you take kids away from stable parents, what goes on in the parents’ minds? They have nothing. No one to respect them. You take away a parent’s pride in their most important role. I think my mom felt she was nothing anymore.” . #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity

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Halfway through my interview with Louise Campbell, a mixed race Aboriginal woman who was taken from her mother as a 7 year old and sent to the Garden Point Mission in 1939, her great granddaughter Joanna, 6, came out into the front yard to see what was going on and ask me some questions about my portable backdrop. Many of these conversations end up focusing on the ways in which coercive assimilation policies destroy family bonds and continue to affect future generations decades later -- so it was particularly lovely to chat with this feisty and curious young lady, who loves math and wanted me to know that she'd mastered adding two digit numbers but wasn't quite ready for three digit numbers yet. #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter #stolengenerations

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Recent Posts

Photo by @dzalcman | I'm back on the road to continue work on @signsofyouridentity, an ongoing project on the legacy of coercive assimilation education in indigenous communities. This is Lisa Schrader, a Lakota woman who attended St. Joseph’s Indian School and Red Cloud Indian School. “Healing requires acknowledgement,” Lisa said. “And when we were taken away from our homes and we lost our language, and we lost our culture, and we lost our identity, no one ever told us, Welcome home. I’m glad you made it back.” #signsofyouridentity

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Daniella Zalcman, Pulitzer Center grantee and award-winning photojournalist, visited ABS 8th graders today to talk about her Signs of Your Identity project, asking questions like "why don't we tell complete stories about our history?" and "how can we be more careful with the context of our images so that they send the message we intend?” Part of Zalcman’s own response to the latter question was to create multiple exposure portraits, overlaying images of Native American men and women with sites and objects from their past. Later this year, 8th graders will create their own self portraits using the multiple exposure technique. Thank you, @dzalcman, for sharing these important stories with us again this year! #signsofyouridentity #theartsbasedschool #dtws

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Photo by dzalcman | I'm back on the road to continue work on signsofyouridentity, an ongoing project on the legacy of coercive assimilation education in indigenous communities. This is Lisa Schrader, a Lakota woman who attended St. Joseph’s Indian School and Red Cloud Indian School. “Healing requires acknowledgement,” Lisa said. “And when we were taken away from our homes and we lost our language, and we lost our culture, and we lost our identity, no one ever told us, Welcome home. I’m glad you made it back.” #signsofyouridentity

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Photo by @dzalcman | I'm back on the road to continue work on @signsofyouridentity, an ongoing project on the legacy of coercive assimilation education in indigenous communities. This is Lisa Schrader, a Lakota woman who attended St. Joseph’s Indian School and Red Cloud Indian School. “Healing requires acknowledgement,” Lisa said. “And when we were taken away from our homes and we lost our language, and we lost our culture, and we lost our identity, no one ever told us, Welcome home. I’m glad you made it back.” #signsofyouridentity

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Lisa Schrader (Lakota) went to both St. Joe’s Indian School and Red Cloud Indian School in South Dakota. “Healing requires acknowledgement,” she said. “And when we were taken away from our homes and we lost our language and we lost our culture and we lost our identity, no one ever told us, ‘Welcome home. I’m glad you made it back.’” #signsofyouridentity

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I think I could start an entire project just on archival photos of Indian boarding school sports teams. Here’s one of the Sherman Institute football team (date unknown) currently on display in the Sherman Indian Museum. #signsofyouridentity

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The cemetery of the Holy Family Mission, which originally opened as a Catholic boarding school on the Blackfeet Reservation in 1889. The school closed in the early 1940s. #signsofyouridentity

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This is Willie Stevens, a Salish man who attended the Villa Ursula mission school as a day student from 1964-1972. “I come from the generation that lost its language and cultural identity. My parents didn’t want to teach us the language because they knew it would only hurt us. They knew we’d get in trouble at boarding school. So they tried to protect us. They even cut our hair.” #signsofyouridentity @opensocietyfoundations @insidenatgeo

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The site of the Battle of the Greasy Grass, also known as the Battle of the Little Bighorn. #signsofyouridentity

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Boys and girls wash clothes at the Crow Agency boarding school. Photo by Fred E. Miller, from roughly 1890-1900. #signsofyouridentity

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🖤 for #truth #Repost @natgeo with @get_repost ・・・ Photo by Daniella Zalcman @dzalcman | This is Mike Pinay, a Cree elder who was forcibly sent to the Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School from 1953-1963. “It was the worst ten years of my life. I was away from my family from the age of 6 to 16. How do you learn about relationships, how do you learn about family? I didn’t know what love was. We weren’t even known by names back then; I was a number." Roughly 150,000 Indigenous Canadians were taken away from their families and communities to government funded boarding schools where they were punished if they spoke their languages or practiced their cultures, routinely physically and sexually assaulted, and in extreme cases subjected to medical experimentation and sterilization. The last residential school in Canada closed in 1996. @signsofyouridentity @pulitzercenter #signsofyouridentity

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#Repost @natgeo ・・・ Photo by Daniella Zalcman @dzalcman | This is Mike Pinay, a Cree elder who was forcibly sent to the Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School from 1953-1963. “It was the worst ten years of my life. I was away from my family from the age of 6 to 16. How do you learn about relationships, how do you learn about family? I didn’t know what love was. We weren’t even known by names back then; I was a number." Roughly 150,000 Indigenous Canadians were taken away from their families and communities to government funded boarding schools where they were punished if they spoke their languages or practiced their cultures, routinely physically and sexually assaulted, and in extreme cases subjected to medical experimentation and sterilization. The last residential school in Canada closed in 1996. @signsofyouridentity @pulitzercenter #signsofyouridentity

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Photo by Daniella Zalcman @dzalcman | This is Mike Pinay, a Cree elder who was forcibly sent to the Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School from 1953-1963. “It was the worst ten years of my life. I was away from my family from the age of 6 to 16. How do you learn about relationships, how do you learn about family? I didn’t know what love was. We weren’t even known by names back then; I was a number." Roughly 150,000 Indigenous Canadians were taken away from their families and communities to government funded boarding schools where they were punished if they spoke their languages or practiced their cultures, routinely physically and sexually assaulted, and in extreme cases subjected to medical experimentation and sterilization. The last residential school in Canada closed in 1996. @signsofyouridentity @pulitzercenter #signsofyouridentity

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A group of Native Alaskan boarding school survivors tour what remains of the campus of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. Carlisle was the first government run off-reservation Indian boarding school in America, and became the model for scores of similar institutions in the U.S. and Canada. This month marks the 100th anniversary since its closing. Roughly 12,000 students attended in the years it was open from 1879-1918, many of whom were taken from their communities and families by force. A cemetery on the grounds of what is now an Army facility contains the graves of 184 students who died while in attendance. #signsofyouridentity #carlisle #carlisleindianindustrialschool

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The simpler the words, the deeper the cut. #humbled #lessonsoflife #signsofyouridentity #lalaland

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This is Dawn Neptune Adams, a Penobscot woman who spent about 16 of her first 18 years in foster care in the state of Maine. One of her earliest memories of the foster home where she spent most of her childhood was having her foster mother violently brush her teeth with soap when she spoke a few words of Penobscot. “People often ask what reconciliation looks like to me,” Dawn said. “But there can be no reconciliation as long as the behavior continues. Our children are still being placed in non-Native foster homes. And it’s a washing away of our identity.” #signsofyouridentity #maine #penobscot

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Inside one of the few structures that remain of the Fort Hall Indian School, which operated from 1904-1935 for Shoshone-Bannock children on the Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho. The buildings were later used to house German prisoners of war during WW2, and most of the campus was demolished in the 60s. #signsofyouridentity

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Mt. Alyeska. #signsofyouridentity

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Another odd constant I find myself photographing on the road for #signsofyouridentity is street signs (ever since coming across Indian School Road in Albuquerque, NM). They’re ubiquitous, oddly forgettable, and consequentially slow to catch up with the tide of changing town names, school names, mascot names, etc. So in some ways, I view them as a window into the past.

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Mike Pinay, Qu’Appelle, “Indian Residential School,” 1953–1963 Beginning in the 1870s, the Canadian government operated a network of “Indian Residential Schools” that, for the sake of forced assimilation, separated indigenous children from their parents. Government-hired agents would take children from their homes and send them to Christian boarding schools, where, often, they would be abused—or even subjected to medical experiments. Although the most horrific practices were stopped earlier, it took until 1996 for the last of these schools to be closed. It wasn’t until 2008 that the Canadian government issued a formal apology. In her Signs of Your Identity series, which is being supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundations, Daniella Zalcman ( @dzalcman) highlights the experiences of survivors of the indigenous residential school system in Canada. To learn more about Zalcman’s work, please check out our latest Stories or see the link in our bio. #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter #firstnations #canada

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From going through Elena (Nelson) Rothschild’s old boarding school artifacts and memorabilia last week... #signsofyouridentity

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Goodbye, Alaska, for now. Next up for @signsofyouridentity: Maine! #signsofyouridentity

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I will never stop being surprised by the intense trust and generosity of complete strangers who let me into their homes, lives, memories. Thank you, to everyone I met in Alaska, for sharing with me. #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity

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My first stop on pretty much every @signsofyouridentity trip is the local library — the best place for quick immersion in regional history. But also important to remember who was writing these books, for whom, and why. #signsofyouridentity

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Beluga Point. Anchorage, Alaska. #signsofyouridentity

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Jess scans the tundra for birds while the rain rolls in. #signsofyouridentity

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For many children who were sent off to boarding schools, getting from the villages to their final destination required a complicated permutation of planes, boats, and buses. “I remember the noise of the airplanes,” Jim LaBelle told me. “It scared the hell out of a lot of us. The littlest kids would blink hard — like they were trying to make everything disappear. We called it the annual migration every fall, when we would come from all over the state to go to boarding school.” #signsofyouridentity

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John Hunter Yup’ik Chemawa Indian School, 1973-74 Bethel High School, 1974-76 . “I liked Chemawa. It was a fun experience. But I remember the winter I was there, it snowed once, for a day, and then it melted by the next morning. I was so excited to see snow, but it was gone so quickly. That made me more lonely than anything.” #signsofyouridentity

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Going through family photos with Elena Rothschild in Bethel, Alaska. She went to Chilocco Indian School in Oklahoma, but this is a photo of one of her older brothers leaning out a dorm window at Chemawa Indian School in Oregon. #signsofyouridentity

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Quiet afternoon in Quinhagak, Alaska. #signsofyouridentity

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Bethel, Alaska. #signsofyouridentity

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Grace Friendly Yup’ik Wrangell Institute, 1962-64 Chemawa Indian School, 1964-67 . “We were at fish camp one day and these planes flew overhead and dropped pieces of paper with information on the boarding schools. I guess my parents filled out the application, and that’s how I ended up going. ... I missed my parents and the way we lived, but I learned a lot from the boarding schools and I’m grateful to my parents for sending me. ... I missed out on a lot of how we live here — I didn’t know much about subsistence living when I came home — but back in those days, you had to pick. You couldn’t have both.” #signsofyouridentity

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All of the necessary modes of transportation for life in Quinhagak, Alaska — fishing boat + ATV. #signsofyouridentity

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Quinhagak, Alaska. #signsofyouridentity

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Quinhagak, Alaska. #signsofyouridentity

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Jim LaBelle Inupiaq Wrangell Institute, 1955-61 Mount Edgecumbe, 1961-65 . “You know, I wrote home to our mother to tell her some of the horrible things that were happening. I hoped that she would understand, and try to do something to save us. I only found out years later that our mother got letters with portions blacked out. They read and censored our outgoing mail.” . “We were often told that our parents were evil and satanic, because they still spoke their languages and practiced their cultures, and we were in school to get away from them. So in the summers, I would avoid my mother if I saw her on the street. I was so institutionalized that I really believed what they said. She passed away in 1974. I have made apologies to her. Hopefully, she got the messages...” #signsofyouridentity

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BIA School in Kipnuk, Alaska. Thanksgiving, 1962. I don’t even know where to begin with this photo. #signsofyouridentity

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I often find myself taking the same photos in different places when I’m working on @signsofyouridentity. In Australia, I was constantly scanning the sky for the massive birds of prey that were always circling overhead in the Northern Territory. In Anchorage, it’s the puddle jumpers that connect the villages and the cities. And for Alaska Native boarding school survivors, it was often the first vehicle that transported them away from their homes and families. I’ll be in Alaska for the rest of the month continuing to work on the U.S. chapter of Signs of Your Identity — thanks to support from @opensocietyfoundations + @natgeo. #signsofyouridentity

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"Many photographers don't consider themselves journalists or historians, and the fact is if you're going to be documenting any story, you need to understand the history behind it." - Daniella Zalcman. Work by @dzalcman from @signsofyouridentity . Hear more from Daniella on our blog. . Link in profile @reallifeconference . . . #responsiblestorytelling #reallifeconference

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I had the pleasure of speaking with Daniella Zalcman on her project Signs of Your Identity. . A project that interviewed survivors of residential Indian boarding schools in Canada where Indian children were taken from their homes and sent to church run boarding schools where they were punished for speaking their native language, observing their traditions, routinely sexually and physically assisted and some instances medical experimentation and sterilization. The last school closed in 1996. . This interview was a personal one for me, since my grandmother had spent the majority of her childhood in an Indian residential boarding school until she was 18. . Daniella is an amazing person and photo journalist and is continuing to document the survivors in all of North America. 📷 @dzalcman you can check her work out at Dan.iella.net . . . . . #themessymiddlepodcast #photojournalism #signsofyouridentity #indianboardingschools

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Regrann from @natgeo - Photo and words by @dzalcman (Daniella Zalcman) | “When I was 8, Mormons swept across Saskatchewan. So I was taken out of residential school and sent to a Mormon foster home for five years. I’ve been told I’m going to hell so many times and in so many ways. Now I’m just scared of God.” . . Deedee is one of 150,000 Indigenous Canadians who was forced to attend residential school — a network of coercive assimilation boarding schools funded by the Canadian government that operated until 1996. Indian agents would take children from their homes and send them to church-run institutions where they were punished for speaking their Native languages or observing Indigenous traditions, routinely sexually and physically assaulted, and in some extreme instances subjected to medical experimentation and sterilization. This multiple exposure portrait overlays Deedee's image with the grass that now covers the site where her school building once stood. For International Women's Day, I'm honored to share Deedee's story, as a reminder that as we discuss the rapid advancements that women's rights have made in recent days, that it's important to work to ensure that feminism is intersectional, and that we're trying to elevate people across a spectrum of identities. -Daniella Zalcman #PressforProgress #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2018 #WomensHistoryMonth #NatGeoWomen #daniellazalcman #natgeo #womenoftheworldunite ___________

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Honored to be able to share Deedee’s story over on the @natgeo account, where @emmawatson curated a selection of images from NG’s women photographers for International Women’s Day. Please check it out, and read a little bit more about Deedee, @signsofyouridentity, and her story. #IWD #signsofyouridentity

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Hello Humans! Meet my friend @dzalcman. On the surface she is just another photo journalist. Except she's not. She's telling the stories of people who haven't had the opportunity to tell their own. Daniella works closely with the Pulitzer centre on Crisis Reporting to fund her work focusing on legacies of western colonization, from the rise of homophobia in East Africa to the forced assimilation education of indigenous children in North America, to the weird, cultural appropriation of indigenous culture by schools still using some sort of "chiefs, braves, redskins, etc." as their school mascot. She's almost always working on her ongoing project Signs of Your Identity ( @signsofyouridentity), a haunting, beautiful portrayal of the intergenerational trauma that our indigenous population continue to face. What does that look like? It looks a little less glamorous than you'd think, she travels around the world, sleeping on couches, in motels, and in her car eating terrible gas station dinners (which you can usually find on her instagram stories) connecting with people, allowing herself to be a safe place for them to share their history, their beauty, their pain and then showing it back to us in a way that we can relate too. As if her amazing work showing us the spirit of a vulnerable population wasn't enough, (seriously her images will change your world) Daniella is also the founder of the super amazing, and necessary @womenphotograph -- an initiative she started to elevate the voices of female and non binary visual journalists. Her hope is to shift the gender makeup of the photojournalism community and ensure that the industry's chief storytellers are as diverse as the communities they hope to represent. See more of Daniella's work at dan.iella.net [selection by @epicdanger] #standingrock #indigenous #settlerallies #signsofyouridentity

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it is a primary job of ours to remember who we are. residential schools were an institutionalized genocide of indigenous culture, and only in 1996 was the last residential school in Canada closed. the implications of this wipe out of people, culture and spirit are immeasurable, and our awareness here in Canada barely scratches the surface. the washing of identity and loss of self not only impacts the schools survivors, it impacts families for years to come. these intergenerational impressions can be transparent, as so many native people were trained to shed who they are. without acknowledging this loss of self, these horrors are unintentionally passed down through families past the grips of the residential school system. i remember. @johnnnluke

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Gerry Hurst in the midst of his Saturday morning ritual -- smoking, drinking sweet, milky coffee, and reading the Northern Territory News. He's almost always joined by three of his closest friends -- who were all taken to the Garden Point Mission in the Tiwi Islands. For those members of the stolen generations who never had an opportunity to build family bonds with their parents, the other children who attended the same missions and homes became surrogate family. #signsofyouridentity #australia #nt #darwin #stolengenerations #aboriginal #pulitzercenter

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Foto Daniella Zalcman @dzalcman ・・・ This is Pat Pumpkin Seed, who went to Holy Rosary Mission in Pine Ridge, SD from 1949-1960. "I got whipped constantly in school. Whipped for messing around in church, whipped for not praying, whipped for speaking Lakota with my brother. I always thought that was so stupid, being whipped for speaking Lakota. All I want -- all the Lakota have ever wanted -- is to be allowed to be ourselves. We want our culture back, we want our language back, we want our ceremonies back, we want our lives back." #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity @viewfind #borealcollective

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“I was raped at school. He was an old man, the janitor. I didn’t tell anyone for decades, because I thought people would judge me. The only person I ever told was my mother (who went to Muskowekwan Indian Residential School). All she said was, ‘That’s how I was brought up, too.’” -Seraphine Kay, Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School, 1974-1975.⠀ ⠀ From @dzalcman Daniella Zalcman's “Signs of Your Identity,” a series of layered portraits of survivors of the indigenous residential school system in Canada. Daniella has received a grant from the Open Society Foundations to expand the work to include the United States, where 59 indigenous residential schools still operate today. ⠀ ⠀ Now on view at Open Society Foundations in New York as part of the Moving Walls exhibition "Here We Are: Visual Resistance and Reclaiming Narratives." ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #opensociety #signsofyouridentity #firstnation #canada #MW24 #resistandreclaim #hereweare #indigenousrights

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“It was the worst 10 years of my life. I was away from my family from the age of 6 to 16. How do you learn about family? I didn’t know what love was. We weren’t even known by names back then. I was a number … 73.” —Mike Pinay, Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School, 1953–1963. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ From @dzalcman Daniella Zalcman's “Signs of Your Identity,” a series of layered portraits of survivors of the indigenous residential school system in Canada. Daniella has received a grant from the Open Society Foundations to expand the work to include the United States, where 59 indigenous residential schools still operate today.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Now on view at Open Society Foundations in New York as part of the Moving Walls exhibition "Here We Are: Visual Resistance and Reclaiming Narratives."⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ #opensociety #signsofyouridentity #firstnations #MW24 #indianresidentialschool #resistandreclaim #hereweare

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Halfway through my interview with Louise Campbell, a mixed race Aboriginal woman who was taken from her mother as a 7 year old and sent to the Garden Point Mission in 1939, her great granddaughter Joanna, 6, came out into the front yard to see what was going on and ask me some questions about my portable backdrop. Many of these conversations end up focusing on the ways in which coercive assimilation policies destroy family bonds and continue to affect future generations decades later -- so it was particularly lovely to chat with this feisty and curious young lady, who loves math and wanted me to know that she'd mastered adding two digit numbers but wasn't quite ready for three digit numbers yet. This is @dzalcman signing off for the week, thank you for following along!! #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter #stolengenerations

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This is Urban Costa, a mixed race Tiwi man who was born on Melville Island and eventually taken from his family and placed in the Garden Point Mission from 1942-1954. During World War II, the girls at Garden Point were sent to South Australia for three years, but the boys were left behind. Urban remembers seeing Japanese planes overhead and the presence of American marines in the Tiwi Islands, even though he was too young to understand what was happening at the time. (The bombing of Darwin would become the largest foreign attack on Australian soil.) Unlike so many other Aboriginal children, Urban wasn't taken from his land and had his family nearby -- but "the main thing that upsets me is that I lost my culture and my language. I feel ashamed -- I'm considered an elder in this community but I don't know much about our ways. When I came back I tried to learn, but I was in my 60s [when he returned to the Tiwi Islands after working in Darwin for years] -- I was just too old to learn." Photo by @dzalcman. #stolengenerations #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity @pulitzercenter #pulitzercenter

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Hunting for physical traces of the institutions where members of the Stolen Generations were kept is often fruitless -- the Retta Dixon home in Darwin in particular was an exercise in creatively photographing trees -- but the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, once known as the Bungalow and home to "half-caste" Aboriginal children from 1932-1942, was a surprising gold mine. The grounds are open to the public and one of the original buildings holds framed photos, an old piano, and a small shelf of books, including this tattered bible. Education for Stolen Generations children wasn't always very rigorous -- women were often trained to be domestic workers, not given a real education -- but enforced Christianity was a constant. Photo by @dzalcman. #signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter @signsofyouridentity

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This is Sidney Rusca, a mixed race Aboriginal man who was taken from his family in Borroloola and sent to the Croker Island Mission from 1949 to 1961. "When Native Affairs came to pick me up, I tried to run away twice. He ended up dragging me along like a dog, with a rope around my neck. You know, everything the white man did to you, you had to take as something that was good for you. They knew better than us. It turns out that all of them were wrong." Image by @dzalcman. #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter

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Maxina Kunde was taken from her mother when she was 6 years old. A welfare officer came up to her and her sisters while they were outside playing and asked if they wanted to go for a ride in his car. She didn't see her mother again for ten years. When I called her last week to arrange a time for an interview, she gave me directions to her place in Darwin. "It's the only house on the street without a fence. I hate fences. I was locked up all my life, so won't tolerate them now." Photo by @dzalcman. #stolengenerations #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter

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Cockatoos fly overhead in Pirlangimpi. This small community (also known as Garden Point) was home to one of several missions that operated in the Northern Territory as homes for mixed race Aboriginal children who had been taken from their families as infants or small children. Many children from the mainland were sent to Garden Point, in the Tiwi Islands, after the government legally changed their names so that they would have a much harder time locating their families as adults. Photo by @dzalcman. #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter

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After being taken from her mother as a newborn, Sue Roman spent the first 12 years of her life at the Retta Dixon Home for mixed race Aboriginal girls. After that, she was sent to a white foster family in Victoria, where she was treated like a live-in maid and sexually assaulted by her foster father for years. Sue became so anxious and withdrawn at school that her homeroom teacher realized "something was terribly, terribly wrong" -- and with the help of her minister husband managed to convince Sue's foster parents to let Sue come live with them, instead. When Sue eventually moved back to Darwin to find her real mother, the teacher and the minister (who left the church when he realized what was happening to Aboriginal children across the country) moved to Darwin to be near her. "They saved my life. I'd have ended up dead, or on the streets. If it hadn't been for them, I never would have made it home." Photo by @dzalcman. #signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @signsofyouridentity @pulitzercenter #stolengenerations #australia

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Here's a typical advertisement that Mission homes would place in local newspapers, alerting white Australians that it was their Christian duty to adopt mixed race Aboriginal children who had been forcibly removed from their families in the name of assimilation. Would be foster parents would circle the child they wanted and send the ad in. The text scrawled at the bottom of this clipping reads, "I like the little girl in the centre of the group, but if taken by anyone else, any of the others would do, as long as they are strong." Many of these children ended up functioning more as domestic helpers in their new foster homes than as adopted children. Image from the National Archives of Australia. -- Daniella Zalcman / @dzalcman. #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter

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George Butler wears a ring inscribed with "Burri," both his nickname and the word for Aboriginal in his language. George himself isn't a member of the Stolen Generations, but both of his parents were taken away from their families as little children and raised in Kahlin Compound, an institution for mixed race Aboriginal children in Darwin. He told me about when the movie theater in Darwin was still segregated and the Aboriginal children had to sit way up at the front and crane their necks to watch the films. They were inevitably American westerns, and he remembers not thinking much of it at the time that he and his friends "would always root for the cowboys. The cowboys would always win. We knew the poor Indians would get shot and killed, so who would root for them?" Photo by Daniella Zalcman / @dzalcman. #stolengenerations #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter

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regram @signsofyouridentity This is the homestead at Banka Banka, one of the earliest cattle stations to line the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory. Aboriginal families would often come to live on cattle stations to find work, and during the era of the stolen generations, those stations were some of the first places targeted by the government officials and police officers looking for part Aboriginal children. The often unspoken subtext of how half Aboriginal children came to be born at cattle stations -- back when it was actually illegal for white men to marry Aboriginal women -- was that they were the product of nonconsensual relationships. #signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter

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Hi! My name is Daniella Zalcman ( @dzalcman) and I'll be sharing work this week from my ongoing project @signsofyouridentity which documents the ongoing legacy of forced assimilation policies on Indigenous communities. I just spent a month in Australia interviewing members of the Stolen Generations -- predominantly mixed race Aboriginal Australians who were taken from their families as young children and sent hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles away to institutions and foster families that were meant to westernize them and erase their Aboriginal language, culture, and identity. Thank you to the @pulitzercenter who funded the most recent chapter of this work. #signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter #australia #photojournalism

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Image by Daniella Zalcman / @dzalcman. Australia, 2017. | This is @dzalcman signing off, thank you for following along! To see more work from this ongoing project, follow me at @dzalcman + @signsofyouridentity. I'll share one final image from my trip to Australia that I think shows how complicated these histories can be -- Nora Sullivan is a mixed race Arrernte woman from Central Australia who was taken from her mother as a baby and sent first to The Bungalow in Alice Springs, and then to the Garden Point Mission in the Tiwi Islands, where she'd remain for 20 years. While Nora condemns the government policy that removed her from her family and her land, she views the Catholic mission very differently. To her, it was a good home and gave her an education and vocational training that she might not have received otherwise. So after about 20 years of working in Darwin, Nora chose to return to Garden Point, where she still lives today and where she wants to be buried. She reunited with her mother in 1995, when she was well into her 50s -- "It was like meeting a stranger. We spoke for half an hour and then I never saw her again." #signsofyouridentity #stolengenerations @signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter

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#Repost @signsofyouridentity ( @get_repost) ・・・ This is the homestead at Banka Banka, one of the earliest cattle stations to line the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory. Aboriginal families would often come to live on cattle stations to find work, and during the era of the stolen generations, those stations were some of the first places targeted by the government officials and police officers looking for part Aboriginal children. The often unspoken subtext of how half Aboriginal children came to be born at cattle stations -- back when it was actually illegal for white men to marry Aboriginal women -- was that they were the product of nonconsensual relationships. #signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter

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Image by Daniella Zalcman / @dzalcman. Australia, 2016. | This is the homestead at Banka Banka, one of the earliest cattle stations to line the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory. Aboriginal families would often come to live on cattle stations to find work, and during the era of the stolen generations, those stations were some of the first places targeted by the government officials and police officers looking for part Aboriginal children. The often unspoken subtext of how half Aboriginal children came to be born at cattle stations -- back when it was actually illegal for white men to marry Aboriginal women -- was that they were the product of nonconsensual relationships. #signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @signsofyouridentity

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This is the homestead at Banka Banka, one of the earliest cattle stations to line the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory. Aboriginal families would often come to live on cattle stations to find work, and during the era of the stolen generations, those stations were some of the first places targeted by the government officials and police officers looking for part Aboriginal children. The often unspoken subtext of how half Aboriginal children came to be born at cattle stations -- back when it was actually illegal for white men to marry Aboriginal women -- was that they were the product of nonconsensual relationships. #signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter

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I'll share one final image from my trip to Australia that I think shows how complicated these histories can be -- Nora Sullivan is a mixed race Arrernte woman from Central Australia who was taken from her mother as a baby and sent first to The Bungalow in Alice Springs, and then to the Garden Point Mission in the Tiwi Islands, where she'd remain for 20 years. While Nora condemns the government policy that removed her from her family and her land, she views the Catholic mission very differently. To her, it was a good home and gave her an education and vocational training that she might not have received otherwise. So after about 20 years of working in Darwin, Nora chose to return to Garden Point, where she still lives today and where she wants to be buried. She reunited with her mother in 1995, when she was well into her 50s -- "It was like meeting a stranger. We spoke for half an hour and then I never saw her again." #signsofyouridentity #stolengenerations @signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter

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I returned to the Tiwi Islands for a few days to photograph the remnants of the Garden Point Mission, but was surprised to learn that quite a few of the part-Aboriginal children who had been sent there from mainland Australia had remained. While most of the Northern Territory's institutions for mixed race children attempted to erase Aboriginal language and culture from their charges, the children sent to Garden Point were often informally adopted by the local Tiwi people and grew up with Tiwi language and culture instead. #signsofyouridentity

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Image not by Daniella Zalcman / @dzalcman. Australia, a long time ago. | Sidney Rusca was taken to the Croker Island Mission in 1949, and remained there for 12 years. At some point he was given a Kodak Brownie and spent years photographing the mission, the island, and his classmates. He carries two briefcases of prints and several photo albums in his car at all times. #signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter #stolengeneration #australia #crokerisland

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Image by Daniella Zalcman / @dzalcman. Australia, 2017. | Hunting for physical traces of the institutions where members of the Stolen Generations were kept is often fruitless -- the Retta Dixon home in Darwin in particular was an exercise in creatively photographing trees -- but the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, once known as the Bungalow and home to "half-caste" Aboriginal children from 1932-1942, was a surprising gold mine. The grounds are open to the public and one of the original buildings holds framed photos, an old piano, and a small shelf of books, including this tattered bible. Education for Stolen Generations children wasn't always very rigorous -- women were often trained to be domestic workers, not given a real education -- but enforced Christianity was a constant. #signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter @signsofyouridentity

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Image by Daniella Zalcman / @dzalcman. Australia, 2017. | Halfway through my interview with Louise Campbell, a mixed race Aboriginal woman who was taken from her mother as a 7 year old and sent to the Garden Point Mission in 1939, her great granddaughter Joanna, 6, came out into the front yard to see what was going on and ask me some questions about my portable backdrop. Many of these conversations end up focusing on the ways in which coercive assimilation policies destroy family bonds and continue to affect future generations decades later -- so it was particularly lovely to chat with this feisty and curious young lady, who loves math and wanted me to know that she'd mastered adding two digit numbers but wasn't quite ready for three digit numbers yet. #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter #stolengenerations

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Kahlin Compound was one of the earlier institutions for mixed race Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory, operating from 1914-1939. I've interviewed several members of the stolen generations who were born there and then later taken from their mothers (themselves stolen) to Darwin's other home, Retta Dixon. The site is an empty field now with very few traces of the buildings that once stood there. So without much of anything to photograph of the place itself, it comes down to thinking about what else might have been present when those children first arrived. This tree trunk, recently decimated by the ever present local termites, seems a likely witness. #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter

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Image by Daniella Zalcman / @dzalcman. Australia, 2017. | This is Urban Costa, a mixed race Tiwi man who was born on Melville Island and eventually taken from his family and placed in the Garden Point Mission from 1942-1954. During World War II, the girls at Garden Point were sent to South Australia for three years, but the boys were left behind. Urban remembers seeing Japanese planes overhead and the presence of American marines in the Tiwi Islands, even though he was too young to understand what was happening at the time. (The bombing of Darwin would become the largest foreign attack on Australian soil.) Unlike so many other Aboriginal children, Urban wasn't taken from his land and had his family nearby -- but "the main thing that upsets me is that I lost my culture and my language. I feel ashamed -- I'm considered an elder in this community but I don't know much about our ways. When I came back I tried to learn, but I was in my 60s [when he returned to the Tiwi Islands after working in Darwin for years] -- I was just too old to learn." #stolengenerations #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity @pulitzercenter #pulitzercenter

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Image by Daniella Zalcman / @dzalcman. Australia, 2017. | Cockatoos in Pirlangimpi in the Tiwi Islands, home to the Garden Point Mission. Mixed race Aboriginal children were taken from around the Northern Territory and sent to the Tiwi Islands as part of Australian policy to assimilate Indigenous children. #signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter

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East Point Beach, Darwin, NT, Australia. #signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter

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AllMighty AbOriginal LÜV by @dzalcman ・・・ Halfway through my interview with Louise Campbell, a mixed race Aboriginal woman who was taken from her mother as a 7 year old and sent to the Garden Point Mission in 1939, her great granddaughter Joanna, 6, came out into the front yard to see what was going on and ask me some questions about my portable backdrop. Many of these conversations end up focusing on the ways in which coercive assimilation policies destroy family bonds and continue to affect future generations decades later -- so it was particularly lovely to chat with this feisty and curious young lady, who loves math and wanted me to know that she'd mastered adding two digit numbers but wasn't quite ready for three digit numbers yet. #signsofyouridentity @signsofyouridentity #pulitzercenter @pulitzercenter #stolengenerations

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