Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode
“the Amish Entrepreneur Show with Torah Bontrager” is a weekly seasonal podcast on re-branding the Amish and establishing a new generation of Amish leaders so we can get heard and add our contribution to the world.  The way we explore and execute on this is by bringing on to the show leaders in all areas of industry who can advise us on how to evolve, specifically through the vehicles of entrepreneurship and academia.  
 
The theme of last season, the pilot run, was turning tragedies into triumphs.  This season's theme is branding and education.  
 
What everyone on this show has in common is a story of trauma, hardship, or other challenges.  And last but not least, the underlying silent goal is to collect 1,111 stories of trauma, specifically sexual assault.  I believe that that number of voices speaking out is all that is needed to permanently drastically reduce the rate of sexual assault worldwide.

Apr 13, 2017

Brian Young is a filmmaker and MFA Writing for Fiction candidate at Columbia University, speaks fluent Navajo, and is currently writing a novel based on his native Navajo culture.  He’s also the editor for this podcast.  Brian and Torah discuss the uncanny similarities of their life stories.  They are both first-generation college graduates, Brian from Yale and Torah from Columbia.  Both of them have a mission to educate the outside about what life is really like inside their respective cultures.  This three-part installment covers barely a very brief of even a glimpse of “Native American History 101” and leads to a discussion on why exactly water is so important.  We will hear stories from both Brian and Torah’s childhoods about how they became acutely aware of their dependence upon water for survival:  They knew that they would die, in a matter of days, if the well ran dry or the water was not safe to drink. 

Brian is full-blooded Navajo with a BA in Film Studies from Yale University.  He grew up in an isolated community, much like Torah, on his Navajo reservation in the Southwestern part of the United States.  Brian left the reservation to better himself with education and found himself in many fish-out-of-water scenarios.  He is the founder and producer of the YouTube video series, Yeego Nitl’aa, the first 100% Navajo-language physical fitness film series.  One of Brian’s passions is to raise the profile on the beyond extreme mental health conditions of his people and offer practical tools on how to become a happier person through fitness. 

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • Why Brian was interested in working with Torah
  • How both Brian and Torah had limited access to running hot water in their respective cultures
  • Torah talks about the Amish martyrdom mentality—suffering for one’s faith is the best guarantee of getting into heaven after death—and how that manifests in everyday unreasonable demands to suffer
  • Torah shares some history of the Amish, including the Martyrs Mirror, which is a book that documents the stories of Anabaptist figures (the predecessors to the Amish) who were tortured and killed in Europe for their Protestant interpretation of the Bible
  • The all-pervasive Amish fear that the government will take away their autonomy
  • How Native Americans weren’t allowed freedom of religion rights until 1978 under the American Indian Religious Freedom Act
  • How Manifest Destiny essentially says that white settlers (and today’s United States government) are allowed to slaughter Native Americans at will and take away their lands and rights and pay no consequences for the genocides and holocausts
  • How the Dakota Access Pipeline is an example of the doctrine of Manifest Destiny
  • The number of Native tribes in the US:  the US federally recognized number is 567 and the number of tribes not recognized by the US is approximately 100 
  • The un-enforceability of enforcing their status as sovereign nations when under United States oppression
  • The complexities of quantifying and qualifying someone for the purposes of Native American identity and how that differs from how Black people were identified
  • The whitewashed history and missing facts about Native Americans in the US public and private educational systems (from preschool to post-doc)
  • How both Brian and Torah’s pre-college schooling came from 1970s textbooks 
  • Wisconsin vs Yoder, a 1971 legal case in which the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Amish
  • How Native Americans are the only ethnicity in the United States who have to legally prove that they are Native American 

LINKS AND RESOURCES FOR THIS EPISODE:

  1. Find Brian on Twitter:  @hungrynavajo
  2. Yeego Nitl’aa (Brian’s physical fitness video series on YouTube):   www.youtube.com/user/YeegoNitLaa 
  3. The United States Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for the US position on Native Americans: www.bia.gov/FAQs
  4. Wisconsin vs Yoder (a 1971 Supreme Court Case ruled in favor of the Amish):   www.wicourts.gov/courts/supreme/docs/famouscases18.pdf   www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/406/205

 

  1. NPR for information and updates about the Dakota Access Pipeline:  www.npr.org/tags/492631446/dakota-access-pipeline
  2. Grief Recovery Method (for physical and emotional losses, to find grief support groups and for a free ebook for info on the various kinds of grief):  www.griefrecoverymethod.com
  3. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network):  www.rainn.org; 800-656-HOPE; live chat.  Get help 24/7.  Free and confidential.   Call/chat if you’ve been violated.
  4. See S1Ep9: Elam Zook on Fighting for My People, Amish Issues Perpetuated By Academia, and Models for Amish Evolution for Elam’s explanation on why the Amish are a dying society and how he is fighting for his people
  5. See S1Ep12: Jeselle Hadley-Bacon on the Long-Term Affects of Sexual Assault, Feeling Like “Damaged Goods”, Tainting the Amish Bloodline and “Turning the Other Cheek” to Sexual Perpetrators for why cooking—the kitchen—is Jeselle’s refuge