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“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 20, 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 breaks down his introduction in Part 1 to barely a very brief of even a glimpse of “Native American History 101” and explains his clan lineages, which are passed down through women.  Brian shares the origin story of the Navajo and the Navajo philosophy that whenever you speak, draw/illustrate or think the name of a deity, you call that deity’s energy to you and it’s the same as if the deity were physically present.  This three-part installment leads to a discussion on why exactly water is so important and addresses the un-enforceability of the Native Peoples’ status as sovereign nations when they are under United States oppression.  No country on this planet would come to the military aid of any Native nation, other than other Native nations who themselves have no military power against the US.

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:

  • The majority of Native tribes are matrilineal, matriarchal or hold women in higher regard than mainstream United States culture does.  In Navajo culture, women and men are considered equally vital
  • Torah explains why she is not a feminist—even though she was raped repeatedly by men
  • Certain stories can only be told during certain seasons, in specific locations and/or within the Navajo community.  In addition some stories can be retold to only medicine women and medicine men, who are the keepers of those stories
  • Adzaa Nadleehi is the mother of all Navajos.  She is called “Adzaa Nadleehi” because she changes age with each season
  • The Navajo New Year is in the fall, to celebrate the harvest
  • At least one Arizona governor had intended to build a wall that cut right though a Native reservation that spans the Arizona/Mexican border.  Doing so without the Natives’ consent would have been an act of war against another nation 
  • What viewers, Native and non-Native alike and everywhere in the world, can do to stop the pipeline from cutting through a sovereign Native nation’s land  
  • The Dakota Access Pipeline is a symbolic wall of destruction and disregard to the planet and its people.  
  • The Pipeline endangers our drinking water and destroys our clean soil.  The toxic, dangerous chemicals from building the pipeline and then also from pipeline spills go directly into our water supply and cause short- and long-term health issues, including death, to humans, wildlife and plant-life  
  • Native tribes have no military resources to leverage against US aggression.  The Natives lack military power but they still have their voice.  Thanks to social media and the democratization of information, the Natives’ voices are being heard far more than they were in the past.  This is an inspiration for anyone who is a trauma survivor:  Your voice is your sword.

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. For general information about the Navajo People:   http://navajopeople.org
  4. The United States Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for the US position on Native Americans: www.bia.gov/FAQs
  5. 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
  6. Dakota Access Pipeline (for information and updates): 
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. See S1Ep13: Brian Young on Growing up Navajo on the Reservation Without Running Hot Water, Native American Identity Issues, the Doctrine of “Manifest Destiny” that Still Exists Today (e.g., the Dakota Access Pipeline), and Whitewashed US Academics for how both Brian and Torah’s pre-college schooling came from 1970s textbooks
  10. See S1Ep14: Jeselle Hadley-Bacon on How Sexual Assault Is Handled By the Church:  An Amish Bishop Ben Girod Accuses Her of Seducing Her Stepfather and “Fornicating” and “Committing Adultery with a Married Man” for Jeselle’s ordeals as a convert into the Amish church