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 addresses the shocking rates of suicide and depression within the Native American nations.
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:
That Native nations have become genetically predisposed to depression from trans-generational traumas inflicted by the European invasion of the land that is known today as the United States of America How trauma is woven into the DNA of Native Americans How Brian escaped killing himself when he was a teen
LINKS AND RESOURCES FOR THIS EPISODE:
Find Brian on Twitter: @hungrynavajo Yeego Nitl’aa
(Brian’s physical fitness video series on YouTube): www.youtube.com/user/YeegoNitLaa
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Need help? Call 1-800-273-8255. 24/7, free and confidential support. www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org Indian Country Today
May 28, 2015 article ("Trauma May Be Woven Into DNA of Native Americans”): Download their free report, “Intergenerational Trauma: Understanding Natives’ Inherited Pain”, to understand this concept. www.indiancountrymedianetwork.com/news/native-news/trauma-may-be-woven-into-dna-of-native-americans American Indian Movement (to help the Native People regain human rights and achieve restitutions and restorations): www.aimovement.org The Huffington Post
December 19, 2016 article (“Native American Youth Suicide Rates Are At Crisis Levels”): www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/native-american-youth-suicide-rates-are-at-crisis-levels_us_560c3084e4b0768127005591 Washington Post
March 9, 2014 article (“The hard lives — and high suicide rate — of Native American children on reservations”):
www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/the-hard-lives--and-high-suicide-rate--of-native-american-children/2014/03/09/6e0ad9b2-9f03-11e3-b8d8-94577ff66b28_story.html For general information about the Navajo People:
http://navajopeople.org The United States Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for the US position on Native Americans:
www.bia.gov/FAQs 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 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. 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 See S1Ep15: Brian Young on the Origins of His Navajo People and Their Matriarchal Society, Torah’s Explanation on Why She Is Not a Feminist, and What Viewers Can Do to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (A Symbolic Wall)
for an educated view on past and current Native American affairs