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  1. I absolutely loved these women! I was educated and humbled and inspired by then.
    Are they happy for us to know their full name not just their first name?
    They said it in the introduction but I didn’t catch them?

    1. Hi Debbie, thanks for listening! Sorry if we weren’t clear on our names. My full name is Sarah Newcomb, and I was with Ann Hahne Kelly and Monika Crowfoot.

    2. Thank you so much for listening. I appreciate you taking the time to hear our stories. I believe stories is what links us together as people. When we take the time to hear each other’s stories I believe understanding for others is strengthened! Thank you for your kind comment. As Sarah said, my name is Ann Kelly.

  2. Thank you sweet wonderful women and John too! I dated a great guy at BYU who was a Native American. My parents especially my pioneer stock Mom could not get me back to St Louis Mo fast enough. She said it was not in a line with the teachings of the church. I thought how strange aren’t they the chosen people? Why would be bad? I was lucky to marry a beautiful Asian man. Born in raised in St Louis. My sweet mom still said, “ grandpa Udall is rolling in his grave”. He would not have liked it at all! So sad to limit love. Again I am so thankful for people speaking out and sharing truth! Love to you all!

    1. Hi Janie, thank you for taking the time to listen. And also for sharing some of your journey! It is heartbreaking that such ideas existed and continue to exist. I am so glad you did not let them define you and didn’t limit your love. <3

  3. I was actually George P Lee’s sons companion on my mission when his dad was excommunicated. Dwayne Lee and I were companions in the San Juan Puerto Rico mission in 1989
    He was one of my favorite companions although we have not been in contact since our missions. Don’t know if he is still a member but I am since “out”

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  4. People need to watch that BYU devotional referenced at the end and linked here. It’s somehow even more offensive than described in this episode. The words themselves are unrepentantly racist, but what really jumped out to me is how the speaker’s demeanor suggests he is so impressed with his own insightful thoughts on the topic of how much better the Pacific Islanders are than other indigenous people. Like, “how fortunate for the audience to have me, a white man, here to inform them where they fall on God’s Blessed-or-Cursed Ranking of the Races.”

    1. Thank you Marlbey, It is hard to grasp how far it is taken in trying to divide and categorize righteousness between Indigenous peoples without watching the video. But this is what Native Americans labeled “Lamanite” experience in person , even as a child, and struggle to explain. He also is so presumptive about Pacific Islander identity when in reality they have a beautiful and unique history that is completely separate from the Book of Mormon. I am unable to access the original letter, as the church no longer allows access to it, but it gets much worse. Thank you for following taking the time to follow the link, and thank you for taking the time to listen to us on the podcast.

  5. Wow! I just finished listening to this episode. I am a middle aged white woman living in the United States who has been Mormon my entire life, and everything you said that was taught to you was also taught in my wards and my stakes in Utah, Nevada and Idaho. I had no idea the depth of suffering and racism the indigenous people in the United States has suffered and continues to suffer. Thank you for sharing your stories in a way that took us on a journey through the minds and hearts of you as children through adolescence and now these beautiful strong courageous women! I’m so grateful for women like you who feel passionate about speaking out to educate and bring awareness to an entire part of our history and your amazing cultures that have been erased, lied about and so grossly misunderstood. Thank you!

    1. Thank you Kelly for your comment. Thank you for taking the time to listen. I was super unsure how people might react to my story so I really appreciate your willingness to understand. It is also very validating to hear you were taught the same things I was. So many people have tried to tell me that what I remember wasn’t how it really was.

  6. I am at loss for words. As native woman and mother, this episode has had a profound impact on me. So many emotions were felt listening to this. How do we change this narrative and message ? How can this organization get away with this? Thank you all for this amazing episode. It was life changing for me.

    1. I just wanted to respond to your comment and say hi. I ask myself those same questions often. I don’t have any answers beyond advocating and awareness. Mostly I just hope Indigenous people who experienced this feel supported. I’m so glad you were able to listen to the episode. Reach out to me anytime! 💕 Sarah

    2. Hi Amy. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m not sure if you checked the show notes, but there is an Indigenous meet up group we have on Facebook. Please join us, I would love to hear your story and your ideas. The more voices we have, talking about the damage done by this organization can only help. Thank you for talking the time to listen. – Ann 🙂

  7. I had a relief society President who was Hispanic and she would bare her testimony on Sunday and say how grateful she was that they let a Lamanite woman serve as President over a group of white women. She would always say that she was so surprised that the Bishop chose her because she was a lamanite and most of the women were white. I thought it was sad that she thought of herself as second class. Now I know it’s because she was brainwashed into believing a false narrative about her ancestry. Thanks to all of you for this episode. This is my favorite so far. Heartbreaking but so important for everyone to hear.

    1. Thanks for listening Samantha and thank you for your comment. Isn’t that so very sad that she thought she was less than her white counterparts? Thank you for seeing the racism and false narrative that is still being taught in the church. I appreciate your kind words! – Ann

  8. I just wanted to respond to your comment and say hi. I ask myself those same questions often. I don’t have any answers beyond advocating and awareness. Mostly I just hope Indigenous people who experienced this feel supported. I’m so glad you were able to listen to the episode. Reach out to me anytime! 💕 Sarah

  9. As a kid growing up, my mom taught seminary at the Indian school in Riverside Ca and as part of the churches proselytizing effort. We had many native Americans in our home and several joined the church over the years who we are still in touch with. I feel for each of these women and so happy you are on a path which allows you to embrace your culture with pride and heads held high. By the way, I loved making fry bread with the native women who graced our home!!!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment Russell. However, I wanted to point out that a cherished memory from your childhood is exactly why the Boarding schools and the Placement Program was so harmful to many Indigenous children. Making fry bread should have been something they shared with you in THEIR homes among THEIR families on THEIR land! The reason the programs were even instituted was to try and fulfill the prophecy of the Indigenous people “blossoming as a rose” and to “save” the children from their savage traditions and beliefs. I know as a child you didn’t understand any of this; but I hope you can now understand that this was cultural genocide for our people. All those children in the boarding schools and foster homes were essentially stripped of who they were and were subtly encouraged to assimilate into white culture, Mormon culture and leave behind their beautiful Indigenous culture. It is such a difficult part of the Mormon story and the United States story. I appreciate your willingness to listen to our stories and seeking to understand. I think that is what helps all of us develop understanding for each other is to truly listen to each other. Thank you so much Russell!!

  10. When I was a Freshman at BYU back in the eighties, I came upon a quote from Navajo artist, R.C. Gorman. Its truth spoke to me then as fanatical Mormon and also as I have transitioned into a religious none. “We…are always learning. It is our way. We are like seeds and we plant ourselves.” In ancient Hebrew, the meaning of love simply means to birth a new self. As I have moved away from the crazy traditions that defined my early life, the brain neurons have wanted to keep some kind of a connection to the narrative that grew my early identity. Reframing love as letting go of the old belief that who I am is never okay with the old narrative, and stepping into the flow of birthing a new self, as an act of love, regardless of what life presents, has brought peace to me.

    I was moved by all of your stories and then incensed that our shared faith, would take the beauty of diversity and turn it ugly, causing people to despise the core essence of who we are as beautiful human beings. I grew up surrounded in white privilege, but the skin narrative never really set well with me. I can never walk in your shoes and know what it is like to be conditioned to despise my own heritage and skin color as the Indigenous peoples have. I do identify as a lesbian, and so I can empathize on some level of how religious people shame and dehumanize others and insist that who I authentically am is never good enough for God and my old community. I know now that such framing was a lie. The Mormon faith can be so incredibly damaging to self-worth and a healthy sense of self.

    As a side-note, I just finished Louise Erdrich’s Pulitzer prize winning book, “The Night Watchman,” where she recounts her community’s attempts to defeat a bill, called the termination bill, sponsored by a Mormon Congressman that would have dissolved their treaties and sent the native peoples to live in cities. She writes about the Mormon doctrine of equating belief with lighter skin color. She also discusses the difficulties of assimilation, how both religions and governments it made it difficult to define being indigenous. In the process of explaining religion’s efforts to assimilate native beliefs, she describes it in the following way, which I think is quite brilliant.

    “This termination bill. Arthur V. Watkins [Mormon Congressman] believed it was for the best. To uplift them [the indian]. Even open the gates of heaven. How could Indians hold themselves apart when the vanquishers sometimes held their arms out, to crush them to their hearts, with something like love?” p. 98 hard cover edition.

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    2. Hi Cristi, Thank you for your beautiful comment. I just checked out the artist you mentioned, very moving art, I can see why you connected with it. I also absolutely love where you wrote, “Reframing love as letting go… stepping into the flow of birthing a new self… as an act of love…” Honestly I am writing it down to remember. And appreciated the book and quote mention, too many are not aware of our own history. There is so much beauty to be found in the world as we move into more authentic spaces, and I am very grateful you took the time to listen to the podcast and comment. Thank you for sharing all that you did, it will stay with me. <3

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