Joseph La Fleche recognized in 1856 that the flood of alcohol coming onto the reservation would have a terrible effect on his people. He banned liquor and even started the first Native American Police force to try to stem the flood.
Alcohol comes to the Omaha Reservation in 1856. Joseph's response to that is to create the first Indian Police Force in American history, to pass a law forbidding alcohol and to instituting a really harsh punishment for anyone caught with alcohol.
Susan’s father, Joseph La Fleche, recognized in 1856 that the flood of alcohol coming onto the reservation would have a terrible effect on his people. He banned liquor and even started the first Native American Police force to try to stem the flood. Over a 100 years later, we can hear in the stories of the Native women doctors how alcohol continues to touch their lives. Using examples from the film or from your own life, explore the reasons the people were and continue to be vulnerable to drug and alcohol addiction.
What does it take to heal a people? That’s the question at the heart of Medicine Woman, a one-hour PBS documentary interweaving the lives of Native healers of today with that of the first Native American doctor. Born on the Nebraska frontier in 1865, Susan La Flesche Picotte broke through formidable barriers to achieve “great and beneficial ends.” The daughter of a powerful Omaha leader, she graduated first in her class from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania and returned home to fight for the very survival of her tribe. Wherever she went, she healed bodies and lifted spirits.
Like Doctor Susan, modern day medicine women are fighting a war, sharing a confident, even joyful approach to the work of healing. In Medicine Woman you’ll meet three remarkable women from the Omaha, Lakota and Navajo tribes. Without fanfare, in their own communities, they perform small miracles that the world rarely sees. How can they hope to mend the wounds of body and spirit that history has created? And what have they learned about new ways of healing that can help us all?
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