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CHRISTINIA EALA: Sicangu Band of the Lakota - Tiyospaye Winyan Maka

  • Broadcast in Spirituality



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My name is Christinia Eala. I am a 71 year old Lakota/Filipina elder. I consider myself a full blood Indigenous woman. I have five children and thirteen grandchildren, ages 3 yrs. to 21 years. I was sexually,  physically, and emotionally abused as a child. I started my healing journey at 25 yrs. of age.  Learned about the Red Road Spirituality of my mothers people at 36 and believe that a combination of Red Road and  have practiced it rather fervently and still practice the values today.

I have worked in psych hospitals for children through elders. When I arrived back in Colorado, I was told they only used psych techs in Pueblo, and I wanted to be in Fort Collins or Denver, so I started doing case management work for Native Americans living with HIV/Aids, and was allowed to design my own program for doing that.  I also designed a program for women going into drug and rehab, but being allowed to bring their children with them.  This was a major breakthrough since not being able to leave their children or take them with them was quite prohibitive as far as women going into treatment.

I have done a multitude of volunteer positions. I was always going to meetings because of this.  One day my children asked if I was getting paid.  I said “no…why do you ask?” Because you seem to be gone a lot working for free.  I told them that we live on welfare and food stamps…and one day I go in to pick up my food stamps, and the next day when I go in for a meeting, these same women have to buzz me into the back offices as I sat on the Community Action Board…and any concerns  that arose out of community meetings we held, were reported directly to the County Commissioners.  I felt like all my work enabled me to walk with my head held up. I worked for what my family received.