Takoda GED student, Jennifer, shared her stories and led a book discussion to volunteers at the Navigation Center
“Aaniin niiji, Hello Friends, Nii baa wii sii ikwe, Jennifer Goggleye-Thomson, niin nindizhinikaz. Gaa-zagaskwaaji me kaag, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Cha Cha banig Inger.
I am a Pueblo/ Ojibwe from Leech Lake, a mother of 6 children and also a grandmother of 4. I have been advocating for my 6 children in different school systems including Special Education. I have been working with Amaze Works for about 4 years as a Persona Doll Producer as well as an office assistant. I am also enrolled as a student at the American Indian OIC to pursue my educational goals.”
This is how Jennifer introduced herself to an audience eager to learn about the Native perspective. Through her dedication and work with Takoda GED staff, Jennifer gained the confidence to present to a public audience.
Jennifer’s GED teacher, Sára, helped her prepare and arrange this presentation. “I arranged this speaking engagement for Jennifer to talk to the volunteers serving at the Navigation Center in order to represent the Native perspective. We prepared for weeks to give birth to her project that she presented to 20 people. She was wonderful; she is an engaging story-teller. I am extremely proud of her as I know how difficult it was for her to talk to a non-Native audience about Native struggles of drug use, homelessness, alcoholism, and suicide. She was able to contextualize it in the framework of Ignitia Broker’s novel ‘Night Flying Woman’ as well as through the lens of genocide, ethno
cide, and ecocide that had devastated Indian Country. She addressed historical, complex trauma, racism, and ethnocentrism that Native/Indigenous people still face on a regular basis.”