Student Reflections

Sounds that Heal the Soul

On Wednesday, September 21st, two women, Delores Mondragón and Nicole Raphael, came to the University of New Mexico School of Law on their way to Taos, New Mexico for their annual Veteran Women’s Indigenous Healing Circle. The group travels around the world to hold a national healing circle for veteran women. Last year they were in Hawaii. Next year they will be in Seattle, WA, and the following year they will be in Kamakura, Japan. Delores Mondragón and Nicole Raphael along with five other women from the University of New Mexico School of Law sang five songs/prayers.

Traditionally, women do not sit around the big drum. However, men have been suffering due to continued trauma (e.g. mass incarceration, alcoholism, etc.), and so women have begun to drum to continue carrying cultural tradition, holding that space until our communities heal. The group uses a women’s drum, talking circles, Equine therapy, and a sweat lodge to heal from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Fifteen women from different tribes, from the Hummingbird Lodge Ventura, CA sit around this big drum. The goal of the group is to pray to heal Mother Earth, our communities, and to empower women. Delores Mondragón emphasized that drumming is not about sounding the best or drumming the loudest, but about drumming with good intentions in order for healing to occur.

By Brittany Edwards

Brittany Edwards is a third-year law student at UNM School of Law. Brittany hopes to pursue a career in criminal defense.

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By Tribal Law Journal Blog

The Tribal Law Journal was established in fall 1998 for the purpose of promoting indigenous self-determination by facilitating discussion of the internal law of the world’s indigenous nations. The internal law of indigenous nations encompasses traditional law, western law adopted by indigenous nations, and a blend of western and indigenous law. Underscoring this purpose is the recognition that traditional law is a source of law.

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