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June 23, 2021

Daily News Lesson: One Indigenous man’s journey in fatherhood, addiction and healing

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Directions: Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions below. To read the transcript of the video, click here.

Summary: The “Turning Points” project by Global Reporting Center follows the Indigenous community in Yellowknife, Canada exploring alcohol use, addiction, resilience and healing, produced, directed and authored by Indigenous people. On this Father’s Day, William Greenland reads a letter he wrote to his son about his life, struggles, addictions, and what he’s learned. Listen to his story of healing, compassion and the power of friends and family that helped him overcome his alcoholism. 

Discussion questions: 

Warm up questions: Have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:

  • Who is William Greenland?
  • What was the turning point for William Greenland?
  • Why did William engage in self-destructive behaviors in the past?
  • When did William see his son again?
  • Where was the plane ticket destination?
  • How did William’s search for the plane ticket from his boss play a role in his continuing sobriety?

Focus questions:

  1. The radio station boss showed William Greenland compassion and support when she showed him the one-way plane ticket and then hid it from his view. How might we show compassion to people suffering from addiction? What policies might you suggest as a lawmaker to support those suffering from addiction?
  2. What long-lasting, generational effects do you think will come from William’s decision to break the cycle of abuse?  

Media literacy: The “Turning Points” series focuses specifically on the stories of Indigenous people from Yellowknife, Canada. Why might producers think it important to gather firsthand accounts from individuals in this community for a U.S. audience? 

Additional Resources:

Check out the other stories from the Turning Points series:

 

Check out this Native American woman’s firsthand account of her experience dealing with alcoholism, and the deep seated relationship between European colonization and alcohol abuse.

This Daily News Lesson was written by EXTRA intern Jacqueline Kim and EXTRA’s Victoria Pasquantonio. Kim is a junior at Amherst College.

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