Episode 53: Intergenerational Trauma and Making Peace With European Heritage, with Lyla June

Lyla June is a Diné singer, writer, and activist. Her music and message centers around intergenerational and inter-ethnic healing, as well as Indigenous philosophy. She is a scholar of global cycles of violence that eventually gave rise to the Witch Burnings in Europe as well as The Native American Holocaust. She graduated with honors from Stanford University with a degree in Environmental Anthropology, and recently completed a Masters in American Indian Education from the University of New Mexico. She is a co-founder of The Taos Peace and Reconciliation Council, which works to heal intergenerational trauma and ethnic division in northern New Mexico. Lyla and Eric talk about the traumatic roots of the settler colonial paradigm, how our guiding stories and sense of self are necessarily rooted in homeland, and how delicate and brittle American society has become without a place-based identity, among other things.

Links & Resources


  1. Ron cruz January 8, 2021 at 18:18

    Love what she is saying, I’ve always wanted to be in touch with my native side ,for years there has always been a battle inside me to learn from my ancestry an heritage, I’m proud to be native American an Spanish decent, my family is also out of new Mexico, wagon mount.my grandfather was Spanish and grandmother was native.also to learn they gave my ancestors Spanish last names took away there native names .the name cruz meant cross .I feel they wanted to erase the native American ways. Lots of documentation has been destroyed from the old missions .proud to be native and feel it in the blood

    1. Eric Garza January 8, 2021 at 18:55

      Thanks Ron! I’m bi-racial too. My dad was born in Mexico. His father was mostly Spanish, his mother mostly Indigenous, and my mother’s side European. That’s where ‘Garza’ came from. It was originally de la Garza before it made landfall on Turtle Island from Spain, and was shortened here to Garza.

  2. Csilla Horvath January 11, 2021 at 16:33

    Thank you for this illuminating conversation! I am a Hungarian living in Germany right now and believe that Lyla June’s message about healing our past, tapping into our lost rituals n ancient knowledge is as relevant and important for North Americans of European ancestry as for us white Europeans living in Europe today. There is no public discourse taking place here on the ancient wounds we are carrying and the need for deep inquiry about what is broken in our European society. The authentic truth that Lyla’s words are vibrating out touched me deeply and unexpectedly, knowing there is healing to do on my own in this area, thank you for passing on the word across the world.

    1. Eric Garza January 11, 2021 at 17:03

      Thanks for the kind words Csilia! Lyla’s a brilliant and amazing woman, and it was a privilege to give her a platform to talk about these issues. I hope to have her on again at some point, if she’s willing.

  3. Kit Scott January 13, 2021 at 22:22

    LoVed it, i resonated & felt a DEEP connection to what Lyla & yourself shared Eric Garza. I got insight into my own indigenous roots with my ancestors from Scotland & Ireland, and my indigenous spirit that im healing here in Perth Western Australia. Here’s to healing the intergenerational abuse & trauma and make peace with our roots.

    1. Eric Garza January 14, 2021 at 08:03

      Thanks for the kind words Kit! Fascinating to hear a little about the work you’re doing in Australia. I’ve been surprised at how many listeners I have in that part of the world. I’m curious how you found out about the podcast?

  4. Indigo Ocean January 15, 2021 at 15:19

    This was absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much for this. So much here. This is the exact counterpoint I was looking for in my work with helping people of color heal from the legacy of persecution across the generations. This is the version of that healing that must be done among “white” people to help them further the healing mission of their ancestral lines as well. Only then will all parties be freed from the cycles of self-suppression and other oppression.

    1. Eric Garza January 15, 2021 at 15:36

      Thanks for the kind words!