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Coyote's Swing


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Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Cat Brings Coyote's Swing
  • One: Coyote Swings
  • Two: "Who Are You, And Why Are You Here?"
  • Three: A Brief Swing Backwards
  • Part II: Coyote Swings Back & Forth
  • Four: The Disordered Native
  • Five: Oppressive & Genocidal Realities
  • Six: IHS Attempts to Prevent Native Suicide
  • Seven: Border Skirmish
  • Eight: "Being PTSD"
  • Part III: Building Coyote's Swing
  • Nine: Collective Suffering
  • Ten: Exploring the Soul Wound
  • Twelve: Continuance of Their Race
  • Thirteen: My Generational Carry
  • Fourteen: Entering the Asylum
  • Fifteen: Locked Inside Hiawatha: Josephine's Delusions
  • Sixteen: Locked Inside Hiawatha: Emily's Demise
  • Seventeen: Locked Inside Hiawatha: Two Eyewitnesses
  • Eighteen: Locked Inside Hiawatha: The Soldier
  • Nineteen: Today's Indian Asylums
  • Part IV: Dismantling Coyote's Swing
  • Twenty: Hope & Reason

About the Author

David Edward Walker served as the sole psychologist with a U.S. Indian Health Service (IHS) clinic from 2000 through 2004. After leaving IHS, he continued to provide consulting services to the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. His 2015 and 2016 essays critiquing the U.S. mental health system in Native America for Indian Country Today were widely viewed and shared on social media.


"In the IHS, dissension is often suppressed as blasphemy and whistleblowers are rarely tolerated. Walker is to be commended for his thorough research and timely recommendations for reform of the agency's delivery of mental health services in Indian County…I join him in praying that this period of tribal history comes to an end."--Toobshudud Jack Fiander (Yakama), attorney "A great piece of work… I can't emphasize that enough…Incorporating his personal experiences of adversity and willingness to acclimate into our community was greatly appreciated."--Lucy Smartlowit, MSW (Yakama Mexican), Interim Executive Director, Peacekeeper Society "A tour de force [and] an extraordinary work of heart, spirit, incisive intelligence, and unflinching truth telling. I highly recommend it."--Steven Newcomb (Shawnee-Lenape), author of Pagans in the Promised Land and co-producer of the documentary, "The Doctrine of Discovery" "An engaging and highly informative read that expertly weaves a much-needed counterpoint to the prevailing narratives of the mental health profession."--Dr. Amber Logan, psychologist, public health professional, Indigenous historian, and traditional Kahungunu Maori wahine "A comprehensive account of how Native Americans… continue to be re-traumatized by a U.S. mental health profession that has exacerbated rather than reduced violence, suicide, and substance abuse. Original and compelling."--Bruce E. Levine, author of A Profession Without Reason

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