SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Debbie Austin grew up in the Great Depression, a "time when it was not a good thing to be an Indian."
Talked down to by teachers, professors and medical professionals, berated by passersby, Austin thought, "If we were white, things would have been a lot easier for us."
But she doesn't want her more than 40 grandchildren and great-grandchildren to grow up the same way.
"I (don't) want my children to feel bad about themselves," Austin said.
Austin and her husband, Warner Austin, are elders in and founders of the Native American Cross Cultural Association, based in Salem, which celebrates various indigenous cultures across North America.