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A Healing Within
~ Joelle Clark
I am quite certain that this article will step on some
toes, but it's my hope that it will also make people
start to think. It's been a difficult article to write
because it covers some painful topics.
We live in a time where Historical Trauma is continuing
to damage our indigenous nations, perhaps more so
than first contact and initial colonization.
Between corrupt tribal governments that make decisions on everything from land use to relations with local state and county governments, as well as the federal government and use of tribal monies without the knowledge or permission of tribal members, to the pervasive epidemic of alcoholism and drug addiction across our nations.
We can add into that the verbal and physical abuse that we often see among ourselves, everything from attacks on one another about blood quantum or lack thereof to level of assimilation. Ironically it's often the mixed bloods you see making strong stands for the people and those with higher blood quantum doing the whole culture for sale or rent scene. No. I am not talking about native artists trying to support themselves and their families, I am speaking of those selling ceremony and selling entrance into sacred ceremonies. I am speaking of those who sometimes scream the loudest about assimilation, yet embrace pretendians who stroke their egos and those who claim to be of one tribe but also claim to follow the spiritual teachings of another.
I often watch this behavior and wonder what Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Cochise, Geronimo, Black Kettle or any other famous ancestor would think of them or what they would think of having to have a little card from the US /tribal government to prove that they were one of the people.
I suspect that they would have some interesting ideas as to what you could do with that card.
Since 1956 the Native American Relocation Act has wrecked real havoc on natives struggling with poverty as well as the issues of being separated from community. Genocide in action. It's an interesting part of history. If you are not familiar with it, I suggest you go research it. Very educational.
Regarding physical abuse in cultures that traditionally respected women, children and elders, we have a much higher rate of domestic violence against them than would be normal except for Historical Trauma.
Without all of the above I believe that the number of deaths due to domestic violence, revenge killings etc.be would be almost non- existent.
Statistics show that 3 out of 5 native women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime.
65% of those identify their attacker as being non-native.
What that proves to me is that though both the American and Canadian governments try to say that our missing and murdered women are mainly due to domestic violence, they fail to acknowledge that those victims are usually located quickly and they fail to recognize the statistics quoted above.
In spite of Historical Trauma most of the violence against our people comes from outside our nations.
The reality is that with the increase of deforestation and pipeline building, ie. man camps, there has been an increase in both sexual assault on our women and an increase in the number of missing and murdered.
However because of Historical Trauma, which is the cause of our domestic violence statistics, they have a way to promote plausible denial. To avoid accepting responsibility.
Our elder women all the way to some of the very young of our youth have begun standing for our earth, water and air. For all of life.
We have reached a time when not to do so is to invite the destruction of all.
To be successful at such a powerful healing we must begin to heal within ourselves and within our nations.
It is time to set aside the petty, to truly decolonize.
For the survival of all, it is time to heal from within.