Thursday, June 12, 2008




This is the big one that has brought so many tears and ruined so many lives. Our children who were raised to believe that they were sacred were kidnapped into schools run by Catholic nuns and priests or federally run government boarding schools.

Those servants of God had taken vows of chastity. They promised God that they would remain virgins in his service. When they had Indian children in captivity for the school year they forced our babies to perform sex acts with them. What happened to their vows of chastity?

If there is in reality a heaven and hell I pray that all those nuns and priests that abused our babies are slowly roasting in hell. They had better be tortured for their sins as they threatened us with God’s wrath.

BIA boarding schools were just as bad. They tried to beat the Indian out of us. That meant our culture, Spiritual beliefs and language.

An Elder told me that the first thing done to him at boarding school was they cut his hair. He crawled on the floor trying to pick up all his hair. They wouldn’t let him. They threw it all into the dump. He was six years old.

He told me this because he was teaching me that we have to take care of our hair. We have to pick up each strand and keep it in a special place. When we are buried it will be buried with us. If we don’t our Spirit will have to crawl over the earth and pick up each strand before we can move on.

Our teaching is that we have to be firm in our discipline. There is a very thin line between being firm and being mean. We have to be careful not to cross that line.

If we have no discipline our children will not learn. If we are mean there are two things that will happen. The child will become mean in self defense. Or we will break their Spirits. Look around at our communities. Our people are either mean or broken-spirited. There are few healthy members of our communities.

Lust of the nuns and priests violated the bodies of our babies in their Catholic boarding schools. They destroyed the child’s sense of self and their healthy boundaries. They created abusers and victims. Those wounded babies were then sent home to plant those seeds of destruction in our Tribal Communities.

Sexual abuse is rampant in our communities. We see abusers in our medicine people, ministers, police, educators and Tribal Council. Abuse runs the gamut of the educated, sober, uneducated, and alcoholic and drug addicted.

We see men spiritually abusing a woman if she tries to leave him or starts asserting her authority over her own life. He may be a medicine man, road man or simply call himself Traditional. He may pray that she be tortured and tormented until she comes back to him or does what he wants her to do.

We see abusive men in positions of respect and power. If they grew up with the belief that they had the right to rape any female they may still believe it is their right. They might still rape a niece or other relative if the opportunity arises.

Packs of boys gang raped girls that they caught alone. Sometimes it was their sister, cousin, aunt, or niece. Sometimes it was their best friend’s sister. That girl’s life was forever ruined. Her sense of sacredness was destroyed. She had no more feeling of safety.

Boys and men don’t consider the lives they have ruined by sexual abuse. In this corrupt society a male may think it is his right to rape anyone he can over power. In his mind that action defines his masculinity. That is so far from our teaching that the first law of a chief is to feed the people.

Those boys sometimes grow into positions of respectability and power. Of course they don’t see that what they did was wrong. Our communities do not hold them accountable.

What they did was as wrong as what the priests, nuns, and boarding school employees did that started this transgression to all that is holy. Rape isn’t sex. It is violence.

There was a time when Indian men knew that they were sacred beings. They chose a wife and honored her sacredness. They raised their children as sacred beings.

Men used their gift of strength to feed and protect The People. We lived within the laws of the Creator.

Sex is a healthy expression of love between two people. What happens when it has become a tool of oppression? Children are sacred and our future. What happens when our future is raped and beaten?

Women are the life-givers. Power and knowledge travel through women. What happens when our source of life and spiritual rights and responsibilities and teachings are raped and beaten?

Sexual abuse is learned behavior. It is not Traditional. We can hold all the nuns and priests and government employees accountable for planting this seed of destruction in all of our communities.

We must hold ourselves responsible for the health or sickness in our communities. We have the right and responsibility to say that the sickness perpetrated on us stops here. We will not participate.

It is within our power to once again live our lives according to our Traditional values. If the outlawing of these principles started us down the wrong path, then reintroducing them will return us to a healthy state.

Our babies are sacred. They come to us directly from Spirit. It is said that they still speak the language from where they came from. The toddlers can still understand them until they learn our tongue and forget their language of Spirit. If we don’t treat them well they can decide to leave us and they will die. That is Spiritual law. It happens whether we know it or not.

Women are sacred. They represent Mother Earth. All life that comes into this reality comes through the female principle. Power and knowledge travel through women. That is why our family line and our right to do ceremonies or Spiritual work are traced through our mother. This is Spiritual Law. It happens whether we know it or not.

Men are sacred. They have the strength and ability to feed and protect our People. We need our men to be the ones that the Creator gave the mandate to be our Chiefs and warriors.

We need only to look out our window to see that Mother Earth is in need of healing. Our future looks bleak. We are on the fast lane to extinction.

Each one of us can change our situation. We need only to see the sacredness within our selves. We will then treat all others also as sacred beings. We will bring balance back to ourselves, Mother Earth and our future.

We need to bring healing and balance back into our communities. Men must step up to the plate and deal with the hurt and sorrow carried by many women.

Statistics say that 3 out of 4 Indian women have been sexually abused. That is a lot. We talk about our broken treaties and our abuse in residential schools and BIA boarding schools. That is over but the seed of destruction planted by those nuns and priests and government workers is still flourishing and destroying lives.

We need our political leaders to acknowledge the devastation done to our sisters and children. We need programs and ceremonies for healing.

If the men cannot apologize for their rape of their own people then they at least need to acknowledge that this problem exists. We need a proclamation that this violation ceases now. We need to prosecute those who rape and ruin a woman or child’s life.

A man may consider rape a measure of his manhood and strength. His victim has been devastated and shamed. She may question God for the rest of her life. Why did he allow this to happen? What did she do to bring this on?

We have to change our thinking very quickly if the human race is to survive. Men are not superior to women. Women are not superior to men. We are equal.

The person who knows that he or she is a sacred creation of God will not abuse another in any way. That is a violation of our mandate to love and take care of one another.

We get back on the right path by getting back in touch with the Creator. We do that through prayer. We know we are doing the right thing when we are happy. Happiness is our marker that we are on the right path.

What’s so hard about that?

1 comment:

Sequoia said...

"The whites didn’t understand why we considered our Ancestors remains sacred. They thought they were just dead bones."

As Joy Harjo articulates in her blog: "In the western way of thinking (western, that is, non-indigenous, all of our cultures have indigenous roots)"

Its not a white versus red issue. Its a Western versus Indigenous People's Issue.

Its a mindframe issue