I am awake, I am alive, and this morning I am in awe of the rare and beautiful occurance that is this day, a chance to truly learn.
For today is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada, a day dedicated to honour the people so often forgotten, removed, disregarded, mimicked or ridiculed. These are the First Peoples of this great nation, people who saw and respected this place, not as a warehouse of resources to be excavated and commoditized but as a partner, a parent who would provide, a parent who deserved respect and protection in return.
And we are still here – the offspring and members of those great nations.
Which brings us to the other side of today’s coin – it is Father’s Day. So today, I would like to honour a group so often vilified from birth – the indigenous male who grows to be an indigenous father.
A select and beautiful few were gifted with teachers, not out to destroy or mislead them but teachers dedicated to growing and inspiring a fine man – a warrior in the truest sense of the word. But sadly, most were not so lucky. Most were/are raised in homes tainted by Canadian history and the ongoing oppression that is day-to-day life in a society built by those offering anything but respect for the indigenous.
These are the men labeled “problematic” on sight. These are the men hated as soon as they enter a municipality or gawd forbid, a store. They are seen as a threat and after a time, many will choose to rage or escape because most are … hurt.
Many of these men, born with potential and hope, lash out in one way or another against the world, society, their fellow community members, or their partner. In frustration, in pain, in fits of rage, or in desperation they seek to find anything but yet another judgement-laced glance. They find solace in addiction or violence, actions that distance them from the offspring they create, the offspring many of them have no idea how to raise.
So many absent fathers, so many hated for not finding their way past their pain, their confusion, their hatred for those who have hated on them since day one. But today, I will not hate for today I recognize these men, so often lost and confused, and I thank them for the one thing they gave each of their children.
Today, I thank all the indigenous fathers, absent or present, but I will take a moment to say a very special Chi Miigwetch to those who found their way past their pain, past the anger, past the addictions. So often in grandfather form now, these men are hope for our communities even as their hearts break watching their sons and their grandsons walk an all too familiar path.
Today Creator, protect the fathers. Help the fathers. Hold the fathers close. Give them a safe place to cry. Give them hope because we need them, for without them there is no …
Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day! Today let us speak up on behave of the fathers, the ones who deserve the respect they have often waited forever to receive.
And Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers. Thank you for giving us …
I love you my friend and today I thank your father for assisting in the creation of you, for you simply would not be here without that man and today is a great day to acknowledge that.
Thanks Daddy. I love you!