What Hurts the Most …

You think you understand.

You think you know what generations of abuse and neglect in the schools have done to us as Indigenous people, but do you? The effects are multifaceted, multilayered and multigenerational and some present in ways only shown to other indigenous.

Case in point …

Imagine for a moment, being indigenous, meeting an indigenous man or woman who wears shame closer than their skin. They brag of drinking, laugh at stories of poverty or abuse, or tell the best Indian jokes.

Because to them, they see nothing else to be proud of.

Or imagine being indigenous and meeting the 60s scoop survivor, the one that brags of how they have found a good path. If only those in the communities would make better choices like they did. There is no excuse so why do those on the res keep making them?

To understand is to know that the residential schools and the 60s scoop were both designed with the same intent – assimilation. Destroy indigenous people either directly through neglect, abuse, or violence or by getting them to turn on themselves and their own.

And I meet such people almost every time I venture out. It is heartbreaking. It is painful. It is an excruciating reminder of just how much is left to be done to those of us who know there is much to be proud of as indigenous peoples, even though we were told otherwise for generations.

And it is especially painful when those who speak such things fall under the title of … family. I am beginning to understand why Mom preferred to stay home.

Perhaps now my friend, you understand a little bit better. Perhaps now you understand a little more the pain of the healing journey. Perhaps now you will choose not to laugh at the joke or join in the judgement.

Or at least I hope that’s what you choose.

The journey continues…

I love you!