A response made in The Great Cover Up blog on this site by Jacqueline S. Holman as follows:
“The hierarchy in AIM has been more about their personal bowel
movement than a consensual movement of the people-and it will take
some time to dig out from under it.”
And it is STILL that way with newer, younger men who cloak their misogyny, sexism, cruelty and abuse under the habiliments of “tradition” while pissing and moaning about things like discriminatory dress codes aimed solely at Native men seeking to go to a bar in Saskatchewan. Funny how they think nothing of imposing sexism and oppression on women while wanting equal human rights for themselves. Apparently, social equality doesn’t apply to Native women (or any other woman for that matter) while it applies to these “liberators.”
I would respond that there is a great deal of confusion and misdirected anger among indigenous youth-especially young men- no doubt a sense of hopelessness as well, though none of this is an acceptable excuse.
A large portion of the blame lays with these liberators and the examples, or lack of them they have provided.
Examples like the total disregard of elders, the exception being when it served them as a talking point-the abusive proprietary manner in which they treated women to the point of what has been referred to as pedophilia under the guise of “elk medicine”, and the undeniable gang mentality they operated in that elevated criminals, ex convicts, and thugs.
In all their talk now of tradition, matriarchy, and “I love all women” not a one of them addresses the issues of gangs, or the rampant physical and sexual abuse of women and children-except perhaps in passing when cornered.
Perhaps their avoidance is based on the concern that to do so might require them to account for their own actions.
Blame where it is warranted and likewise credit where it is due- there are many fine young men and women among the nations that are a credit to their communities and their traditions. It is an uphill battle for them in the midst of poverty and a decaying set of social and traditional values.
The blame for this decay is also a communal and a governmental responsibility-it can be associated too with non indigenous prejudice and conversely so the pandering that embraces youtube videos and the Hollywood romanticized versions of indigenous people walking on
water that forgoes any realistic consideration that as a people, as communities, as nations, we must address the issues we create, take responsibility as individuals and communities, and remediate them- pointing the finger in every direction while excluding ourselves will only serve to perpetuate them.
For the youth if there are no traditional examples set and adhered to little can be expected of them. If tradition is perceived to be seen as life on the rez with all the existing problems what expectations can there truly be?
To this day I am haunted by a statement a young high school aged girl made in a documentary titled Rape On the Reservation when she replied to a question directed at her about the abuses women face by saying “it’s just the way it is”.
Everyone of these so called liberators and tribal leaders should be confronted with this reply and held to account for not addressing the issue. Every community member should be as well, and if it requires kicking some ass and taking names then that is exactly what those who
call themselves warriors and leaders should be doing.
It is first and foremost about parenting, parental examples and a parental responsibility that in turn translates to a communal set of values and influence.
This parental and communal set of values would demand more of tribal leaders, more of the government, more of themselves, more of our youth, and disabuse itself of gang activity and corruption at any level. Zero tolerance.
It would most assuredly strip any influence from the hands of so called liberators and warrior societies that do little more than seek to promote themselves and gain attention and donations.
These liberators could have never achieved the level of influence they have had it not been for the embracing and support afforded by non indigenous people- a demographic that composes their majority base.
That base has funded them through misguided donations and the acceptance of every lie they have told-they have in a very real sense aided and abetted an enemy of our people.
They should have an awareness of that and transfer their concern to those unnamed people who struggle to survive and do the right thing, rather than perpetuate the comfort of liberators whose calculus of freedom and justice for the nations is their personal well being and how much media attention they receive.
Somewhere a clock is ticking and the nations are running out of time- unless radical changes are made when that clock winds down we may well remain but we will be nothing like we once were. Our beliefs and values will have been replaced with those of the dominant society and the acculturation that has long been sought as a matter of policy will be realized.
Those who will do nothing to effect the needed change will by their acceptance or malaise contribute to the acculturation.