Irene Bedard, the latest in an never ending progression of indigenous women to be abused- a potential saving grace for her is that she has a degree of name recognition as an actress that countless other do not.
When a court system such as the one in Ohio is able force the return of an abused woman it speaks volumes, and should be an eye opener that illustrates the hypocrisy of treaty language such as sovereign and government to government.
It is reminiscent of former national policies dealing with runaway slaves who were viewed not as people, but property.
We’ve all heard of instances where individuals committed actual crimes and their nation would not surrender them, or even the spectacle of self promoting AIMsters fleeing to California to hang around the fort groveling at the governors feet for sanctuary-and yet this woman, this victim, is treated as a criminal-a runaway slave.
This should serve as a wakeup call to the non indigenous as to just how prevalent this issue of the sexual and physical abuse of native women is. Now they have another recognizable face to put to it.
There are a lot of good men among the nations, unfortunately there a good number who are not-this shouldn’t be a surprise to any as it seems to be cross cultural, but people need to understand we do not walk on water, we are not spiritually enlightened beings sent to “teach the sacred ways” via dvds, internet videos, and sundances open to the public.
Allow us to breathe-remove this burden of new age and unreasonable expectations, understand that we need to heal ourselves before you ask us to heal others-allow us the room to find ourselves again and promote our own well being.
We exist for the most part as governmental non entities, a problem to be shunted aside, hidden from view, and too often living and dying in squalor and poverty. And just as perverse and crushing we exist as the new age flavor of the month.
We are men and women, human beings, and we have our share of problems-our traditions
have broken down, our languages are being lost, we are disconnecting from the land and the balanced way in which we have lived.
We are men and women, human beings, who have suffered greatly and continue to, enough so we have no need to inflict it upon ourselves.
Much of this is due to the reservation system, but within that context there is ample blame for ourselves-and until that is addressed the “teachings”, videos, and the for sale ceremonies should be seen as evidence of these problems, a denial, avoidance behavior, if we cannot honor them among ourselves.
It is one thing to be a victim-it is another to embrace it. It is one thing to speak of being warriors and another to abuse women or tolerate it. It is one thing to speak of pride and another to engage in alcohol and substance abuse. It is one thing to speak of spirits, the land, and tradition, and another to live in direct contradiction to them.
It is as if the long history of death and abuse hasn’t been enough, now we visit it upon ourselves-it is as though it wasn’t enough that our women were beaten and raped at the hands of others, now we visit it upon ourselves-so much so our women are at the top statistically.
Stay strong Irene Bedard, and know that among the nations and those counted as warriors there are still men among that number.