I was just reading the articles about missing “aboriginal” women in Canada as provided in the links below-it is a great sadness.
They list several contributing factors-among them them poverty,single parenting as in living alone, residing in remote areas and dependent on hitch hiking, and
stereotyping-all of which create a vulnerability.
Due to these circumstances some turn to prostitution as a means of supporting themselves and/or children they may have. Prostitution all too often often leads to various forms of substance abuse which only serves to exacerbating existing conditions.
Sounds like a familiar story doesn’t it? All that is needed is to change the name of the location from Canada to the U.S., Mexico, Central or South America.
I think there is much more to it than this though-it is the breakdown of a cultural and traditional way of life where men had a sense of responsibility, they wouldn’t father children and then abandon them and the mother.
There was an accountability both men and women faced on the communual level that is sorely missing now.
No one is going to give us back what has been taken from us-they will not return the land, the resources, any of our murdered or missing-and they will surely not return our traditions and culture to us as our being grounded in them will make us stronger.
And that is what we need, the strength of who we are, who we have been. We don’t need people like Russell Means, Dennis Banks, Clyde Bellecourt, faux martyrs like Leonard Peltier, or any of their sort to tell us the direction to take or how we should be.
We need our families, our communities, our oral history, and most importantly our elders to say enough. We need to recognize our own accountability as well as that of others.
In that we need to have expectations of ourselves and of them-we need to remember above all else what we have always said-that we are human beings, our children are sacred, and
they will be what we teach them and the examples we set.
We need to recognize how vulnerable we have made ourselves, our women and children, our old ones-we face enormous hurdles, and some very real dangers-it serves nothing to augment those by our own actions.
Honor and respect-we cannot survive lacking either of them. We need to save ourselves, no else is going to do it for us.