In some instances it is unwarranted for a person to say they are owed something-in others it is undeniable.
But often enough the individual has to make their own opportunities, that can be a difficult task at times.
This blog in a manner of speaking has been an opportunity for me, an opportunity to broaden my understanding and use of language.
I still struggle with it at times, do the spell check and avail myself of online dictionaries seeking definitions, but I’m getting there. And that punctuation thing still has me confused.
Kind of a penchant of mine to look for origins, the genesis of things, how I or a person may have arrived at the position they have. How and why an event transpired.
In my case it began with an elderly couple who had been educators giving me a box of books when I was a kid and comparing them to keys that could open doors.
As a child and being somewhat feral my interests lay elsewhere, interests like running through the woods, hanging with my grandfather, getting distracted by something real or imagined, or making a little money to help at home.
Work liberated me from school prior to finishing junior high, I was pleased with that, but something I’ve come to understand had it’s downside too.
In the transitional years I drank a little and fought a lot, much to the dismay of my mother who had enough experience with that related to my father. Neither ever got in the way of or effected my desire to work, or my enjoyment of it.
Fortunately the light went on and I gave all the ignorance up. I credit my mother, my “second mother” and a few others with that. …and books.
Also a growing awareness that those things contained within the pages of books were indeed keys-keys that could equip the reader and make a difference.
Keys that were essential to understand history and all that had transpired in the form of treaties, laws, manipulations, intent, and legislation that brought our people to the point we are at.
It’s easy to say something is wrong, but more meaningful if you can chapter and verse the reasons why and rebut arguments and excuses.
As a demographic more of our young people enlist in the military than any other group percentage wise, there may be a great irony in that but opportunity is the primary motivation.
A steady income, benefits, education, and the opportunity to learn a trade- if those assets were available within our own communities I have no doubt enlistment numbers would decline and silence the naysayers who overlook the realities that often lead to it.
We still view this country as our land, and should understand that it’s enemies whether we had a hand in creating them or not will not discriminate when it comes to us- those of our own will fight to protect their families, their loved ones, and their land just as any other will-that too plays a role in enlistment-showing some respect for that would be a good thing.
If it had not of been for the code talkers we might all be eating a different diet and speaking a foreign language other than English, that’s something to think about.
Education is a key our children and every child need and can rightfully say is their due, so is healthcare, opportunity, and a level playing field.
Education that doesn’t seek to convert or assimilate, to transform them into another brick in the wall-rather one than strengthens their heritage and equips them for life- a focus gathering momentum on every rez in this country, a focus that can and will create opportunity.
We don’t need to be a product of the system’s schools anymore than we did the boarding schools.
We need an integrated approach that combines the best of both and allows our children to be grounded in OUR history and traditions while at the same time equipping them to succeed in a world not of our making.
The modern reality is that if you are lacking education or a marketable skill you haven’t much of chance.
We either move forward or remain static and dependent-locked in a rictus of poverty….there are no other choices.
It ain’t easy being us today, and the difficulties all began with the first landing of the Euro boat people, but the onus is on us to address and mitigate circumstances or do little and talk about what we are owed…..talk if restricted to nothing more than that has and will continue to embed a generational dependency into the fabric of the nations.