Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Native women pay the highest price for our Rape Culture

The revelations of rape culture throughout Canada's highest institutions of learning is further evidence that this country remains a dangerous place for Native women. 

My wife tells our daughters to always be on guard. "There is no such thing as paranoid for an Indian girl." The numbers of our Murdered and Missing sisters continues to grow without action as though our current sum is not staggering enough to make people care.

My wife told me many years ago that she believed Native girls put on weight as an act of self-defense after years of being under attack. The society that we have created is one that demands women to be as small as possible. It makes them even more defenseless.

As in the movie 12 Years a Slave it is the women who suffer the most under racism and repression. It is the Native people of Canada who are on the lowest rung of this society. It is women who are the lowest rung of this society. It is Native women who hold onto the last rung as though it is the final grip on our humanity itself.

The fight is at our door. It is our responsibility as Native men. Our men have to start within. There is no win in this fight until that fight is won. Until then our women stand alone.

Men who are not connected to anything are dangerous. The ones who are not connected in some real way to the larger community are dangerous. They are the ones that need to be watched. But they are not the only ones.

I have waved this sickness awash in my mind as alien weight. This blind to humanity. It is not what the Creator made of me when I came into this world. It is not how my mother raised me before she sent me out into the world. It is not what I can be to be all the things that it takes to be called a man. Napayo.

This is the greatest infection of the residential schools but it has to be understood at another level beyond sexual violence. It was spiritual violence that was spread to the thousands and thousands and thousands. Yet this is another violation often imposed upon our women and girls by Native men. 

I don't what your name is, what you do or what you've done. If you disrespect our women you disrespect our mom and all your words and action become none. Do not keep our women down and done and unsafe and unsung. 

This is our fight first. We must change. We can protect our women and then we can help them all. But first we must take care of our own homes. If we cannot protect our women in their own homes and in their own communities then all is lost.