Restless Spirit: The Murder of Eddie Peltier
A True Story By Cat West
Because of damage done by broken promises, betrayal of every treaty, and the genocides of Reservations and Residential Schools, the bonds between parents, children, family, community and nations are asunder. Threads that would bind us together in respect and dignity are singed by learned abuses, neglect, addictions and violence.
Government ignores what it knows it has done wrong in the past and the wrongs it continues to commit against the people, all people, by denying Civil Rights to one distinct minority, in hopes that the abuses will be carried on and no one will be able to raise a voice, or be heard by the nation that bears the shame of what we have created by our ignorance, apathy, denial and neglect.
Taking children away is wrong. It is the wrong that has set so much of this in motion, time and time again. Taking children away, at this point, will only guarantee it will get worse.
That won't solve the problem. To solve this problem we must do two things: Get at the root of it and educate people to where they can save themselves and their children.
We are long past the being able to point and blame by now. For those responsible are no longer around. However, the treaties they broke, the laws they wrote that were created to hamper and cripple any remote chance of Indian People finding justice, are left behind. We can change those things and allow those who are struggling to survive in these communities a chance to heal from within by allowing them and assisting them to throw off the chains of corruption that they are both shackled with and beaten with by those who rise to power by violence and are held secure by Federal Support of Criminal Corruption.
What we see here is not the shame of Indian People, but the Shame of a nation that has created the futility that renders these behaviors both common and expected, and those who die young no chance at a real life.
This is OUR education. Our responsibility to step forward and make the changes that will allow these kinds of behaviors to fade away in the coming generations of what is left of us.
Some say it is too late. For some, it is. However, if we give up, all is lost, all is wasted. If we work together to end the suffering, right the wrongs, and apply equal rights to all people in our nation, we will allow all people, including Indians, to fight for justice for themselves and their children.
Allow Indian People the same Civil Rights as any other U.S. Citizen and the corruption will fall. The people will unbend from the oppression and abuse, and our whole nation will be stronger for it.
Until we can find a way to come together as Brothers and Sisters, Neighbors and Nations, this is our doing. All of our doing. The pointing finger comes to us. If we quit pointing and start working, we might have a chance to save ourselves.
Above Right: Young man passed out next to very young baby. Chances are, when he was small, there was some adult passed out next to him. Education and addiction assistance is the only thing that will prevent that baby from growing up to be the drunk passed out on the bed, next to a small child, perhaps his own.
Above Left: Small child chugging from a bottle of Peach Schnapps. His mother proudly claiming him as "showing 'em how it's done!" I disguised his features and removed his name. She was too proud to protect him. This is how our children learn to destroy themselves. We teach it to them.
Below: Notice how many of these kids, underage, are drinking in vehicles or at parties. Look around and see how many have very young children in the same room with them. The drug use is through the roof in Indian Country. Don't tell me you can't see it and can't smell it and don't recognize a drug house when you see it from the outside or the activity outside. Drugs and Alcohol are the Rites of Passage for the young people in Indian Country. They teach it to each other, they learned it from us. If they had any respect for their families, or their communities, they would not do these tings. We have failed as parents, families, communities and as a Nation. These people are not to be condemned, they are to be addressed, guided, helped and healed. Turning away, ignoring, denying the issues will only make it worse.
Quote from Leonard Peltier:"Wrong medicine is being offered to our youth, commonly called alcohol and drugs. It is up to each one of us, to get involved and make a difference in a positive way. It is time to give back to our children. I encourage each of you to take it upon yourself to stand up and find someway to help our youth. The youth of the world are in jeopardy; let us not rob future generations of their future."
More thistles on the way
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