Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Sorry State- What can we do?

Blog post by Tina Winterlik © 2012!/zipolita @zipolita Google+

Have you seen this Everyone in BC needs to watch this the video called A Sorry State | Knowledge Network  by Filmmaker Mitch Miyagawa

It is so awful what happened to the people in the Residential schools. So many people are unaware. 

Wikipedia file

It makes me so sad that people do not know what happened and have no understanding of the homelessness & drug problems of the DTES- Downtown Eastside.  Recently I was with a group of people, various ages but a few were youth and one was not from Canada.  They made some very inappropriate comments and were saying how they just couldn't understand how people could get so addicted.

I spoke up in defense. I told them about the Residential schools, how children were taken from their families and not allowed to speak their language or see their families and how they lost their spirituality. I told them that these children were abused.  I had to keep it light as it was not the time or place to go into great detail but it bothered me terribly.

I told them that those children never learned to parent because they were forcibly taken from their families. They lost their spirituality and were forced to learn religion. They were horribly abused, mentally, physical and sexually. It is so shocking and disturbing to think this could my province where I grew up and live today.

These children who were abused, many of them turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the past. They didn't learn to parent and their children were damaged in the process. Many of those children grew up and turned to alcohol and drugs and the vicious cycle continues. 

Wikipedia file

Now the drugs are even worse and some of the monstrous crimes (especially against women) that have happened are unbelievable with the authorities still abusing their powers and ignoring the rights of people ( especially women. )

When will the destruction end. 

I don't know. 

If I won the lottery- I mean a big lottery- one of those 50 million dollar lotteries,  I would take all those people and set up programs.

Everyone would get a little cob house and a little piece of land. They would all have little gardens and a few chickens, rabbits and we'd all live close to a river or water.  We'd live off the land.

There be counseling and massage therapy and aromatherapy and all sorts of herbal advice.  Maybe then by getting back to the land some healing could begin. And lots of art!  That's what one of my ideas is.  Maybe then people could get in touch with their souls and regain some of their own spirituality. Everything on my vision board

Maybe some really rich person will read this and try it. Maybe someone will start a foundation and raise the money to do it.

Now if only the we could do that.  I have to think positive, it's the only way to be. I have to have hope. Like the father in this show,  he said "what's done is done."  When I say it, it may sound callous and harsh, but it's not meant to be. A person has to come to terms with these things in order to find inner peace.  As much as we would like to change the past we can not.

While the government apologized, it helped in that it acknowledged the crimes against these people but it doesn't change anything, it doesn't make it better and for some who applied to get help, and were denied, it's obviously made things worse. I feel so sad for these people. I pray hard for these poor tortured souls.  I just pray that my child understands what happened.

I am grateful for this show and for people sharing their painful stories so that people can begin to understand. So that we can share this information with our families, especially our children. We need to share it so that they can understand what is happening in the province, especially in Vancouver on the Downtown Eastside.  We need to see the bigger picture so that children can be educated and have compassion and empathy and understanding about the whole and not the pieces. 

So that when someone sees a person that is homeless or very drugged and and their clothing is soiled  and passed out from intoxication, that in ignorance this person does not laugh or make inappropriate jokes or condemn. That instead they feel compassion and say a prayer and if they can help.

One other point in all of this I want to make is that not everyone looks "First Nations!"  While trying to explain that this happened to the First Nations people, the person I was trying to explain it to, replied, "they didn't look First Nations."  I replied, they were probably mixed.

Of course, later I had the perfect answer- which was..."do I look First Nations?"

My family didn't suffer the abuses that happened to many of the First Nations in this province,  as my great grandmother married a man from another country and my grandfather married a woman from another country.  So we are very mixed.

 Still I have Metis and Songhee and I take my heritage very seriously. I am proud that I am connected to this land. I belong here and it makes me angry that my ancestors and relatives and people of my culture have been so badly abused. It makes me angry that these things happened to anyone, ever!!!

It makes me angry, upset and confused that although the Prime Minister apologized, that when 6 kids under the age of 20 walk 1600 km to meet him and tell them about the problems of drug abuse and other issues facing them, he can't even be there to meet them. 

What can I do?

I feel powerless. There is not much I can do. Except this perhaps. Trying to share. Trying to educate people who do not know. To make sure my daughter understands. It's only with knowledge that we can heal the wounds and prevent atrocities such as those that happened from happening again.

I'd like to make a film. I have an idea for one. I was looking at a fundraising campaign the other day to see if I could maybe raise some funds for a camera and computer and  things.  I'll let you know if I do. Maybe if it was successful...I could start the foundation to raise the funds for the cob houses, land, and therapy.

Well I've got to go to bed. I give thanks that I can sleep pretty peacefully at night. I am not haunted by nightmares of the past that many people are. I am grateful I have a place to stay in right now, I have food to eat and I have dreams for the future. It's not as much a many people have, but it's a lot more than many have. I am grateful for what I have.

Each night I say my gratitude prayers. It's how I cope. I like to meditate if I can and often little miracles happen, sometimes even big ones :D. I'm praying for the people in this film A Sorry State | Knowledge Network and all the people who've been hurt, for all the little children and their parents, grandparents and families. I pray we can all find peace.  

It's all I can do. How about you?

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