|This isn't a polar bear, it's my painting of a Spirit Bear|
Mommabear is mad!
You know a while back my kid left one of her school assignments out.
In it she was explaining that I was very much like a Momma polar bear. Mother polar bears mate and then go off by themselves to raise their young.
When people talk about raising their kids and spankings..which I admit that I am guilty. I misguidedly did a couple of times when we were living in a very crowded space and I was at my wits end, but I quickly learned why they don't work, one being I saw one day the kid would overpower me and and the other it would play out badly in other ways....we moved...I am so happy I had that opportunity.
But if a kid was going to do something where they were going to get hurt or someone was going hurt them. Mommabear would appear !! If I had to give a little swat on the bottom, not hard to hurt but to startle to make sure they did not put hand on the stove or in the light socket or touch something they had repeatedly been told not to. Because kids push boundaries. That's natural. Curiousity is natural and healthy.
Now if you grow up in a messed up house, where you have experienced alcoholism, stress from money troubles and a whole wack of other things that happen in many Canadian families, like bullying, suicide, death of loved ones,-- as a youth, as I did, my attitude was "who gives a shit"
My mom told me..reminded me one time.. I had said something about I didn't want to live past 25. I think I got it from that Rolling Stones song.."What a drag it is getting old". Tell that to Mick now whose still touring and expecting a baby or maybe they had it..haven't kept up.
Sidenote: Did you know that supposedly his last girlfriend took her life and some say it was because he didn't want another baby and she did, very badly. I just read that..I don't know if it's true.
But if this Mommabear is honest, I didn't want to live anymore if I didn't have Angel.
That's why I called her that. She saved me. The Creator/God/Universe who ever you believe blessed me with her. And I am so grateful. I tell her all the time and more recently because there is stuff - personal drama happening in our family and it is causing a lot of grief.
And as I am thinking about that and read how our favourite beluga whale at the aquarium, Quila passed away I get wind of something,
The suicides in our Northern communities are starting again. Last month at least 5 children in Saskatchewan took their lives and I heard 2 kids in Attawapiskat tried.
And today news comes that a beautiful young man tried, was on life support and now, with great sadness I write, he has died by suicide as his family takes him off life support today.
My deepest condolences to the family, his loved ones, friends and the community that loved him, to everyone who will grieve and miss him so dearly. May he rest in peace.
Justin, this Mommabear is pissed off!!
In my mind I want to go around smashing, crushing everything. Taking out my aggression on everything in the way a Mommabear does to protect her cubs.
As I write this the tears are coming and it is hard to type because its all blurry.
Remember the scene from Under the Sun, when she screams "What more can I do?"
(I can't find the clip...go to 1:49:00 in the movie or click the link below)
Since last April when the Chief raised the alarm that there was a rash of suicides and they had been triggered by Sheridan's death, that had been caused by bullying from teacher and moldly homes that had sewage backed up from DeBeers and those issues keep playing out. Do you know how hard it is to just get a drivers license there, and many many other things that as an outsider I have no control and frankly I don't know what to suggest.
I started I heart Attawapiskat blog when I saw many people like me, trying to reach out and help.
We posted all sorts of positive things and I tried to let everyone there know they are NOT alone.
The youth rallied and they came up with suggestions for a youth center, parenting classes and people on the outside donated and shipped a bunch of stuff.
The government sent health care workers but from what I heard and read, most have left and there is no housing.
Mommabear is mad!!!!!
Justin. Get your butt back from Cuba and start making some changes around here. You claim to be the Minister of Youth. You understand mental illness and grief. ie: your mom and Sofie have documented this and you lost your dad and brother, so I know you hear me when I talk about this.
Your bandaid wasn't big enough to cover the wound and these communities are literally bleeding to death. How much more visual can we make it.
Canada... So called for the last 150 years reign of terror it has inflicted upon indigenous peoples, will celebrate 150 years. What the hell is there to celebrate.
From personal experience I know that hate and indifference to Indigenous peoples is wide spread and while many are trying to understand the full complexities of what has happened in the last 150 years ..let alone the last 500 through the world and result of colonialism and the hate white privilege unleashed upon the world, we are struggling, what can we do????
What can I do?
I am trying. I am taking a course Carving4Reconciliation my classmate lovingly called it... We are learning about Residential schools and how the long term effects of them is playing out today with so many youth in foster care and adults in jail. We know it is strongly connected to why there are so many missing and murdered women.
And we know it's trickledown effect on why their are so many suicides.
But it's more than that. In the spring, school in Ontario experienced students committing suicides and counselors rushed in and everybody was there to help...
Why is it still happening in these northern communities..??
Weather. Darkness. Isolation. Depression. Grief. Drugs. Alcohol. any kind of abuse but most of all ...maybe ..and I am thinking out loud...they can't be heard.
Who ever is hurting so bad, but no one hears... Or like in my situation recently one family member was trying to patch things up, keep the peace, making lots of excuses for another person...when what I needed was an ally. Someone to say "You're right!" That is totally f'd up. You have every right to feel like that. I had to go to my friend and she helped me because I felt totally bullied. I had apologized for standing up for myself and others. I had said let's meet in the middle and agree to disagree but this person wouldn't and I was questioning myself.
In younger years I gave and and tried to earn love that could not and would not be given. And at some point my mom helped me understand that the situation was toxic. That it was their problem not mine. After that I moved on and moved away
But what happens when you live in a small community and you are trying desperately to hang on to your culture, language and loved ones...
And when someone like Shannen-of Shannen's dream goes to bat for everyone, for a school, something every community in so called Canada starts with.. And when tragedy strikes and takes her or other tragedies like losing a loved one on Christmas, or loved one to bullying, when elders and youth take their lives...when people just pass and the hole is so big...
Grrrrrrrrrrr! Momma bear is mad at the forces that be and says WTF!!! "What CAN I do?"
And then Mommabear calms down and writes this blog post and puts it out to the world...what can WE do??
One thought I had was a type of cleansing ceremony. What if somehow we or the youth, anyone there learn to carve like we are here at Langara and we make a box like Luke Marsten made.
And everyone writes all their thoughts and feelings and things that bother them and we put them in that box. And have a special cleansing ceremony and we burn all the papers. Maybe we burn the box too, who knows.
And we tackle the real issues up there. The things that are really on that list. And maybe we actually write this stuff out, like in the Survivors Speak... So people can relate personally.
The government isn't going to help. It hasn't for 150 years. It has kept people weak, took away their Land, Language. Ceremonies. Spirituality.
It has tried to "to kill the indian" and steal the land and what I want to say is don't let them win.
Fight back! I don't like to use that word because it can incite violence but I am not talking like that.
I am talking like Standing Rock.
Fight back with peace and prayers and fight back with your life.
Don't let the government win.
Don't let the colonialist win.
Don't let the evilness of the residential schools win.
Your elders and parents survived all that and YOU are a MIRACLE.
Don't ever doubt it.
I know, I get sad too, and sometimes I go to dark places but I have learned things will get better.
I have said this before...but "just make it until tomorrow". Call on the loved on you are missing. Ask for help. Watch for signs ...it may take time but please please hang on. Please reach out!!!
We love you.
We need you.
You are an important part of a puzzle we are trying to solve.
Stay here and help us figure this out.
Mommabear doesn't like to get mad or stay mad long. She always tries to find a solution. Sometimes it's a crazy idea.
What is your crazy idea on how we can fix things?
Come so called Canada- it's up to us, how are we going to stop the suicides. Reconciliation is not just ceremony, it will take real work...what are you doing? We need you, it's going to take everyone.
Okay, my internet is slow, I will add a bunch of links later.
I send out peace, love and light and my condolences to everyone hurting tonight. You are in my heart and my prayers. I hope you can find some peace in this. May your loved one Rest In Peace.
RELATED: Where is this YOUTH CENTRE?
Statement from Carolyn Bennett and Charlie Angus
"During our visit, we heard from the youth about the importance of rebuilding their identity as proud Indigenous people. They have asked for a ‘youth centre’ where they can come together, and work with families, elders for cultural and wellness programming. Starting immediately we will begin to work with the community and provincial partners to plan and design such a space as well as put in place the ‘on the land’ programming that they have requested"
One Idea I had was can't we bring in a YURT like they did in Standing Rock?