Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day on the reserve: Quiet, real quiet.

Don Burnstick, the hilarious Cree comedian, says, 'you might be a Redskin (NDN) if ...the most confusing day in your community is fathers day...'

Confusing and frustrating.

Probably the most profound and difficult result of Canada's First Nation children being sent to concentration camps at age six is their complete inability to properly parent.

When I say proper, I mean producing self-reliant offspring capable of providing for themselves, productive and mature.

No surprise when you think about it. Parents model adult behaviour to their children. The kids eventually are 'programmed' to mimic the activity they see unfold in front of them. But only after intense experimentation with Life applying their own version of survival strategies.

There is also no surprise when we see adult Aboriginals attempting to recreate the order they experienced as kids at the residential schools. Applying strategies such as domination, control through threats, humiliating punishment, and more.

Survival at Indian residential school meant BEING QUIET! Having no respect given. Offering no resistance to authority. Having authority be sexually predatory. Obeying.

There's more...

Consider the effect of sustained enforcement of this condition on First Nation communities for over one hundred years.

It leaves a big mess, hey?

The Good News?

We're still here!

In spite of all the neglect, abuse and generally awful conditions over multiple generations, Canadian Indians assure the world that we are still alive and still have something of a culture left.

The Parenting can be learned. We are not doomed. There are ways to learn.

We are powerful at the core.

Much hard work lies ahead if we are to maintain stability and health in out villages, country or city, but it can be done.

Please check out my website for links to helpful websites for getting our parenting program together.

And also note the last entry in my Lifeskills Lexicon is "YOUTH - Our only hope."

If you are a Father today, I say congratulations and Thank You.

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