Life is a challenge for every person. Yet, many suffer unnecessarily, as those who themselves are wounded inflict wounds upon others. It becomes a cycle of violence, abuse, neglect, and self-destructive behaviors, often passed from one generation to the next. Over time, it becomes normal, a part of family or community culture. I’ve never met anyone who wants harmful experiences in their personal, family, or community life, but bringing change takes personal dedication, practice, and action on a daily basis.
As a part of the healing process, we must look into our personal and family history to understand the wounds that first led us astray, on a harmful path. For nearly every Indigenous person in North America, many wounds are rooted in assimilation practices carried out by western religious and government leaders. There were many lies told to our people as truth, coupled with physical, mental, and emotional abuse, especially of Native children. We have inherited the legacy of these wounds, as well as fresh wounds from our personal experience, so have a heavier than normal load to work on.
It is our work to mend our spirits, process the emotional build-up from current times and generations past, end harmful cycles, transition to healthy ways of being, and continue to challenge the lies that tell us our languages, songs, ceremonies, and worldview are anything but natural, balancing, and positive.