Reconciliation and Healing

Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence

Ian Patrick Caplette

There needs to be a comprehensive, extended, and strategic plan to deal with the public health crisis of sexual abuse and sexual violence for our peoples.

Childhood sexual abuse is an active health crisis affecting every family. It causes the disintegration of families which are essential support and sources of strength, identity, and purpose in this world.

Families often respond by breaking apart and creating “sides” in relation to the victim(s) and perpetrator(s) as a result of not fully understanding who is a “child” and who is not. They can respond by denial whereby the family denies that there was any event(s) at all in an attempt to regain normalcy rather than face the pain and consequences of the event(s). Or, they blame the victim and the victim becomes ostracized by the very one s who are supposed to protect and nurture them in this world. Or, they demonize the perpetrator and because the systemic oppression we experience does not allow us to administer our justice systems in relation to this, as well as all other crimes, the resulting frustration, anger, and pain has nowhere to go so it reverberates within the family, sometimes for generations, and causes toxicity, blame/shame complexes, and can continue feelings of hopelessness in the effectiveness of the family to provide support, love, nurturance, strength, and purpose.

On a personal level, childhood sexual abuse causes intense emotional, psychological, and spiritual pain which can lead to addiction. It can lead to depression and anxiety and other mental health issues. It can cause social dysfunction in the victim which presents as promiscuity, boundary confusion, violence towards self and others, isolation, hopelessness, despair. It can lead to death ether through an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude (nihilism) or through more direct means such as suicide. Also, due to normalization of childhood sexual abuse, boundary confusion, substance abuse, and other mental health issues, the victim can become a perpetrator acting out in various ways the very trauma which created the dysfunction in the first place.

On a community level, this causes the conditions where:

a) There can be perpetrators who are known perpetrators walking around in community with full access to children.

b) Community members see this and learn that their community is unsafe and lose trust and belief in their community to see to their needs.

c) Children who grow up in the community have no reference for critical thought and accept this as normal which normalizes childhood sexual abuse as a community value.

d) Fragmented family members often lash out each other creating divisions in community which create a “family against family” scenario which can translate to abuses of political, social, economic, and even spiritual power.

I have been sexually abused as a child. I have done research, yes, but I have also experienced this and more. I personally know 4 young ladies who have been sexually abused by adult men within the past 8 months. Those are the ones I know about. I know there are many more young ladies I know who have been sexually abused that have not told anyone. And many more young men and boys.

This is in our homes. This is in our famiies’ homes. This is in our families. This is our family that is doing this. This is here and this will continue.

We need to activate a comprehensive, extended, and strategic health plan to deal with the public health crisis of sexual abuse, sexual violence, and toxic masculinity for our peoples.

This needs to be conducted by us. We need to educate our children, youth, and adults, on healthy boundaries and respectful relations with themselves and others on a continuous basis. We need to provide comprehensive intervention strategies which work to identify at-risk children, youth, and adults for being perpetrators. We need to provide extended postvention to families who are going through these traumatic events by providing direct and honest dedicated to providing understanding and guidance as they grapple with this trauma. We need to activate our own legal jurisdiction over these events in a strategy designed to distance us from the normalized trauma that it is today to a complete social taboo that it once was. This strategy needs to employ a timeline in which the crime of childhood sexual abuse becomes the capital crime it once was and is treated with such seriousness as to involve the gravest of punishments.

Make no mistake, childhood sexual abuse can be overcome. It is not normal although it is normalized. It was normalized through the horror of Residential School and genocide. We have tremendous strength and I just think about the strength we will have when we overcome this debilitating public health issue. Just think of the potential of all those people which would be freed by not having to deal with the effects of their abuse. What if the abuse never happened? What could they do? What would our family look like if there was no sexual abuse in it? What would a unified, truly unified, family accomplish? What would our community look like? What could we accomplish together?

ʔunap̓aƛi, čuuč

Ermineskin Res School
Maskwasis Boysis
This is a photo of my late dad at the Erminskin residential school in the mid 1940s. I want to share his story with you to help educate others and bring awareness to apart of our history that was swept under the rug by the Canadian government for over a century. He told me he never told anyone about his residential school experience and that this was the only time he would tell his story because he never wanted to relive the horror he experienced as a child. The whole time he was recounting his experience he was crying and his hands were shaking uncontrollably. He told me that this was the one and only time he would ever speak about his residential school experience.

. Here goes: At the age of four he was taken from his family home in Maskwacis at gun point by the rcmp. They came with govt papers telling them that all Indian children had to attend the residential school. He said the whole trip there he cried along side a whole wagon full of native children from his community and some were in childrens handcuffs. He spent 10years of his childhood from the age of 4 to 14 being sexually abused by both priests & nuns (children would go to sleep at night crying themselves to sleep because they would be plucked out of bed ever night to be sexually & physically abused), they had their hair cut off & would be physically abused if they spoke the Cree language. Some kids left & were never heard from again. (150,000 native children died in residential schools from disease, abuse or attempting to run away, either freezing to death or dying of starvation) It left him sexually confused, mentally scarred with identity crisis, shame, self hatred, loss of language & culture, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, anger issues and basically all of the isms in the dictionary that led him to doing time in jail when he would try stand up for himself or others against injustices like racism, inequality, oppression, etc.

If anyone thinks that native people are marginalized today, 60-70 years ago white folks treated natives infinitely worse and strong native men like my late father had to stand up against such injustices, yet they would be blamed for something white folks initiated, instigated and perpetuated.
Our ancestors have endured so much injustice, genocide, attempted extermination, abuses of all kinds, hatred, made outcasts on our own lands, looked down upon by people of other races, etc since 1492 at the hands of our invaders & we are still here. He told me a lot of negative things he went thru in his life but he never let them beat him & he made sure his children were not exposed to such things. Thank you dad wherever you are for all that you did & for being strong for so long. The harm done to survivors, their children, families, communities, and future generations is immeasurable. I pray you & all survivor of these residential schools can find comfort, healing & those who passed are in a better place. Hai hai.

The roadblock to reconciliation: Canada’s origin story is false

 

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A Journey of Reconciliation and Healing Relationships

Luke Dandurand (Wiyé.nox) shares his journey through reconciliation and re-building relationships. His story is about how a small but very powerful reserve, the Kwantlen First Nation, has overcome its difficulties, when facing the historical and generational trauma its family has had to encounter.

Wiyé.nox ‐ the man of sound. A name earned and gifted from the Elders of Kwantlen First Nation and his
hereditary chief Marilyn Gabriel, for his extensive background in music and capabilities of public speaking. Part ofmy goal and what I currently do for work full time is let people know about the success, pride and passion of my Kwantlen family and what has been accomplished through our community.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Fractured Land

A coming of age story about a young First Nations law student and emerging leader from northeast BC, epicenter of some of the worlds largest fracking operations. He tries to reconcile the fractures within himself, his community and the world around him – blending modern tools of the law with ancient wisdom.

Directed and Produced by Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis

Haida Clan Strips Chiefs of Titles For Supporting Enbridge Pipeline

Potlatch

Haida Clan Strips Chiefs of Titles

Commemorating The Tilhqot’in Chiefs

On July 18th 2016 many attended the Tsilhqot’in ceremonies on the grounds of the New Westminster Secondary School this afternoon on the occasion of the 151st anniversary of the hanging of Chief Ahan, who was buried in an unmarked grave near this location July 18, 1865. Ahan was one of the Tsilhqot’in Chiefs unlawfully hanged by the Colony of British Columbia in the aftermath of the Chilcotin War.

 

Tsil 1

In the course of his public duties as a leader of his people, Ahan had killed a settler who the Tsilhqot’in believed had collaborated in the intentional spreading of smallpox in their territory. Ahan was on his way to meet with government officials at New Westminster believing his safe passage had been guaranteed when his escort ambushed him and he was taken to New Westminster charged with murder.

The school district has plans for the site which may include an appropriate memorial.

Tsil 2C

Critically, the Tsilhqot’in resistance to settler intrusions  — including resistance to  settler threats to use smallpox against them — underlie the recent Supreme Court acceptance of Tsilhqot’in historical territorial claims.  Tsilhqot’in resistance created a clear-cut case where national sovereignty was asserted against settler governments.

Christi Belcourt