Some people have given me feedback about the emotion I put into posts. I have something to say about that in light of the report issued from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and about the “healing” aspect of that.
Firstly, I would like to speak about healing. Healing is not the pushing down of emotions or of hiding them, subduing them, diverting them, or any other such act of concealment or of deception.
Healing is a freeing of oneself to not only feel the emotions which one is entitled to and feels, but healing is the fredom to express those feelings and to be enouraged to do so. Any first-year counsellor student can tell you this. What all of the people who support the censoring of emotion, or those who are uncomfortable enough to wish I don’t express it, are actually doing is encouraging concealment and the burying of emotion which is essential to any healing process.
You are in fact, encouraging the perpetuation of the pain, anger, grief, rage, bewilderment, fear, and other complex emotions, to carry on in others when you attempt to censor me or my emotions.
How can healing occur if there is no acceptance of the emotions being expressed which are linked to the Indian Residential School’s 160+ year attempt at genocide and it’s horrific effects on individuals, families, communities, and Nations?
Some may be able to anesthetize their experience to such a degree as to find my words angry, hostile, and perhaps offensive, but I assure you, what I have expressed is nothing near the torment that suvivors, their families (which can be assumed to be all Indigenous peoples considering the magnitude and length of the time the IRS system was in place), and their communities are suffering through at this moment. All the while facing increasingly refined attempts at genocide being concoted by the Calgary think-tank with Flanagan riding shotgun and Harper at the wheel.
Tell me it’s any different.
Keep in mind also, the Residential School system was but one of the tactics used to commit genocide as there were a great number of ways which the government committed atrocities while the canadian people either sat back and watched, took an active part, or cheered them on. As most still sit back and watch, take an active part, or cheer them on, still do today.
Now, if you are all about healing, then one such way to support that process is to encourage the release of emotions which have been internalized and locked away for over a century instead of making short-sighted, petty judgements based on a shallow concept of healing, which is not even aesthetically viable, let alone doing anything for the people who are aware of the issues, contexts, causal factors, and trauma which we witness daily on grand scales. We have been working very hard, some of us for most of our lives, in order to bring Indigenous issues to the short and shallow attention of a public who’s every enticement is to ignore, degrade, and dismiss.
Or even bring hope to our own people who have been subjected to so much trauma, ridicule, and racism, that they have internalized enough to turn them away from their culture, communities, and the VALUES of who they truly are.
I am not going to spoon feed anyone the truth and I hope people question my anger. I hope people get defensive when they read my words. I hope people get pissed off at me for saying them because at least it is something where before there was nothing. No notice. No feeling. No understanding. no engagement. no acceptance. nothing.
I hope people try to shut me down but one thing I was quite unprepared for was that the people trying to shut me down, are the very people who should be encouraging me to express myself. If there is any humanity in the hearts and consciences if the dominant and dominating society, they wish for the suffering to end.
What I can’t believe is the callous dismissal of my emotions considering the depth of the damage and the continual denial and neglect of not only this issue, but all of the issues which we are forced to live with.
I encourage you to take the time you need in oder to “soften your heart” and do some self care because this healing business ain’t for children, folks.
Or is it?
Of course it is for children. And parents. And Elders. And families. And communities. And Nations. And for so much more.