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Untitled Christmas Story


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Well, if you want to read a depressing view of the holiday season, this is an excellent story. Frankly, I am shocked by the story content, and cannot imagine that kind of desolate hopelessness.

My family came to Canada in the mid 1950's, and couldn't speak the language, couldn't get work, and were made fun of. The only thing we had was each other, and we supported ourselves emotionally, until we could dig our way out, after learning to communicate with others. I think what I truly cannot understand is how people can live in a situation like that depicted, and somehow not be able to get out of it. At least these people can speak the language. They can read the words written. They have a better start. How is their situation so different, in what way are they so handicapped, that they cannot get ahead? Maybe it is as simple as not truly supporting each other; maybe it is something much deeper of which I am simply unaware.

I feel for them. I am horrified at their situation. I do not understand. I want to turn away. I don't want to know about people feeling like this. And yet, I cannot simply do that. I am asking for some explanation.

Gabriel, you have offered a view, a glimpse, a peek. Can you offer any explanation for this to continue? :cat:

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Guest rusticmonk86

I don't know what to tell you, Trab. That's how it is on many reservations.

Is it the long-term affects of dissemination? People there just say things went to shit after a while. Everything broke down. The reservation is geographically isolated and it has less than 200 people. There is no culture, no songs or drums. Everyone has become a Christian. There are no money for much needed programs like Child Care. There used to be a park on the top of the res, but it's been run over by weeds.

I didn't really embellish anything. I just changed some names. It is a truly horrible situation for an entire family to be in. And even worse when they won't support each other. The idea of "tribe" has been lost and replaced with the more politicised idea of "Tribal Council", which is the same as "City Council".

Anyway, my friend, Beck, just drug someone away from a car accident and I need to be with her.

This is how it is. I know it's shocking. If you want a hug or something, I'm here. But I really wish you'd all just focus on lending whatever support you can to those who have nothing. Literally.

**Added -- Oh yeah, and focus on sending your support here, in the US. I think it's rather silly to lend support to third-world countries when we have so many hopeless situations like the one I've presented to you. **

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Guys, you're intellectualizing this too much. That's ironic, coming from me, as I analyze way too much myself.

What Gabe's describing is life without adequate resources: job opportunities, education, food, healthcare, money... in an entire community. It exists on many reservations and many poor neighborhoods (slums, projects, ghettos) of major cities in the US. The despair and the problems that lack of opportunity creates feed on themselves.

The independence that is and should be the birthright of any Native American; the right to an independent nation; what should be cause for alliance with a democracy-minded country, create unnatural, harmful barriers to progress, due to idiotic red-tape bureaucracy and prejudiced attitudes that go back for generations.

Trab, surely you and your parents encountered problems fitting into an English-speaking culture, despite whatever education and money your family may have had. Surely you know of other immigrants who had trouble making it and fitting in. -- That's why there are ethnic neighborhoods, "Chinatown" or "Little Italy" ... or black or Latino neighborhoods ... any of them. -- So, Trab, consider that what Gabe's writing about are the results of that, over generations.

Instead of getting so angry or sad about it, instead of despair, what works is to find ways to help, through creative means within or around the systems (plural systems). That can get very creative. It can also involve civil disobedience, in the tradition of King and Gandhi. -- Even if it's small, it helps. Even taking the time to be friendly helps. Material needs are met through material goods and services. Spiritual needs are met through our words and actions.

Don't over-analyze it. Don't say it's a simple thing to resolve. It's more than a theme to explore.

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What Gabe said. -- His answer's down to earth and speaks directly to it.

In our rush to the "modern era," we've become so mobile and hurried and disconnected that we don't keep or don't re-create the sense of strong friendships; family, even if it's a family we form without blood relations; or community. That is a weakness in Western culture. We do have it to some extent. Extended families used to be the norm in Western cultures. But it isn't what it should be.

Tribe, team, community, family, neighborliness, congregation, fellowship, togetherness -- support -- even when, especially when, someone has lost that support. -- If that support isn't there; if there's no family, tribe, community, no supporting friendships -- then we have to "DIY: do it yourself" -- examine ourselves, reach out, and build those.

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Guys, you're intellectualizing this too much. That's ironic, coming from me, as I analyze way too much myself.

Don't over-analyze it. Don't say it's a simple thing to resolve. It's more than a theme to explore.

Yes, much more, in fact, than a theme to explore, but on that note: I was encouraging Gabe to write more on the subject. How can we know what is happening if nobody tells us? How many of you knew of this situation before reading the piece?

Write-on Gabe! You did a great job and I wish you to write more on this subject if it does not pain you too much. Hope the person in the accident is all right.


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Guest rusticmonk86

The person in the accident is probably dead. She had some internal bleeding. The dudes who were in the car with her, threw her out, called 9-1-1 and ran. It was the whole thing. The girl called for her mother, she was rushed there . . . teary eyed promises and shit. No chalk, though.

As for the writing, we'll see what trickles out.

** Addition: She lived. **

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Guest rusticmonk86

You realize Canada has a socialized health care system, right?

And you know that's different from the profit-based insurance companies in America?

And the Canadian government gives Canadian Natives more assistance.

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  • 2 months later...
Guest rusticmonk86

Most native cultures (around the world) have been erased by things like globalisation.

Most of the reservations in America are kept convienantly out of sight.

They are also more polluted than your run-of-the-mill, inner city ghetto.

Native American tribes are still being disseminated by bills to log, drill and dump in and on the ancestral lands and sacred places that were promised in treaties and other acts of congress and presidential decrees.

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