I wrote another column encouraging folks to pay attention to the ongoing violence against indigenous women. One of the things I dread most are the conversations I have with my 5-year-old daughter about keeping herself safe from unwanted attention. She is a beautiful Lakota/Anishinaabe child, and unfortunately that means she is bombarded on all fronts by the very real possibility of physical, emotional, and spiritual violence. I don’t know that any parent relishes the idea of going over “worst case scenarios” with their child, but as a survivor of childhood and adolescent abuse, I am even more sensitive to the dangers of having an uninformed child, so we talk daily about ways to keep herself safe.
There are a lot of great resources available to help parents word these discussions, but the point here is that we HAVE to keep this discussion in the forefront throughout our daughters’ lives. Too many indigenous women suffer from violence and too many of our issues suffer from exploitation, so much so that we fade easily into the shadows where no one can see us. Do yourself and our indigenous daughters a favor and support the work of groups like the February 14th (First Nations) Women’s Memorial March and the Turtle Island solidarity events fighting to keep our women, their protection, their survival, and their successes in the forefront. Wopila tanka; anpetu cante wasté.