BIPOC EXPLORED! Week XI

Colonisation, Genocide, Stolen Culture 

In order to cohesively understand, one must first listen to the origin of racism and systemic discrimination with regards to colonization, and the impact on Indigenous communities.  When colonization first occurred, stifling of Indigenous culture was commonly practised by the settlers.  This concept prospered by mandating the First Nations: not take part in their ceremonies, wear traditional garments, or even speak their Native language.  When one’s origin is not permitted to be shared and constantly silenced, that would tend to breed a resentment in anyone, and in turn take out the frustration on their families.  Colonization, ruined the First Nations beyond compare for centuries after the fact, it was the genesis set into play that predestined the level of destruction which currently continues to haunt First Nation communities. The levels of intergenerational trauma within the Indigenous People’s is beyond extreme, and commonly transpired to substance abuse as a result of contending with personal and painful histories. Which would in turn lead to a legacy of family violence, as not just one individual is impacted in that scenario but the entire family.

My first semester of Victimology found me in Diversity & Victimology: Indigenous Peoples, so much from that class is still seared into my mind.  My teacher introduced our class to Monster by Dennis Saddleman; the words in this recording and expressions behind them say it all.  This is authentic emotion as a direct result of the genocide that took place via the process of residential schools. The manner in which the residential school was written about in Saddleman’s poem is nothing short of raw brilliance.  He transforms the residential school into a persona of its’ own.  One that was relentless, filled with desire to terminate an entire culture and not only one generation but multiple generations as well. The trauma is so evident; how does one heal from something so traumatic? This is a manifestation of living breathing torture; not to mention how many children ran away from the residential schools and died before making it back home to the elements or even murdered by the caretaker of the residential schools. I would invite my readers to listen to the recording of Monster here – brace yourself and listen with a box of tissues. The message conveyed throughout this poem is one that would genuinely shame anyone that has any dealings with the residential school and its’ infinite legacy of abuse.  

HATE 

I can appreciate why a human
        who would desire to scribe 
            a piece based on the abuse 
        endured by children 

   Cultural genocide 
       propelled on The First Nations
                 earth  

    The pain brought forth 
               by the residential school legacy 
            is one that never should have occurred 
          in the first place 

   No human should have power over others 
      greed and fear forced the Indigenous beings
                    off of their land -- 

        Who resided here for nearly 15,000 years 
             prior to being kicked off Native lands 
               nothing about this feels right 

       I am not Indigenous to this land 
           however am to another distant land 
             the screams of the children 
                     can still be heard 

             Listen to the wind which howls
                     as it engulfs with love 
                 those who’ve disappeared 

      You are not forgotten
           You will never be forgotten 

For the full BIPOC Explored series click this!

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