Walk Seeks an End to Lateral Violence
THUNDER BAY – Tawow! ᒥᔪ ᐄᐧᒉᐦᑐᐃᐧᐣ Miyo-wîcêhtowin Living In Harmony Together Walk is a Healing and Unity walk to end Lateral Violence in all of our Indigenous communities on Mother Earth. This walk is for all people of Indigenous decent regardless of blood quantum to come together as one family.
The journey is expected to arrive in Thunder Bay on September 1st and efforts are ongoing to host an event in the city.
Whether you are Metis ( half Native or less) , Status, Inuit, Non-status Indian or part of another Indigenous group, we are all family. We can still maintain and respect all our cultural differences. It’s time we come together and stop the Lateral Violence amongst all of our peoples. All Nations are invited to walk and pray for the health and well being of our Indigenous people world wide. We walk and pray all around Mother Earth, and ask for forgiveness for how we have treated one another. We pray and act collectively so we all heal each other, our communities, and families so we are healthy once again. Together we take action so we come back together as one.
This walk will take place from May 5 – October 31, 2015 to highlight it’s us who need to make the changes within ourselves and not expect government or Band council or someone other than ourselves to fix this issue. Putting an end to Lateral Violence is an individual effort based on having impeccable speech and impeccable behaviour.
My name is Isabel Okanese and I am Oji-Cree from the Turtle Clan. I am a healthy, Traditional Lifegiver who is 43 years old. I am not from the rez and I don’t have status. I have experienced Lateral Violence in my own life from family, friends and my own community.
I had a Nephew who was raised on the rez say to me once: “You are a white woman we are not family”. I was at a Pow Wow when I asked a friend who is the woman that was standing in front of me, My friend stated to me “If you were Cree you would know who that woman is because all Cree people know her.” Ever since I was a little girl I have felt rejected, ostracized and ignored by my own people and other Indigenous people. My list is long and my story is not uncommon. So my heart is warmed when I am accepted by other Native people. I still love all indigenous people regardless of how I was treated in the past.
I forgive those who have used Lateral Violence against me and I work hard at not participating in it. I still want to help my people and other Indigenous people. I want all of us to stop participating in Lateral Violence.
Are you wondering what Lateral Violence is?
As defined by Wikipedia: Lateral violence is displaced violence directed against one’s peers rather than one’s true adversaries… Members of low-status ethnic minority groups face greater stresses….
In Australia and Canada, lateral violence is widely seen as an intergenerational learned pattern and major social problem in indigenous communities. …
Lateral Violence occurs within marginalized groups where members strike out at each other as a result of being oppressed. The oppressed become the oppressors of themselves and each other. Common behaviours that prevent positive change from occurring include gossiping, bullying, finger-pointing, backstabbing and shunning —Kweykway Consulting
To bring healing and unity, will walk across Canada from Victoria, BC to Halifax, Nova Scotia from May 5, 2015 to October 31, 2015.
Since four is a scared number we ask people support by:
1. Walking in their community for 4 minutes, 4 hours, 4 days or 4 months or join us on the full Trek across Canada along Highway One. Wherever you live, no matter which nation or country, please walk in your community.
2. Smudging/Praying at sunrise everyday to ask for unity and healing in our Indigenous communities.
3. Please donate funds to the Walk.
This campaign is to raise funds for gas, food, advertising, hiking/camping gear, shoes, gifts for Elders, basic necessity of life during the 6 month Trek. On the dream list: enough funds for a documentary and a Round Dance.
Here is the event page for the Walk:
Here is the Website: http://miyowicehtowin.webs.com/
Here is the GoFundMe for donations site: http://www.gofundme.com/n31sxk
Please pass on this info that would help too. I look forward to hearing from you,