Thursday, December 01, 2005

Is This Who We Want to Be?

Give us hearts to understand; Never to take from creation's beauty more than we give; never to destroy wantonly for the furtherance of greed; Never to deny to give our hands for the building of earth's beauty; never to take from her what we cannot use.
Give us hearts to understand That to destroy earth's music is to create confusion; that to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty; That to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a house of stench; that as we care for her she will care for us.
We have forgotten who we are. We have sought only our own security. We have exploited simply for our own ends. We have distorted our knowledge. We have abused our power.
Great Spirit, whose dry lands thirst, Help us to find the way to refresh your lands. Great Spirit, whose waters are choked with debris and pollution,
help us to find the way to cleanse your waters. Great Spirit, whose beautiful earth grows ugly with misuse, help us to find the way to restore beauty to your handiwork.
Great Spirit, whose creatures are being destroyed, help us to find a way to replenish them. Great Spirit, whose gifts to us are being lost in selfishness and corruption, help us to find the way to restore our humanity.
Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind, whose breath gives life to the world, hear me; I need your strength and wisdom. May I walk in Beauty.
Author Unknown
The above prayer says alot about how we have lost our way, not neccesarily do I speak of our culture and traditions, but who we are and should be as Native people on the inside. Today we have let money, power and things come before the well being of our people. When our leaders no longer lead our people, but only lead themselves for power: then its time to stop and take a look at the healthiness of our communites. If our leadership is not leading us in a healthy direction, or not leading us at all then that leaves us to flounder and question who we are as a people. Healthy leadership strengthens both a community and its people by choosing only the direction that will most benefit the community as a whole and not just a chosen few. Unhealthy leadership tears at the spirits ot the people who reside within those communities until there is nothing left of them. There is no hope; no direction; no progress; and no vision for the future.
We have major problems within our communites and its time to address the real issues, not just land, or money or things: but the unhealthiness of our communites from years of oppression. People are far more important than things and they have some how in our fight for our native ritghts and all that is rightfully ours: been forgotten and left to fend for themselves. These things are all very important, but I think until we have healthy people, leadership and communites these things won't matter much. We look forward without seeing what is front of us that it is now our own governments that oppress our people and not just the non-native governments. Until these issues are dealt with and some kind of change takes place we will stand still and move no place, there can be no progress while opression exists. Oppression is like a poison that permeates the very heart and soul of a community and its people. Things can look nice on the outside but take a closer look on the inside and see how they work.
Some Signs of An Unhealthy Community Are:
1. Rampant alchohol and drug abuse.
2. Excessive domestic and child abuse.
3. Excessive childhood sexual abuse.
4. Overdependance on its government.
5. Overdependance on the non-native governments.
6. Little cutural or spiritual awareness.
7. Rampant suicide rates.
8. No plan or vision for the future for economic independance.
9. No plan for the future or direction of the community for the future.
10. Crisis management vs. prevention and planning as a government.
As native people we have endured years of oppression and abuse at the hands of non native governments and this is no longer accpetable. So lets ask ourselves the question of why its acceptable from our own governments?

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