Thoughts on Seven Fallen Feathers Part 2

Hurting from the Before

Mental Health and wellness supports need improvement throughout the province overall. Stigma, lack of education, long waiting lists and “band aid” solutions – including lip service without the necessary backing – riddle positive progress. The situation in Indigenous communities as shown through this chapter are even more abysmal. Isolation may be one factor but certainly not the only one. Funding and the will to effect positive change – which, unfortunately, also includes underlying factors of racism whether they are latent, overt, or systemic – also contribute.

The Hollowness of Not Knowing

I cannot comprehend the deep turmoil far beyond grief experienced by people like Maryanne. At the same time the substandard handling of cases like Paul’s infuriates me! How can people live with the fact that they have ignored their duty to another human being?

Talaga also draws our attention to the Inquiry on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in this chapter. I recall a great deal on the news about the Inquiry, but had no other experience in this area. The eye-opener for me was realizing how data can be skewed. I recall the impression from news reports that the majority of cases of murdered indigenous women were perpetrated by people they knew. This reporting was very misleading.

The fact that many news reports

characteriz[ed] the threats to Indigenous women’s lives as exclusively about domestic violence … misrepresents the issues and obscures crucial aspects of these threats.

In fact,

The vast majority of murders are committed by someone known to the victim. This is true for Indigenous and non-Indigenous women alike.

And furthermore,

In the case of Aboriginal women, spouses, family and other intimates account for 62% of homicides, compared to 74% of murders of all other women.

From: Jackie Hansen, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: Understanding the Numbers

My main purpose in joining the book club was to learn more about Truth and Reconciliation, indigenous history, culture and present day issues and concerns so that I would be able to implement indigenous topics appropriately and effectively into my classroom. I am definitely learning a great deal and I will definitely be studying and using the resources provided on the FN Caring Society website.

We Speak for the Dead to Protect the Living

The complete travesty of the situation described about Robyn stems not only from the failure of professionals to perform their duties appropriately. I get a distinct sense that desensitization also plays a role. The description of the bus station and the subsequent pick up and drop off (where Robyn was left on the floor), and even when her own family ignore her laying there, is frightening.

A broken system, filled with injustices stemming from prejudice and arrogance have created broken families and people. My feelings of outrage seem completely inadequate and pale to the reality and enormity of the situation.

3 responses to “Thoughts on Seven Fallen Feathers Part 2”

  1. The lack of sensitivity is something that keeps popping up for me too. I cringed when I kept thinking of Robyn lying passed out on the ground at the bus station. of course, I am not a drinker and haven’t been out past 10:00 in a really long time, so maybe this happens more than I am aware of.

    I can’t decide if I think there are a lot of examples of incompetence – people not doing their job properly (police) – or just a lot of examples of people not caring about other people.

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