Anishinaabe way of life, by Jt ShiningOne Side

There is a concern on the amount of stealing, theft, drug and alcohol on the reservation and communities. Rightfully so...many have ideas on those committing thievery and or drug and alcohol pushers and abusers should be handled. Mind you it isn't just a problem here but a problem all over. That said, here is my thoughts on these matters. Law enforcement needs help, when seeing suspicious activity report it to the local authorities, somebody steals something tell them you are going to report it if they do not do the right thing and return the stolen property. People who are selling and pushing drugs need to be brought to the light and go before a designate council and address their selling. Laws need to be enforced as they read for the law not followed. Policy and procedures apply to everyone and just not to a certain few. Our reservation and community need to apply the same policies and rules for everyone including their family and friends. We have different cultural and religious beliefs on or near the reservation. All deserve the same respect. We are the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and first and far most our way of life should not be put on the way side. Our ancestors did not put their Anishinaabe way of life aside even if they did follow a religion. Most still talked the Ojibwa language or other American Indian languages, practiced child birthing at home, made gardens, picked and dried berries, made the natural medicines. Attended the bush dance and then went to the powwow at the round halls or someone's home. Most today even if they do not acknowledge their heritage still follow the footsteps of the ancestors. That is a whole topic itself. We as Anishinaabe have been lied to, cheated out of land, cultural, and language that contains our vital heritage. Now mind you we have to use our heritage to combat the problems we have on the reservation and communities. Back in the ancestor's time their was no room for idleness, everyone worked for a living, their was a belief in Kitchimanitou=Great Spirit (God) and a following in the Seven Sacred laws and the Clan totem that governed the village. The children played but were expected to help with chores and care for the elders and younger children in the village. In fact, they went to the elders, and master artist in the village and learned from them everything they needed on being an adult. They offered the asema=tobacco, and a gift for the wisdom shared to the elder or master artist. Land was not over worked and sharing was a big part of daily life. Elders and children were highly cared for and respected as well as cherished. When an individual or individuals misbehaved they were scolded by aunts and or uncles, teased in fact. If it was a more serious law broken a council of individuals talked to the individual or individuals. The individual or individuals were given an opportunity to make amends and or restitution If they violated again the council could choose banishment and tattoo the individual(s). It was up to another village if they wanted to take the banished individual(s) in. There is hopelessness and helplessness on our reservation with all the stealing, theft, broken relationships, alcohol and drug sellers, and abuse. Not only alcohol and drugs but prescription medicine. Our Anishinaabe way of life should be sought out in all matters to make the village whole again. We may not be able to save everyone but this is our community and we can choose to make a difference for the future of the children. Miigwech

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Erich Longie published on January 8, 2018 8:59 PM.

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