Tuesday, September 27, 2011

INDOCTRINATION the answer for Native Peoples

in·doc·tri·nate 

1. to instruct in a doctrine, principle, ideology, etc., especially to imbue with a specific partisan or biased belief or point of view.
2. to teach or inculcate.
3. to imbue with learning.

When you hear about indoctrination you tend to think in negative terms. Like a cult or about fundamentalists or even extremists. Lot of that thinking may be influenced by media, but that's another topic. I believe that indoctrination serves a purpose and can be beneficial to society.

I realize the aim in many people's mind is to be of one race, the Human Race. Let us all get along and be at Peace. That is not going to ever happen. Our differences is what life is about (whether good or bad).

 I really like that I am different and part of a group. I am Anishinaabe, Sagkeeng born and raised, a man, a Dad, a Son, an uncle, a granddad, a cousin, a Baby boomer, and a good friend to some. It is who I am. That is what indoctrination is really about, defining us.

The Governments of Canada and the United States attempted to change the identity of many Natives (and other peoples; Blacks, Chinese, Latino, etc) to be something different than who they are. In many instances the indoctrination attempts did not work well. The indoctrination didn't work for a variety of reasons.  The main reason being that in their attempt to change the person, they first knocked down, who they are. That didn't make sense in the people's minds. So the result was a mixed message. Be this person because the person who you are is no damn good. Most people don't want think of their Being as no damn good. They want to feel good about themselves, not feel bad about who they are.

That is why indoctrination should be about what is good and great about who you are. For Native people, Indians, it is all about feeling good about being Native, being Indian. That is the answer to all the woes in Indian country (not really but is where to start), to feel good about who you are, and KNOW who you are. That is what indoctrination will do.

You have to start with the people when they are young. Start at home. Teach them about being Native. Use the schools to sink the message in; you are a good people. These are your people and this is where you come from. These are the Teachings of your People. The Teachings of Creation, the Language, the Way of Life.

That is the answer, Teach the kids about who they are. Not what the world wants them to be. They are different. They have their OWN Teachings. We know about the teachings of other people, but not our own. So that is where to start. If we don't differentiate from the main stream, we will continue to spiral down the path of despair. That is where many of us are right now. Many people living on the edge of society, not fitting in. But Indians can fit in society, but on their Terms.

It is great to see the Jew wearing a Kippah, or a Sikh wearing a Turban. Society gets all bent out of shape for a person wearing a kirpan. I love the look of the Dashiki. In Winnipeg, Manitoba you are starting to see more people wearing the African shirts, Dashiki. For Aboriginal People they wear their Braids proudly, happily. There is history there and differences there. That is what is great about people, they are different.

Indoctrination of Native people to be Native people is what will change their way of life.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with You.In human society we will be always exposed on indoctrination,it's better to learn what we are than to learn what we will never be and suffer from confusion and loneliness trying to fit where we will not fit.My grandmother told me "People are either like wolves or like dogs.We are wolves.If You try to be a dog,You will suffer and You will never be able to assume dog's identity".Three generations away from my land I am not confused .I know that people who look down on me look down on my people in the same patronising,ignorant way.I look as everyone else on the rez(no matter which one)but what's really important it's the path I 've been walking guided by honourable Elders who never gave up the "wolf"identity=no matter what.I think we should have Native American Army=Canada,USA,we don't have to care=these borders are not ours.Our youth need discipline and tough warrior upbringing=then we are happy,contented and using our real potential.I do not think it's utopia.Utopia is looking at our people in despair and doing nothing.

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