Monday, February 25, 2019

MMIW Walk: It's Not Like I Got To Go Home

February 14 is the date selected for buying of goods in the name of love (for stuff).  For many folk, Indigenous and other, it is about remembering their loved one. Loved ones who have either disappeared or were murdered.

So there are groups of Women and supporters who walk to make sure the public realizes what has and is happening.

This year I went to see them Walk. I recognized many who have been on this Walk before and other events which bring awareness to the Murdered Missing Indigenous Women.

It is amazing the resilience of Indigenous Women. It is they that lead the way. There is no pretence of what they are doing. They are in the fight to bring awareness to what is happening to Indigenous Women; they are being killed. They will always be the ones who show up.

The Women take the opportunity to speak for those who cannot.  The Women are the ones who take initiative to organize, to share information, to rally the people. Yet it is the Women who will be discounted. They will be the ones who will bear the brunt of criticism and ridicule. Ridicule from their own people, their own leaders. Still they are not deterred. They will not let the taunts of "seeking attention", "trouble-makers" stop them from voicing for others.

 The amount of people who showed up was impressive. The Winnipeg weather, extremely cold was not a deterrent to the people.

Mom's and Dad's, Kookum's and even Babies braved the cold.

The Walk went from the University of Winnipeg and over onto the well used street of Portage Avenue.

As I muddled around I couldn't help to hear some comments of non-participants of the Walk. This one White guy was waiting at a Bus stop and remarked, "it's not like I have to get home or anything."  Another couple ran across the group of Walkers and made disparaging remarks as they ran.

But a number of Indigenous Women who were a local eatery came running out without their coats and cheered on the group of Walkers. I marvel at the dedication of the Walkers who go out and remind the public of what is happening and to also honour the families.

There's the truth about the whole thing, those Women will not be able to go home. While the regular person has no clue, no idea of what it means to all those who have lost someone and to the many who are going to lose someone. It is the reality of society, there is a heartless segment. Those who don't care, those who are ignorant and those who couldn't care less about the Missing and the Murdered.

This is not limited to Canada. It is happening in the United States and South America. The common theme seems to be Indigenous Women are being targeted.

No one ever wants their loved ones forgotten.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Success of Toxic People

There is a good chance you are going to have toxic people involved in someway throughout your life.

We meet many individuals throughout our lives; some are cool while others are arseholes. It is the Arsehole encounters which we remember long after. Normally interactions with an arsehole is just a rather ugly experience and it is over.  The good thing about arseholes, we can usually recognize them and deal with it. The toxic person is another category. The toxic person can be an arsehole, a prick, a witch, a beauty, a cutie, an Elder, a Leader. The toxic person spreads venom, poison and can get you sick. The aresehole, the bastard on the other hand can be dealt with accordingly. You can just not go to their place of business, their space or you can bannock slap them. (Bannock slap used to be an Indian thing before folks started running to the cops)

The toxic person is dangerous. You can be in the gun sights of a toxic person and not even realize it. At the work place the toxic person can be the sensitive woman, the angry man, the cool person, the older colleague, the young upstart, and the respected. Everything you do is offensive to them and they will use their power to own you. There could the Elder who uses the disguise of being Traditional Spiritual person. They are accorded respect and ranking over regular folk but they could use their standing as a weapon. Words from a Spiritual person is generally adhered to. So an Elder could be mean spirited and hurt you. Gender could be used as a weapon as well by the toxic person. There could be the co-worker who is incompetent but uses toxicity to hide it. The toxic person will use other's to hurt you. The toxic person is cunning. They are dangerous because there is no remorse or empathy towards you. The real poison is that they may actual believe they are not the bad person in the situation. Most of the time a toxic person will beat you. The reason is, you can't fight toxicity. How can you? Toxic tactics are hard to combat. Information is often distorted. Cliques are used as weapons against you. Emotional manipulation and emotional blackmail are often utilized in absence of common sense and facts. Out right lying is part of their arsenal of weapons.

Toxic people have success in hurting others. They climb to positions of power over others. The strength they have is in their dishonesty. They have no qualms of blaming others for all things bad. How do you deal with toxicity? Try to recognize the toxic and how they are different from the regular arsehole.

I was laughing with my daughter the other day about how I am a jerk. Of course I believe I am a very good guy (but still). So when my girl said "Yeah there are lots of  people who don't like you." I was like "What? How come? I'm a good guy?"  It's funny, we like being jerks but don't like the consequences which come with being a jerk.

I have an old friend who is one of the cruelest people I have ever met in my life. I don't think he knows he is cruel. Of course he is like many of us, capable of doing good things,  and being a jerk some time or another.  It is like my brother and I in conversation about a sad incident in the Reserve. A cousin of ours had a very tragic thing happen just recently. Her husband was allegedly stealing copper from  an old abandoned building in the nearby town from our reserve. Seems the guy (this guy was just a good guy, absolutely nothing arsehole about him) got electrocuted while in the act. His burnt up body was found by local Firefighters.  I was on the phone with my brother and told him about the incident. "Wow that is shocking." said my brother. Heck we had a big of a laugh at the expense of this poor man. It makes me think about a friend who said to me "Hey Steve are  there any good Courchene's?"  He made me laugh because of course there must be. At least  I think there are?

That people is the jerk and don't never get it confused with the toxic person.

"He (God) Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." - Hebrews 13:5
This is great because I am a jerk. - Steve

Cherokee Fiddle, cause Good Whiskey Never Let Him Lose His Place

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