As a First Nations woman, I’m 5 times more likely to experience violence than non-FN women #VAW #MMIW #INM

As a First Nations woman, I am five times more likely to experience violence than non-FN women.

I came from violence but I’ve worked on my recovery and healing for decades to ensure the cycle of violence doesn’t continue.

I have been speaking out about the over 1,200 MMIW (missing and murdered indigenous women) since as long as I can remember. I wear a Sisters in Spirit button from the annual vigil and my Idle No More button I made and whenever anyone comments on them, I jump at the opportunity to educate them about this critical yet ignored situation in Canada.

I point out how the Harper government continues to deny the funding for a proper inquiry and investigation and how if it was 1,200 caucasian women, you can bet there would be a lot more public outrage and this huge issue would be addressed immediately.

I started to make/paint a T-shirt to wear to help raise awareness.

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I have done so much work to ensure there is no violence or abuse in my life yet I recently was sexually assaulted in broad daylight in front of others.

It sent me into humiliation, denial, pain and isolation and left me spinning. Then, as I was trying to deal with the shock of this violence, a dear friend who I had trusted with more of my painful history than anyone else on the planet, lost it with me in public, and in community, yelling at me. This abusive behaviour, yet another act of violence… left me spinning even further.

But once I came out of denial and started to face up to the pain and the devastation and to find my voice again, I got strong and got to a place of no more violence – it ends here! I now speak out and openly on this topic because I want other women who have experienced acts of violence in their lives to know they are not alone and they are not to blame!

I wrote this poem while I was heavily in the midst of all of this. I was at the Toronto FAC (Feminist Art Conference) spoken word and art gallery opening March 6, 2014 and I was inspired by the powerful women I heard share and thus I came home and wrote it.

I again went to TO FAC March 8th and heard more powerful women discussing critical topics of identity, intersectionality, sexual assault, racism, sexism, etc… thus I was further inspired to speak my truth.

So here it is… (**new better track added March 19, 2014 on a brand new profile so no blasting loud at end – *some profanity) – turn up the volume to hear it, please:

Hearing the next day how the government has yet again decided to refuse funding for a national inquiry on the MMIW added to my agonizing pain over this issue that touches on abuse that I experienced in my childhood as I grew up in the Vancouver east side. There’s more about what I know, but this is enough disclosure for now… as my life has been threatened if I tell and as it is, sharing this will flood me with painful memories so I have to manage it… one day at a time.

#MMIW   #StolenSisters    #VAW    #IndianResSchool    #INM    #IdleNoMore    #ItEndsHere

And this is one of the spoken word sharing I heard at Toronto FAC that inspired me by Mahlikah Aweri:

It was in a powerful drum journey Monday night (March 10th) when buffalo came to me and was telling me to continue on my work with the big drum in reclaiming it for women, that I got given information that even if the government were to fund the inquiry, the cover up would continue and it would end up being the colonial government yet again dictating what my people need to do and blaming the victims. It would be more obfuscation and denial about what has really happened.

So now I am thinking we need to fund our own investigation and I hope to connect with others that feel this way so we can act on this as soon as possible so we can stop it once and for all – It ends here!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nicciattfield
    Mar 21, 2014 @ 15:21:32

    Such a horrible experience! It takes a lot of courage to share, and to do so for the benefit of others is very kind. I hope you heal from what has happened to you, and am sad that your past was difficult too.

    Kind wishes to you.

    Reply

    • Clear Wind Blows Over the Moon
      Mar 21, 2014 @ 15:40:46

      Thanks for your kind and supportive words.

      I hope one day all abuse and violence will end.

      These experiences have made me stronger and have helped me step into my power as I reclaim my voice and who I am thus I have made them work for me.

      It helps me to know that in speaking out I can help others to know they are not alone and to inspire others (as has recently been told to me by a number of people) and to help raise awareness so that we can all fight to end this.

      It helps me to heal knowing good can come out of these painful life experiences.

      Take care

      Reply

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