Hurt and healing, maybe even hope

For a few days I’ve simply been emotionally numb. Numb to the fact that thousands of Indigenous children’s bodies are buried. Children murdered, abused. Children sick with TB, died without family. Without love. Without care. Children buried. In unmarked graves.

Children.

While these children died at the hands of the Canadian government and the Catholic Church, their lives and deaths open a wound inside. This news sheds awareness on the indescribable generational trauma some of us haven’t been able to point our fingers toward or put words to…until now.

People have hated us. People have strategically acted to change us. Remove us. Strip us of identity. People have communally hidden their unspeakable sins against us, often in the name of Jesus.

It’s shameful. It’s disgusting. It’s dirty. It’s heartbreaking.

We are heartbroken.

Yet these criminals walk free. And our survivors carry the pain from the actions of their sins. We carry the pain today. Our DNA carries the trauma from their hate.

Today it all makes sense.

And today it all gives us direction. On where we find healing.

They say you can’t heal where you were abused. You can’t heal where you were hurt. You can’t heal in the places that numb you.

So I look to everything the church and state tried to take away.

Ceremony.
Songs.
Dances.
Communion with the earth. Water. Sky. Animals.
Connection with one another.
Inupiatun
Names connecting families.
Harvesting. Plants. Seals. Berries.
The seal bladder festival.
Who can tell us the things we don’t know?

This is what will heal the hurting parts inside of us. We’ll honor the pain we’ve carried and fill those spaces with the joy, love, care, and goodness and ways of our ancestors.

Take our chests heavy. Our throats constricted. Our stomachs tight. Take our hearts numb.

And fill with
Their strength.
Their love.

Move our bodies. Bring us together.

Thoughts become things. Visions become reality. Manifest goodness.

Our way is a return to the good.
Help us to know this. Help us to do this. Help us to feel this. Help us to be this.

Loving these children. Holding ours. Heal us.

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