Wachiya. I am presently taking a Bachelors of Social Work course along with 50 other students from our nine communities. Our last course was held in Rouyn at the University of Abitibi-Temisacaming. We were asked to write a short paper about any topic or issue that we need to deal with in our communities and how we can approach the issue, I wanted to share with you my paper, and my opinion on this issue.

I believe that experiences people go through, go through these experiences for a reason and that it is to share your experience with other people that need to deal with this issue. People should not take people’s openness as a threat when one is trying to speak about an issue, the only reason why people bring issues out into the open is because they are trying to contribute their support to people that are having a hard time trying to deal with certain issues, if it was not for people that listened and gave me their support in helping me deal with this issue, I would not be here writing this paper today to give my support to other men and women that are trying to deal with Domestic Violence. Its funny at one time I carried so much anger that I literally blamed men for their actions. If I hadn’t educated myself about Domestic Violence and our history, I think I still would have had the same attitude towards this issue. I’m starting to understand

Domestic Violence now and where it comes from. Our history tells me a lot. Domestic Violence was a behavior that was instilled into our people. In fact when we were first introduced to mainstream society, the early European settlers brought with them the belief of the men being more superior than the women. They also brought with them there institutions, such as residential schools and these institutions were powerful teachers of violence.

Residential Schools were implemented to civilize our people and as a result of Residential Schools physical, emotional, and spiritual abuses were learnt and internalized.

During our so-called civilization, our traditional ways began to erode and our people later became lost to the alcohol and drugs. Our addictions contributed to the downward spiral of learned violent behavior. Because of not knowing how to control our addictions we saw violence everywhere, it became a part of our everyday lives. We then began to internalize anger, bitterness, resentment and low self-esteem.

This is just a small part of our history, there is so much, this we will have to learn individually if we are to understand why we are the way we are. Our healing will require us to rediscover who we are, recovering our identity through our history will contribute to healing ourselves, We need to rededicate ourselves to understanding our traditional ways, We will not find our self-image outside, policies and procedures will only put a halt on issues that we rre trying to deal with. It will be a long journey to recovery, we must develop our own processes of healing, this must be done if we are to return once more as a people without violence. We need to start implementing our values into our resources, and only then will our people be able to deal with the core of Domestic Violence.

Our people will need to implement a healing approach rather than continue to think of Domestic Violence as an issue that is Negative. The focus on wellness demands a method that is different from the responses we have now. Our two societies clash, our way seeks harmony and peace among individuals, the western method punishes the abuser and separates the individual from the family.

If one is trying to deal with Domestic Violence, I suggest educating yourself about Domestic Violence, so that it will not be a part of your everyday life.

Everyone deserves to live a safe life without having to worry about what tomorrow holds. Our children do not need to live in fear and it is not fair that we take away their innocence. Many children are silent witnesses of Domestic Violence and what they see they carry,

Our children are our future, we are their teachers. It is our responsibility to start educating our children well so that they will not pass down the same pain we carry today to their children.

One thing to remember about Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence happens because we let it, and it will stop when we say it must!