Lack of Understanding Indigenous Youth

I believe that Natives from all over the world are different in their own ways, especially the generations of my people. I find that a lot of Natives in Alberta are struggling with addictions, are not straight (bi or gay) and many Aboriginals don’t have a Grade 12 level. I feel like it’s only because the government had something to say back in my Grandparents day. Native kids were getting taken out of their homes and brought to places where some wouldn’t survive to make it out of the residential schools. Getting raped and getting told that they had to speak English or get punished. My ancestors were just kids that didn’t know they would be brought into this world to just live a horrible life. The ones that did make it out of residential schools only passed on what they had learned from being in residential school most of their life. Natives/Aboriginals started to lead into generations of all kinds of abuse. Hurting each other in their families with the drinking and gambling. The drugs became a big factor by the 80’s. The murder rate went up because of gangs. It’s only because the homes on the reserve were all broken down and the poverty; you would be lucky to get raised in a perfect home with the proper love and care that you needed and to get an education. You were lucky if your parents didn’t drink or any of the bad stuff. You were blessed but then most cases even if you were blessed it was easy to talk a Native into partying or taking off from home and getting into trouble.
Now a-days there are a lot Natives are in jail facilities. You see them drunk at every train station and it’s because many Indigenous people are homeless. Having no where to go to is normal for these individuals. There is a lot of cases these days of mental illness in the city and on the reserve. I believe that there are many Indigenous people that have a mental illness who aren’t getting the proper help that they need because they just don’t care about their well-being. They continuously booze and do drugs. This makes them more incapable to strive to move forward. The Natives who are moving forward in life and doing what they need to do to create a healthy life and to break that cycle, have an even bigger battle against them because they deal with the high egos of the public and how the public sees all Native people the same way. This is because of the Natives that sit at every corner panning for drinks or drugs, the Natives that steal from the liquor stores, the Natives that are pulling fraud from banks or the Natives that just gave up trying because they keep ending up back in jail. They are making the other Natives that wont give up look bad. The ones that keep praying for better days and never give up on themselves. The ones that are trying no matter what society says or does. They keep moving forward to better themselves to make a better life for themselves and their families. Which I call breaking the bad cycles of unhealthy lifestyles. In any culture on mother earth, there are same cases different stories. It’s always harder doing the right thing and it’s always easier doing the bad things. But I believe if you stick to doing good in life, you will succeed in having a long healthier life, with 99% breaking the cycle of crimes, suicide, drugs, alcohol, and abuse in the Indigenous world. Striving for the healthier change in my people and for a better future and healthier generations to come means to deal with mental health issues for the Indigenous people in the communities and on the reserves and to seek counselling if you feel like giving up on living a healthier lifestyle.

– Anonymous
February 2018 

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