The one thing that seemed to keep popping out is that they did not talk about what they were feeling or going through. In many stories, the writer speaks of crying themselves to sleep alone at night, and feeling that they had no one to talk to.
So this makes me think of some of the things that we are taught growing up. Don't cry too much for loved ones that have passed. Right or wrong? It depends on who you ask. Forgive. What if we aren't really ready to forgive? Should we be allowed to show anger to those who have wronged us? Is it this quick forgiveness that makes sexual predators think that it's OK to do what they do? I know that when my attacker was in jail, he actually had the nerve to call me and tell me that if I didn't forgive him I was going to hell!
Regardless, I have been trying and trying to figure out what it is about Alaska Natives that makes us more susceptible to suicide? I have heard many, many theories since starting this blog, ranging from bullying, to easy access to firearms. Will we ever have an answer?
During the 1950's suicide among natives did not differ much from very much from the rest of the nation. During the 1950's alcohol was introduced to most native villages. Suicide, sex crimes, homicide and other crimes among native people began to climb. During this time much of our own culture was taken from us. I have heard numerous stories from elders and others of being beaten for speaking their language, of being washed in kerosene, and of being sexually abused by the priests that were brought to teach them what they thought we should know. I am going to be 31 years old and never knew of Ellam-yua until about two weeks ago.
While the introduction to the western ways may have improved life in some ways, like giving us a longer life span, homes that are easier to heat and education, it has also destroyed who we are. Natives were forced to forget their own beliefs and learn what others thought we should know.
Today nearly 80% of deaths among natives is alcohol related, despite many efforts to keep it out of many villages. Kotlik is a dry village. However, with an unemployment rate of 34.6% and the a
So I did a little research and the numbers are very disturbing.
In my village there are 14 registered sex offenders and 577 people. What are the chances of running into your attacker? Pretty dang high I'd say, given it is only about a mile long, with one post office, two small grocery stores, and limited activities to do.
"According to our research of Alaska and other state lists there were 14 registered sex offenders living in Kotlik as of January 22, 2013.
The ratio of number of residents in Kotlik to the number of sex offenders is 46 to 1 http://www.city-data.com/so/so-Kotlik-Alaska.html
" And no place, women’s advocates say, is more dangerous than Alaska’s isolated villages, where there are no roads in or out, and where people are further cut off by undependable telephone, electrical and Internet service"http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/23/us/native-americans-struggle-with-high-rate-of-rape.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
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