Our ancestors did their best to take the high road.
Today’s podcast is called 24/7 Indigenous, because at times, we get negative. There was a message let loose in this country that we Indigenous peoples are inferior beings. That message went hand in hand with assimilation policies meant to kill the Indian in the child. The goal of the policies and the negative messages are to eliminate the Indian Problem - us.
Part of this betrayal, this plan, was to begin shaming us, and it was intentional and strategically implemented through racist policies and legislation designed to remove Indigenous peoples from our traditional cultures. When we internalize this colonial shame, we develop what Gerry calls PCSD - or Post Colonial Stress Disorder. As a result of this, many of our people became embittered.
Part of the PCSD is to be angry all the time, and to be fearful and depressed. Gerry didn’t want this for himself, and he doesn't want this for you.
If we ever feel shame about our Indigenous ways, we’re suffering from PCSD, a result of cultural genocide. It’s the wish of the colonizers to control every aspect of our lives that has caused harm, and has caused us to turn on one another and to beat ourselves up. We carry grudges - some of which have become intergenerational. Some of our family members will grow up not knowing why we don’t talk to that other family in our community. When that happens, we fall into victimhood - a characteristic of PCSD. When people are traumatized and don’t receive healing or treatment, they become angry, fearful and depressed. This creates a dysfunction in our lives. This makes us vulnerable to addictions, which are a harmful waste of our time.
We’ve lost the ability to see that words can be harmful. To be Indigenous 24/7, we have to be careful and sincere with our words when we’re speaking to other human beings, especially to younger generations. Gerry tells people today that he never really heard his elders swear.
Which leads us to today’s teaching - upholding our teachings, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can’t continue to remain divided because so long as we do, we remain conquered.
Now is the time to return to our cultural identities; to go back to the ways that took care of our peoples for thousands of years - to honour our ancestors and their ways. We must not leave anger, fear and depression for the ones coming up behind us, so here is what Gerry tells himself today:
It’s not okay to steal, especially from our relatives.
It’s not our way to carry toxic anger around.
It’s not our way to be greedy and selfish.
It’s not our way to abuse our bodies or to hurt our bodies.
It’s not our way to show disrespect to others that are different.
It’s also not our way to become a burden to our family and our community.
It’s not our way to complain about others or our way of life.
It is not our way to be abusive to others in any way.
It’s not our way to waste.
Our way is to be loving human beings; to be committed to others.
It is our way to listen to people in a respectful manner.
Our way is to constantly develop our mind, body and spirit.
Let's make a 24/7 commitment to treat everything as sacred. Replace negative energy with positive energy by freeing yourself. Live in the present, not in the colonial past. Defeat the PCSD. With understanding, we can become committed to an Indigenous way of life, 24/7.