My job is to start difficult conversations – Behchoko followup

I want to start off by apologizing if I offended anyone with my last column. Social problems unfortunately exist in all communities, not just in Behchoko. There is no such thing as utopia, even in our Nations. Before colonization we had our struggles entwined within our great success stories and in the future we will too. However, Indigenous communities are becoming stronger each day after all that we have been through. More and more we are coming back to our original governance systems because of our unwavering resiliency. Yet as a writer, I can’t only talk about the good. I must sometimes address the hard truths because subjectivity is one sided. If you read my work, you will know that my writing reflects on the empowerment of Indigenous Peoples first. How strong we are. How beautiful we are as a people. How connected we are to each other and to where we are from. I know that the goings-on in Behchoko are not all negative. There are great programs taking place and although it may not seem like it is my place to speak about Behchoko because I have not ever lived there, tragic events have taken place in Behchoko — that I’d rather not speak of – that have deeply impacted my immediate family to the point that the trauma will be passed down through generations. For that reason, I do feel that I have the right to speak on such matters of extreme violence in our communities, brutal violence against ourselves and each other that is most devastating when it is taking place within our own blood relations. There is no place for it. Yet tragedy and trauma can often follow us on our future paths, live with us in the present and linger in our past. I try not to bring my trauma with me wherever I go but sometimes it presents itself without my awareness. One way trauma can resurface is when one is triggered by certain places that carry memories. Entire communities can hold various energies that individuals might perceive differently which is why it is important that we live by our principles of caring for one another as found in the Dene Laws and follow in the footsteps of our respected Elders and ancestors,