July 3, 2019
Most Lakota people are aware of teachings which tell us our children are sacred. However, a lot of our people have forgotten the true meaning of sacred children. Every day we see the suffering of our Lakota children. For example, there are children being raised by grandparents because the mother or father is lost in alcohol/drug addiction. Our young mothers and fathers sometimes abandon their children when they get involved in a new romantic relationship.
Indigenous children all over the world are suffering, their basic needs are not being met because of poverty. Even worse, the so-called leaders of this country have established detention centers at the border crossings to house Indigenous children forcibly taken from their parents who sought asylum in the USA from Central and Meso America. News reports are now telling us that several children have died in these detention centers.
Indigenous children are currently being denied basic hygiene, bedding, clothing, water and food. The children being detained in cages are also reporting sexual and other physical abuse by adults who are assigned to look after them. Many parents of these children are gone, either deported back to the area of Turtle Island where they fled from or detained in other centers established by the United States of America. We sit back and do nothing.
The children detained in cages at American borders are also sacred. They followed their parents who fled from living conditions much worse than our people are experiencing. These are Indigenous people that the United States is terrorizing.
It seems the sitting President of the United States (POTUS) is basing his 2020 election campaign on rounding up illegal “immigrants” and deporting them back to where they came from. I don’t understand how a human being can deny a child their parents and basic needs; especially when these families are fleeing from areas filled with violence from gangs and drug cartels.
Anyone who doesn’t have compassion for all the helpless Indigenous children being held in cages at the borders of this country is definitely not human. I believe those in favor of these children being kept in torturous conditions should be labeled as subhuman, since they obviously lack the emotional body that many of us are born with.
For instance, one editorial cartoon of POTUS playing golf while the bodies of a father and child lay in the water nearby cost a cartoonist his job. I saw nothing wrong with the cartoon, I believe it summed up the truth very well: Indigenous people are dying because of the policies of the POTUS. But the truth is the very thing your POTUS doesn’t want people to read, speak or hear.
Marty Two Bull’s editorial cartoon contrasts the conditions of two populations. That is, while prisoners housed in tribal, city, county, state and federal detention facilities receive a bed to sleep on, health care and three meals a day – the Indigenous children and their parents detained in US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities sleep on concrete floors or on the ground without adequate food or medical care.
As I write this piece, the news is reporting POTUS as the first to set foot in North Korea to visit with their dictator/leader. This is a distraction folks. POTUS does these “firsts” to appease his racist voters. These POTUS publicity stunts are also orchestrated to draw our attention away from the fact that there are hundreds of Indigenous children suffering in cages at the borders of this country.
While the USA is again celebrating their Independence Day this week, remember the caged humans at the USA borders are Indigenous to Turtle Island. The caged children, teens, adults and elders are our relatives.
Vi Waln (Sicangu Lakota) is an award-winning Journalist. She can be reached through email firstname.lastname@example.org