Intergenerational Problems: where is the solution?

It can be agreed upon by many people that the problems for Aboriginal people in Canada are considered “intergenerational.”

That means these problems have been passed down to present generation by the one preceding it, and that that current generation will pass it on to the generation succeeding it.

A lot of people say that change is going to happen because of the present generation (I am pretty sure they said this with the last generation…)

My experiences today I am finding other young people saying the same thing: I am angry. They are angry that other people don’t understand. They are angry because of the uneducated comments some people make regarding Aboriginal people.

I had a relative tell me during a hard time in my life about the grieving cycle, and it was my first suicide attempt. I don’t know why she told me this, but I have remembered it ever since (approximately 12 years ago).

She told me: lot of people get caught in the grieving cycle, in between anger and guilt. People caught in between anger and guilt in the grieving cycle are angry with what happened to them (and what ever it is they are grieving for) and then they start to feel guilty for being angry. Then they feel angry because they felt guilty, and so on. Some people are angry at themselves or are angry with others, when they are caught in this stage. This can go on for years.

In the most recent essay I handed in on Globalization (and how it has not benefited Aboriginal women), one of my sources said that Aboriginal people are on the road to recovery (after being caught in the grieving cycle for years/generations). I beg to differ. If there are current young people, including myself, still saying that they are “angry” with some of the things that are going on around them and some of the things that other people are saying in relation to Aboriginal people, then the only people on the road to recovery is the older generation–the ones who are part of our past. But what about the young people?

When will people realize that young Aboriginal are still angry! They are angry. Some of these young people don’t know why or how they got to be in certain situations that they are in–it’s a part of their past. They are angry and they eventually feel guilty blaming either themselves or other people. Just look around young Aboriginal people (not all, but some–a greater number than the general population), are as Phil Fontaine said, involved with gangs, violence, drugs, risky behaviors, and suicide/self-harming behaviors. These young people need to know that what is happening or has happened to them is not their fault! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! They need to know that it’s okay to be angry, but they need to know that they should not feel guilty for feeling angry–It’s okay to feel angry and be angry but how you deal with the anger and how you react in response to your anger matters the most.

This is how we show concern for the next generation. We need to tell them: it is not your fault. But we also need to tell them: it’s up to you to choose how you react and it’s up to you to change the future.

When Aboriginal people show a concern for their past, they must not forget about their future.

I guess that is where history comes in: we learn about it, and we can relate it to our problems today–the intergenerational problems. Hmmmm… So is the solution to our problems in the past and healing the older generation, or showing concern for the young and telling them “It’s not your fault”? If it’s both, we must attempt to tackle them at the same time. That is the solution.

This post is in reply to my previous post titled, Past versus present.

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