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Breaking Free Report

Breaking Free Report

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Published by james1572

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Published by: james1572 on Jul 11, 2012
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BREAKING FREEA Proposal for ChangeToAboriginal Family Violence
Ontario Native Women’s Association
Thunder Bay, OntarioDecember, 1989
 
ii
Woman is the centre of the wheel of life. She is the heartbeat of the people. She is not just in thehome, but she is the community, she is the Nation.One of our Grandmothers.The woman is the foundation on which Nations are built. She is the heart of her Nation. If thatheart is weak the people are weak. If her heart is strong and her mind is clear then the Nation isstrong and knows its purpose. The woman is the centre of everything.From “ The Woman’s Part “, Art Solomon, Ojibwa Elder.
 
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PREFACE
It is not possible to find a First Nations or Metis woman in Ontario whose life has not beenaffected in some way by family violence. Either as a child witnessing spousal assault, as a childvictim herself, as an adult victim of a husband or boyfriend’s violence, or as a grandmother whowitnesses the physical and emotional scars of her daughter or granddaughter’s beatings: we areall victimsof violent family situations and we want it to stop now. For too long this has been aneveryday reality, whether we live in isolated Aboriginal communities, on an Indian reserve, in arural area or a large urban centre in an Ontario setting. We are tired of thebeating and highstatistics; we want an end to family violence; we want respect. Aboriginal family violence is not simply a husband-wife or boyfriend-girlfriend problem. Thereasons behind the high incidence of family violence are intimately connected with the poor social, political and economic position we find ourselves in. The inability to determine who weare, racial prejudice and the history of governmental control in our lives through the oppressiveinstrument of federal regulation ( TheIndian Act), has left the men and women of the FirstNations in Canada frustrated and with no where else to turn. The level of anger and frustrationhas been rising and with it the incidence of alcoholism and family violence. All these factorscontribute to a loss of self-esteem, which in turn leads to a lack of respect for women andchildren. The continual rejection byFederal andProvincialGovernments of our inherent right toself-government has definite ramificationson our peoples.This report unravels the complexities of Aboriginal family violence exclusively from an Aboriginalwoman’s perspective. In this regard, it is the first of its kind in Ontario. The perspective which webring is one building upon intimate insights into the nature and causes of family violence, theextent and availability of support for the victims, and, most significantly, the recommendedprogram of action that we believe can work.We appeal to you for your support and encouragement in helping us to accomplish therecommended changes contained in this report. We want to break the cycle of family violence inwhich First Nations and Metis women are trapped, and to strengthen the hearts of our Nations.For more information about this Report, or about the Ontario Native Women’s Association, pleasecontact:Ontario Native Women’s Association212 Miles Street EastThunder Bay, OntarioP7C 1J61-800-667-0816 or 1-807-623-3442

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