Oh, Thaddeus Howze , you always know just what to say. This may be the single most important concept in our fight to save ourselves from iminent annihilation.

I work for a tribal healthcare organization whose overarching mission is to eradicate child abuse in all its forms within this generation. Native Americans have one of the highest incidences of both child sexual abuse and suicide in the nation. I am proud of the stance my workplace has taken against these atrocities. We hold week-long conferences for victims of trauma called Beauty for Ashes, and we have identified that beyond that, the bulk of effort should be directed at the men. We have a whole division aimed at reconnecting men to their intended role within families. It is called the Family Wellness Warriors Initiative and the men we work with are warriors. Not in the “me Tarzan, you Jane” sense, which is what I believed and was offended by at first. But in the THE WARRIOR IS THE CENTER OF THE FAMILY UNIT sense.

It is about providing for the family, but it is not about money. It is about giving our children the gift of growing up with a father who is present and engaged, rather than imprisoned either physically or emotionally by this capitalistic system. We provide a slew of learning circles, sessions that allow men to get back in touch with feelings they were forced to stuff way back when the Russian settlers came here and raped the women, enslaved the men, and stole the children.

Thank you for this article and for reminding me that we are on the right path and that what we are doing matters.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want it to be spelled right and punctuated correctly. I guess that’s something.

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