October 5, 2006

Highschool dropout - not!

Ladies and gentlemen, OldManRivers is not leaving high school. It seemed my last few posts caused some serious talk, but after looking at my options and being the pragmatist I could be, I've made a choice. After talking with a teacher from my school, and my councilor, we worked something out. I am still in the process of working everything out, but things seem to be on plan, and working. As my friend Chris Corrigan said
"You know it's the right decision when it feels like a breath of fresh air."
And I agree Chris, it does feel like a breath of polluted fresh air.

The whole experience has opened me up to a lot of questions, with equally charged answers. Through out my entire life I've been force fed this myth about school (elementary, high school, post-secondary), and after waking up to it, I'm glad I did. The atrocities committed in the schools are insane. The simplicity of the situation and context is also stunning. Again I wonder if I'm the crazy one, or if everyone else is. (Which seems to be an understatement of my life lately.)
It also brought up similarities between now and years ago. When I think atrocities, children and teaching, I think of curse of Residential school. Now the whole imagery and understanding of what truly happening in those schools never really grasped me, but the similarities are shocking. It made me ask a rhetorical question of "Why did my ancestors, knowing what was going in the schools, allow their children to go through that." Understanding everything about the times, the culture and the people brings light to that, but fear controlling their decision ended up in the situation we're in now. My ancestors didn't fight back (so to say) against the Christian oppressors, a lot volunteered their children to a cultural genocide with an assimilation agenda lot. Fear guided their decisions to do and not to do (which is still a choice.) And as back then, fear still guides the parents of my peoples decision to and not to do. Sending their children to face school alone, to battle a system that fails them and will never allow them to succeed. A colonial institute still hell-bent on assimilating our people. Fear of "not becoming wealthy", fear of "gaining an education", fear of "being stuck on the reserve", and fear of change.

I hope I can be courageous as my truly heroic ancestors were. I'm talking about the one's who have been in our history for generations. Waking up to the reality of the school system, I begin to understand that we go through the struggles in the hope our children won't have to. I know now, should I ever be gifted with children, I will never want them to go through the hell of school. The oppression and disillusion of school in a mission to assimilate the indigenous people into a consumer KKKanadian culture will have another resistor against that force. I said before that I hope to decolonize myself, and my family, and putting someone through the school system as it stands will only help out people, not be our people.

One day I hope to articulate and illustrate the idea's, anger and awaking in me at this moment. I just know that this is enough.


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