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Frank King: Indians being killed by other Indians

"Violence has been one of the biggest problems with our people. Stories of people getting beaten, stabbed, vandalized and shot happen more often on our reservations than any other place I know.

Society can make analytical theories on what is psychologically or socially causing our Native people to react in a violent way, but the truth, coming from a Native who was born on a reservation, is the breakdown of the family.

More of our Native youth are going to prison, and what I have noticed is that some of the families act as if this is a monumental accomplishment, or that their kid is some kind of a martyr.

Our people need to take hold of their families and start disciplining their kids at a young age. They need to encourage them to be leaders, not offenders. And they need to accept the fact that encouraging their children to believe that violence is OK makes them partially responsible for their crimes.

Praying for your kids in the sweat lodge for them to get out of trouble is wrong. The sweat lodge is only used for health and happiness. If you want your kids to stay out of trouble, then it's your responsibility to make sure that this happens, not the Great Spirit's, just as it is your responsibility to pray for the victims of the crime.

If anyone is killing our people, it's our own people. And when we understand this and stop blaming others and stop playing victim, only then can we stand in true liberation."

Get the Story:
Frank John King III: Violence systemic among Native people (The Rapid City Journal 1/21)

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