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May 10, 2005
Jeff Weise was in pain long before he killed 10 people, including himself, in Red Lake, Minnesota. The 16 year old boy had watched helplessly as those who were supposed to love him and take care of him, slipped away.
The suicide of his father and alcohol related car crash that turned his mother into a brain - damaged nursing home resident were too much for him to cope with.
Looking back it was plain to see that he had cried out for help in every way he knew how. Why is it that nobody was able to prevent this senseless tragedy?
Weise had been put on Prozac after a suicide attempt last year. According to an article written by David Hanners for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, his dosage had recently been doubled to 60 mg. a day.
According to the "black box warnings" for Prozac, he should have been seen by a mental health worker once a week for the first month and twice monthly thereafter.
According to his grandmother his last visit with a therapist occurred on Feb. 21, exactly one month before the shootings. One more Indian fell through the cracks. How many others fell with him?
Drugs. The modern answer to everything. Ignore the problems. Camouflage the symptoms. Pretend it will all go away. Swallow all the pills you want, but until we understand the real problems, nothing will improve.
Once this land was inhabited by People who knew how to live in harmony with the Earth and Creator. Our ancient traditions and spiritual beliefs sustained us and made us strong. Now we have become a shadow of our former selves. Memories of the way it was clash with how it is.
Before the coming of the white people, we had our own clan system which dictated our moral values and addressed every need we had in this life.
Each tribe had their own "religion" handed down by Creator taught to us through the stories passed orally from generation to generation. The sharing of these stories made us strong - made us ONE.
We do have the power to get it back. Many of us are trying. But until we go ALL THE WAY BACK, nothing will change.
I see too many people trying to blend our two cultures. Like a man straddling a barbed wire fence, as long as you have a leg on both
sides, you're gonna be in pain.
Creator didn't make "Inferior People." Those who came to "Save" us only came to rape, plunder and pillage. Behold the outcome.
The knowledge of who we are is still with us. We can regain what we once had. It only takes the courage to do so.
RELATED COLUMNS- MASSACRE AT RED LAKE; REDLAKE UPDATE
George Copway (Kah-ge-ga-bowh)
Ojibwa Chief - 1818-1863
"Among the Indians there have been no written laws. Customs handed down from generation to generation have been the only laws to guide them. Every one might act different from what was considered right did he choose to do so, but such acts would bring upon him the censure of the Nation.... This fear of the Nation's censure acted as a mighty band, binding all in one social, honorable compact."
There will be a benefit concert for the People of Red Lake on May 29th at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Organizing the benefit is Mary Youngblood. Some of the performers include Rita Coolidge, Micki Free, Charlie Hill, Annie Humphrey, Litefoot, Bill Miller, and Joanne Shenandoah. Host drum is Eyabay/Battle River, from Red Lake. House Voice for the evening is Vince Byle, Ojibwe.
Order tickets by calling 612.673.8391 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you would like to help but can't get to Minneapolis for the concert, you can purchase a ticket or tickets and donate them back to be given to Red Lake Tribal members.
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