Future Generations

For Future Generations

"Customary laws of personal conduct within our tribes and nations helped us to remember to be honest with ourselves and with others."

Chief Adam Dick, - Kwakwaka ‘wakw

The drugs are the one that's really killing the people. I guess it's all over. Nobody listens anymore. Nobody lectures these young people anymore. That's gone. The teaching's gone. 

When we were invited to go to a village, they'd tell somebody to put a fire on in the big houses and everybody goes. The whole tribe would get a lecture from the chiefs. If you do something wrong, you're going to shame your family name. You know, it's going to cost a lot of money to try and fix it. Well, we have to be very careful, whatever you do in your daily life. 

If you say something bad to the next person, you go apologize to him before the sun clips off the mountaintops. If you don't, you are going to be uncomfortable with it the rest of your life. You'd hear this constantly every day.

But you don't hear these things anymore. No. There's no lecturing these young people anymore. They just clean up after work and they go to the bar and they stay there until they are a different person. I know what I'm talking about because I was there. I was there myself. It really hurts my feelings, when we have ceremonies. They are selling drugs right inside that house. You know, and that really cuts your heart in half. I'm standing there, trying to lecture my people, and they are selling them right there because they have no respect anymore. They don't even respect the culture. They don't even respect themselves, anymore. And that's the biggest problem we got. 

I don't know how we will straighten it. I think we are losing ground on this drug. We're losing it. And a couple of the young people barely alive now in the hospital for that reason.


Mary Thomas, Shuswap

It really frightens me as to what's going on today. Our people are so lost. There are so few Elders that will share, because we've been damaged by alcohol. Many diseases that were unheard of like chicken pox, small pox, and tuberculosis have damaged us. All these contagious diseases, those were unheard of in our society. Now drugs and alcohol, and our people our struggling. So few Elders are willing to share, or even have the knowledge. So few are left.

I know I'm always full of fear. That's why I'm not pushing myself on anybody. I'll only share when I know they're ready for it.


Allan Pard, Piikani

I think it's really important for our people, the younger people and our people from all walks of like, to, to know what they're up against. To know there are problems, identify their problems so we could all help one another to work out our solutions, so that we as Indian people, in turn can live better lives. And our children can therefore live better lives, and benefit not only from that we can also benefit from how our ancestors benefited from the values, the language that they maintained. And those are the things we want to continue as we move forward in this, this modern world.


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