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Where Do You Start?

I live in a moderate sized Canadian city, with big city problems.
We have been given the title: Murder Capital of Canada, many years in a row.
We have high rates of gang involvement; high rates of addiction; high rates of child exploitation; high rates of poverty; and the list goes on and on.
I wonder, sometimes, where all of these problems stem from.
How is that we have the problems we do? And how do we change the status quo?

One of the biggest issues, in my opinion, is there is a high degree of racism that exists in my community.
Along with our neighbouring province, Saskatchewan, we have the highest Aboriginal populations.  Within these two provinces, it is the Aboriginal communities who partake in majority of these social problems.

We can assume that there is something fundamentally wrong with this population, but it would be wrong to blame them for their position in our society.
We need to remember the past.
How these individuals have been failed by Canadian society and how they continue to be failed by that same society today.
We need to look at the present.
How they face difficulties on a daily basis related racism, discrimination, and stereotyping.  
How there are social institutions in place designed to limit their development.
How the general public consensus is that they are to blame for their circumstances.
We need to look to the future.
How, if things don't change in some way, these problems will grow and it will only get worse.

I can't sit by and just watch this happen.
I have to do something.
But what?
Where do you start when the problems are the causes of factors, which are the problems of other factors?
It feels insurmountable.

All hope is not lost on the Aboriginal people of my country.
They are one of the fastest growing populations of educated individuals.
They are becoming professionals and contributing members of our society.
They are growing stronger in their culture and identity.
They are making a difference in our society.

As a future social worker, I hope to play even a small part, in working with them and creating more change.
I would like to develop programs designed to help them; either directly or indirectly.
As a colonized individual, I would like to regain my culture.
I would like to walk with them, talk with them, learn from them, and never stop believing in them.
I want to make a difference in their lives.
I want to make a difference in my community.
moonscapes moonscapes 31-35, F Jul 9, 2011

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