The Dashing Chronicles: Men and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Inquiry
- Winston McLean | August 12, 2016
John L.: Across the nation expectations are high for the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Not only are we looking for understanding, the nation is looking for solutions. Here to comment is Eagle Feather News’ columnist voted “Most Erect”, Sir Dirk Dashing.
Dirk: Thank you Mr. Lamitomitay. It’s always a pleasure.
John L.: Dirk, awhile back you wrote a column in which you described a crisis among Indigenous men, and you wondered whether this issue would figure in the Inquiry. Now that the Inquiry has been announced, do you care to expand on what you meant?
Dirk: Of course, John. First, I reckon we men are going to get nailed to the cross once the Inquiry has published its report, and for good reason.
John L.: And second?
Dirk: Oh, that’s all I got, just the one point.
John L.: Alright, well, that’s a pretty bold and sweeping statement about men getting nailed to the cross.
Dirk: Think about it, John. Who’s doing most of the damage? Under what circumstances? It’s boyfriends and husbands, John. Confused, petty, jealous little boys that happen to inhabit men’s bodies. I wonder if it was always like that.
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John L.: That’s an interesting question. Were things better before settlement on reserves, before the residential schools? What are your thoughts?
Dirk: My guess? Before the genocide everyone had a pretty clear idea how to behave in the community and in the family. Everyone’s survival required it. Colouring outside the box endangered everyone.
John L.: That makes sense. Everyone knew what to expect from each other. I’m with you so far.
Dirk: Right. And this common understanding extended as deep as how to treat a woman right and how to raise kids that weren’t borderline narcissists. It may not have been perfect, but at least we knew which movie we were in.
John L.: Ok, I think I see where you’re going with this. Continue.
Dirk: Everything changed, of course, when the missionaries and government flounced into our lives and said, “We have an even better script for you, and it’s so superior and wonderful and full of godliness and goodness and were going to shove it down your throats because it’s good for you.”
John L.: That’s one way of putting it, for sure.
Dirk: Along the way, we picked up some bad habits and lousy attitudes. And we inflict them on our loved ones to this day, intentionally or not.
John L.: That’s a pretty bleak picture you are painting for us. Is it really that bad?
Dirk: Don’t get me wrong, John. I am sure there are plenty of healthy, loving couples and decent families in First Nations country, who got it going on. And they are doing it despite the shared legacy of church and government intervention. One of the things that intrigues me, and hopefully those working on the Inquiry will agree, is “How do they do it?” and How do can we make more of that happen?”
John L.: That’s actually two questions. I’m not entirely sure this is a question the Inquiry is focused on.
Dirk: If not, John lets you and I take this issue on. With my half-assed knowledge, and your wealth of experience and know-how, I am confident we can solve all the problems.
John L.: Wow. I’m not entirely sure we can solve ALL of the problems.
Dirk: All of the problems, John. If you have reservations, leave it to me. You sit over there and be pretty. I got this.
John L.: Wait. Aren’t you divorced? Twice?
Dirk: That’s correct. And that’s what makes me an expert, John. Having made all of the mistakes, and coming up with new ones, I can honestly say I’ve learned everything one needs to know…about what not to do.
John L.: I cannot wait until to see how this is going to work. Any final words before we sign off?
Dirk: Yes, thank you. John, a wise man once said, “Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.”
John.: That’s very profound, Dirk. Who said that?
Dirk: I did. Just now. Pay attention, John.
Dirk says, “It’s a cop-out that women are irrational. They are differently rational.”