The 2015 Washington Indigenous People Abuse Awareness opened my eyes to how indigenous people are treated. These indigenous people are subjected to abuse on an everyday basis, and they don’t even know they are being manipulated. Here are some of the things I learned while attending the 2015 Washington Indigenous People Abuse Awareness campaign.
How Are Indigenous People Abused?
Most indigenous people have limited access to education. Because of this, scrupulous businesspeople and politicians have taken advantage of resources owned by indigenous people. For example, ancestral domains are forcibly taken from indigenous people simply because they don’t know how to defend themselves legally. Sadly, there are even some indigenous people who became squatters on the land they have lived in for several decades.
There are also cases wherein people in business are tricking indigenous people into providing cheap labor for their business. Indigenous people are accustomed to hard work in extreme conditions. That could be a reason why indigenous people usually accept labor-intensive jobs even with low pay. Indigenous people have inadequate knowledge of labor laws, and thus, they are very susceptible to abuse and overwork.
We Can Do Something About It
The grave and inexcusable abuses suffered by indigenous people should be stopped. There is still hope for these people. They need our help. When a member of these societies is in emotional trouble there is less of a tendency to pathologize and more effort is made to keep this person in connection,” wrote psychologist Stephen Sideroff, PhD. “By creating more of a sense of community, each individual member of a tribe feels more taken care of and protected,” he says.
People who have intermediate knowledge of labor laws, ancestral domains and community engagement can volunteer to help these indigenous people. More than that, the 2015 Washington Indigenous People Abuse Awareness emphasizes the importance of knowledge campaigns. Anyone can help out in spreading awareness in these communities and mobilize them to fight against any abuse.
Monnica T Williams PhD, says, “Actions like these won’t completely eliminate racism and discrimination, but they can be an important first step to making people of color feel welcome and valued, resulting in an improved learning environment for everyone. Change is never easy, but we can’t just close our eyes and hope the problem will go away.”
We can also fight abuse by raising their concerns legally, such as filing cases against erring businesspeople and asking local governments for support.
Ultimately, the 2015 Washington Indigenous People Abuse Awareness led me to believe that there is much to be done to protect indigenous people. “Promoting human rights requires behavior change on individual, community and systemic levels,” emphasizes counselling psychologist Ellie Castine, MS. She adds, “[W]e need a major reorganization of values and restructuring of the norms, policies and systems in place.” With that I will start today in pushing for reforms that will aid these people to live the life they deserve while staying in their ancestral lands.