Now, in 2013, we can still hear the pain of hundreds, if not thousands, of Native Americans that are now, and have been all of their lives, lost and missing from their communities and sometimes the case may be that the individual is living in his/her community right next to their own family. Is it not possible to feel lost in your own family and in your own community? Not knowing how to fit into your own culture can sometimes result in powerful and irreconcilable rejection.
The removal of children was not only removal from nuclear families but from tribal communities as well and this resulted in cultural estrangement for hundreds of children that are now adults left with feelings of depression, isolation, alienation and rejection. Many of these bewildered or lost American Indians wander among us and suffer from various degrees of depression and feel unattached to their history and to their culture. Even if a child or adult finds his/her way back to their Native community, it is unlikely that they will ever feel totally comfortable in their culture and generally will have strong feelings of rejection. These American Indians continue to be lost and without a family attachment in this modern day where many tribal Health Care programs and tribal determination efforts may or may not have the resources to address this valuable segment of our Indian population. As an American Indian, I support the movement “Idle No More,” and I hope we, as Americans, can continue to reach out to family and to those who are lost. Copyright 2013, Mitch Battese