- By Suzanne L. Cross
We are all Sisters on Turtle Island, the Creator made it so.
Some Sisters live in danger and seek to escape the pain of isolation, abuse, and violence.
Their resolve may be self-harm, lashing out, or running away.
Youthful Sisters may naively seek a life of adventure;
only to be coerced into criminal acts for survival.
Our Sisters are profoundly missed,
and their absence extremely saddened us.
There must have been a disconnect,
for they did not recognize our love and readiness to help.
Before sleep, we pray to the Creator to return our sisters safely.
In the darkest of night, we whisper their names and reach out
for the warmth of their hands, with no response.
We call out their names at sunrise and in the afternoon
as their children return home from school.
We are filled with continual angst and internalize the pain of
sadness which impacts our daily lives.
For they are Our Sisters.
We seek to create a ‘Circle of Protection’ for our missing Sisters.
Our Brothers are essential in the completion of the ‘Circle of Protection.’
As Sisters and Brothers, we honor each of our lives with love.
Therefore, we will work to eliminate the power of those
who endanger lives of Indigenous women and girls.
For they are Our Sisters!
Suzanne L. Cross (PhD, ACSW, LMSW, LLC) is on the MMIWG Planning Committee for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. She is also a member of the tribe.
Celebrating 10 years of Native News...
We launched Native News Online back in February 2011 with the belief that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope it inspires you to celebrate our first decade with a gift of $10 or more to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.