January 23rd 2018 is a date that will be embedded in my heart and mind forever. I experienced something that would change my life and perspective in a way I never thought imaginable! I watched my daughter make her entrance into this world after nine long months of waiting for her arrival. This experience has really showed me why the woman is such an integral part of indigenous culture, and society in general. Watching the strength and fortitude it takes to carry a life inside of you for nine months is one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed.
Watching my significant other fight through the pain of contractions, and continue to push in order to bring forth a life we created truly marked me. I’ve always been a huge women’s advocate; growing up in a single parent house hold gave me a strong appreciation for woman. But experiencing the delivery of my daughter has taken that respect to a whole new level. I’ve had numerous conversations with my brother’s Mo Brings Plenty and Will Strongheart and they’ve always expressed how important women are to indigenous culture. In tribal culture the women are essential to all things, they are considered carriers, they carry traditional teachings, understandings, and they are life givers. When you are responsible for nurturing something in order for it to grow, it gives you a different appreciation for it.
And now being a father to a young woman I see the importance of lifting her up and letting her know how important she is. It’s truly inspiring seeing this women’s awakening. It’s a breath of fresh air knowing that my daughter will grow up in a world where women are feeling empowered to speak out against injustices towards them. The rapper Tupac once said “And since we all came from a woman got our name from a woman and our game from a woman, I wonder why we take from our women why we rape our women, do we hate our women? I think it’s time to kill for our women, time to heal our women, be real to our women And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies That will hate the ladies that make the babies And since a man can’t make one he has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one. So will the real men get up, I know your fed up ladies but keep your head up!” As men it is our responsibility to cherish and respect our women because without them we cannot build or continue to pass down tradition.
CNN published an article saying 2018 will be the year of women. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand was quoted saying “One of the only silver linings of the Trump presidency is that more and more women are feeling emboldened to raise their voices and fight for the issues that matter most to them.” This allows me to breathe easy knowing that my daughter will feel empowered. It is also reassuring seeing more and more organizations having things geared towards uplifting women. Organizations like Naturally Considerate, and even Vicki Schneps and the LI Press who recently awarded our founder Manda Kalimian for being an impactful woman in Long Island. We have come a long way and have to continue lifting our women up!