with eyes open wide
As I’ve said before, I am a big advocate for film as a means to educate and promote ideas.
Here is a wonderful example of a new docudrama called “The Cherokee Word For Water” about a very influential woman chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller. She passed away 4 years ago, but through this film, her legacy will live on.
What’s particularly important about this film is that it will be used to motivate generations of Indians by the example of Wilma’s life acted out in the film. Wilma didn’t rely on outside help; she knew that her tribe could help themselves and she worked to put them on this path of self-sufficiency.
The way governments around the world handle indigenous populations is embarrassing. It seems to me that they throw up their hands and say, “All they do is drink and believe in spirits and aren’t motivated to work or study!” They throw some money at them to keep their heads barely above water, but that is a temporary fix!! HELLOOOO
In my opinion, much more money needs to be spent in prevention – better schooling and after-school programs for kids, alcoholism and domestic abuse education and prevention, more job opportunities close to where they live, better access to hub cities where goods can be purchased and sold, sustainable tourism, preservation of culture, etc.
Handouts only foster reliance on the patron. As Wilma always taught, each person has the strength and power within them to achieve what they want. I hope to one day see government polices that understand this and place more confidence in each person’s ability, helping them where necessary to achieve success.