SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


First we must have honesty
By Carol Christoffel


December 29, 2006

Ms. Hamilton and Ms. Natkong, thank you for your letters regarding child-abuse. I would like to support both of you. Perhaps you have not heard of a new group that deals with abuse issues, called "Hearts". It has been a good thing for a lot of people and is seeking to help and train others to facilitate the healing process. Look for their information in your area.

I would also like to point out that there is a new film that opened in New York about two weeks ago called "The Unrepentant" and deals with the well-documented abuse of Native Children while in the hands of the church/state institutions in the Canada. Information on this film, which is a documentary, can be found at or .org. What is really interesting is the length to which church and state officials have gone in trying to cover this up, even offering "settlements" with a gag order to survivors, if they agree to NEVER TELL. Such was and somewhat is, the thinking in some people's minds. Severe threats, loss of employment, punishments upon one's family, clan and tribe were often used to silence people. While many are forgiving and for forgetting and walking on, a traditional way to handle this, some are for a more accurate telling of the past. What we can't learn from we are doomed to repeat. The first step in any help program is to acknowledge the problem.

It is because of this kind of widespread racism and abuse that many choose not to tell. It is difficult for this generation to appreciate that to survive several generations of abuse, not telling might have been the best and only real choice. Each person must decide for himself/herself the best way to handle it.

However, ANYTIME WE PRACTICE CO-URCHIN, whether it is in the name of politics (bringing democracy to the undemocratic), or religion (bringing our religion to non-believers), we are abusing people and not respecting thief sovereign right to say NO THANK YOU. If a peoples or minority, or child have no freedom to say no, we are guilty of bullying. As far as I know there is no excuse for bullying people in the name of religion or democracy. To do that brings failure in both. I am hopeful that in this era the perpetrators can acknowledge their deeds and some kind of healing can begin, but first we must have honesty.


Carol Christoffel
Ketchikan, AK

Received December 19, 2006 - Published December 29, 2006

About: "L.P.N for 30 years, holistic health practitioner"




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Ketchikan, Alaska