Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tillie Black Bear - honour and gratitude

Tillie Black Bear, healer and warrior woman, advocate for survivors of rape and domestic violence, without whom many of us would not be alive, has crossed over. She made a profound difference in my life, and in the life of so many survivors. I've posted about her before, and many of the "stopping the violence" resources I list in the sidebar would not exist without her. What I haven't spoken about as much publicly is the direct, personal impact she had on my life. She is one of the women who saved my life. Without her work, I would probably not be here.

Her compassion, her courageous stand for women and tradition in the face of patriarchal violence, her refusal to let anyone forget that violence against women is not traditional in tribal communities, and is never, ever acceptable, changed the lives of all she touched. And she touched so many.

Love and gratitude to you, Tillie. Peace and comfort to your loved ones. Know that you touched, healed, and saved so many lives. May others pick up the many burdens you shouldered and continue on in your name. Safe and sacred passage to you. I love you, will miss you, and honour you as an ancestor, because without you I would not be. Slàinte Mhath.

Photo of Tillie Black Bear, Sicangu Lakota,