By: Ryan Martin, Nashashi Strength & Conditioning
“I write this piece with a heavy heart because our precious Native children are dying unnecessarily. Scholars and investigators seem to come to an absolute cause of their deaths, but is this enough? What else can be done to further protect our innocent children? The answers of causation come to quickly, as though to offer some sort of personal solace to a tragedy that is hard to bear, then it is off to the normal routine of life, the tragedy forgotten and buried in a news story or news post.
In the past couple of years, the local news has done extensive reporting on Ashlynne Mike, Zoe Becenti, Chole Becenti, Haliegh Toledo, and Kyron Kelewood, and every time I have to change the channel or change the topic because their deaths are traumatizing to me, their spirits linger in my thoughts long after a snippet of the story. I hug my two little ones a little tighter and tell them I love them dearly and know that they are safe.
The recent deaths echo loudly for change. The point of this discussion is to take action in what little capacity I have. If I can fight with what I have, then I will. I am not in a position of governmental leadership, but I am a dad and I am deeply concerned about our kids having a safe and nurturing environment to thrive in.
There are organizations in our local area that project a larger voice and have the capacity to influence change, and this is my strategy. I may not have the political clout as our leaders do in New Mexico and our reservations, but I can support an organization that can push for Native child advocacy. This is what I will do. A fundraiser has been launched to enable the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) to further their cause to help our children. I will not be a bystander but contributor for change. Our children need us, warriors for their futures.”
Click HERE to make a contribution.