Families gather in Sacaton for child abuse prevention
Gila River Indian News
Tribal Social Services hosted a special event to raise awareness about child abuse prevention. At the Sacaton Boys & Girls Club, several Gila River Indian Community departments setup informational booths to educate Community members about child abuse prevention, on April 24.
Tim Terry, a cultural caretaker and guidance counselor, who volunteers his work with various recovery and help-groups provided words of encouragement based on tradition.
Terry said, “the things people do, is what they are taught growing-up, but there are moments, where you have to think about it and change those behaviors around.”
“Himdag is what you were taught growing up and how you act and treat people. Through storytelling, it helped me understand more about myself.” He said it helps you better understand life and yourself and how to make the right choices.
Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis said, “It’s good to have an individual like Mr. Terry to teach [us] about our O’otham Himdag, and its something for parents to know, to be empowered by.”
He said protecting our children is part of our cultural responsibilities, that goes back to the past generations of the Community and the importance of education to bring new ideas and approach to issues like child abuse. “It’s important that our people are come back with a college education, they are finding solutions to our issues, right here with the tools gained at school,” said Lewis.
Lewis talked about outside resources like Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A), who have chapters all across the Nation and around the world. Lewis said, when a child is in danger, they go out to families, and do what they can to protect and support children and families in need.
“We have so many resources, and it is important that we have more events like this to bring [those] resources together to let Community members know, they have a place to go to seek help.”
“Each and every one of you are here for a specific reason and it takes courage to stand-up against child abuse and any other abuse that goes on in the home,” said Lewis.