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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 5, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta Says Indian social worker DEAR ANN LAN'DKRS: A friend of mine had an illegitimate child five years ago. Vanessa was very much in love with the man but for some reason he did not marry her. She carried very small and stayed in school through her fifth month. Then she went to a home for unwed mothers and arranged to put the child up for adoption. Two years later the man married someone else. The following month Vanessa married also. She told her husband and his parents about her out-of-wedlock child but aside from them, only her parents and sister knew. It was fantastic how she fooled everyone. Three months ago Vanessa gave birth to a baby girl. She acts as if this is her first child. (Mother love is wonderful but this dame is overdoing it.) There is something phony and dishonest in her gushiness. Is she putting on an act because she feels guilty about her out-of-wedlock child? Is she trying to deceive people into believing motherhood is a new experience for her? How can a mother forget her first-born, even if she didn't keep the baby? Please explain this to me so I will know how to feel about her.-Her Best Friend DEAR B.: If you are her best friend I'd hate to hear from one of her enemies. People like you make me sick. Why does it bother you that this girl has found happiness at last? True, this is not her first-born but it is the first time she will be able to take a baby home. You've revealed more about yourself in your letter than you meant to. You are this girl's sister. Natives need counselling, not prison CALGARY (CP) - An Indian social worker says Canada's natives "need counselling rather than ineffective punishment behind bars." Russell Smith, an Ojibway Indian, said the two levels of government spend millions of dollars in apprehending, judging, cent of the men, Mi per cent of the women. 31 per cent of (he boys and 75 per cent of the girls were Indian or Metis. Although their committal rate was at least seven times greater than that of society tn general, natives seldom were involved in serious crimes. In sentencing and keeping natives | most cases they went to jail for in jail. Mr. Smith, a counsellor at the tween the ages of 20 and 39 was three to five times greater than the national rate, and this was due in no small part to accidents and suicides while intoxicated. Other undesirable effects of alcoholism on native society were malnutrition of alcoholics Calgary Indian Friendship Centre, said that if only a fraction was spent on rehabilitation, it would help in getting people functioning in society again. Mr. Smith made the remarks in an address to the annual meeting of the Elizabeth Fry Society, an organization which helps women who have been in jail. Alcoholism was the No. 1 destroyer of Canada's native people and was a frightening disease "which is desecrating the very cultural structure" of Canadian Indians. Although native people constitute only five per cent of Alberta's population, they made up 53 per cent of prisoners in jails. In 1968 a study in Alberta had found that of all persons committed to correctional institu- . and their families, fires and offences associated with use of! other tragedies, loss of jobs due liquor. ; to hangovers and absenteeism, The Indian mortality rate be- > and loss of dignity. Mr. Smith, a director of a proposed home in Calgary for alcoholic Indian women, said governments should spend money for Indians the right way and the money would be well spent, if only a small amount was given to projects such as the home for alcoholic women which will attempt to break the cycle of addiction and get women with this problem functioning in society again. -roeidtiy, January $, 1971 - THE LETHBRIDCE HERALD - U THE BETTER HALF By Bob Bame, V vin "Lamb casserole again?.. .1 think you must take one lamb and then Xerox it to lasr the rest of the year. " (Calendar local li Possibly provincial seminar Alberta women study report tions in the province, 44 per i mission on the status of women in Canada is being discussed by j mendations. and organizations women's groups across the { presenting briefs to the federal province. In attendance at a j cabinet and provincial legislate report of the Royal Com- i number of them is Mrs. Lola ture should be aware of that By MARILYN ANDERSON Herald Family Editor Lange. of Claresholm, Alberta's | p o r t i o n of the report which sole member of the commission. In a telephone interview with Mrs. Lange, she said that there is a strong possibility of a provincial seminar being held in the coming year to discuss and study the report. Mrs. Lange noted how important it is for organizations to obtain copies of the report for study. "We are stressing the impor-t a n c e of provincial involvement in carrying out recom- Credil becomes way of life <*T*'