By Al Evans
Benjamin Chee Chee lived with anger and frustration for greater than thirty years sooner than he took his personal existence. An Ojibway artist who killed himself simply as he used to be commencing to achieve foreign attractiveness, Chee Chee is among the hundreds of thousands of aboriginal peoples in Canada who've commited suicide. famous suicidologist and previous RCMP officer Al Evans explores Chee Chee's wild, reckless, artistic existence to bare how the conflict among local and White society has affected the suicide fee of younger local women and men, now one of the optimum within the world.
Using his in-depth knowing of local self-destructive behaviour and knowledge from interviews with Chee Chee's mom, shut associates, and fellow artists, Evans indicates that figuring out Benjamin's suicide calls for relocating past mental research to incorporate the wear that touch with White society has prompted local tradition, background, prestige, and which means of lifestyles. Evans argues that White society must comprehend those dynamics to be fascinated by the therapeutic technique of Aboriginal peoples in Canada - or to not less than steer clear of hindering their restoration.
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Additional resources for Chee Chee: A Study of Aboriginal Suicide
They had always been advocates and supporters of Native art, and they were devastated and deeply saddened at the news of his death. For Norm and Erla 1O CHEE CHEE the sale of his works was not just an ordinary sale: it marked the end of Benjamin Chee Chee and his artistic creations. They were bothered by the clamour and the motive of financial gain that had brought many people to the gallery that night. They felt that those who had come to the sale needed to know about Chee Chee, his background, and the forces that had led him to destroy himself.
I believe that for too long non-Aboriginal persons have written, created policies, and taken action regarding a culture that is not their own. The time has come for Natives to speak for themselves. It is starting to happen. Eventually I was encouraged to write this book by Native people, but I felt I needed the approval, and the blessing, from Chee Chee's own family. The third watershed happening occurred when I received that approval. In March 1996 I finally located Josephine Roy, Benjamin Chee Chee's mother, in Vancouver.
I suspect that he heard a lack of enthusiasm in my voice. He said that we would decide on the flip of a coin. We did, and I lost. After Steve and the Indian agent departed, I felt anxious and alone. In my early teens I had read most of the adventure books in my hometown public library. Many stories portrayed Native people as silent aggressors stalking their prey, especially at night. The message had stayed with me. It was now pitch dark. An undulating ghostlike noise caused by the wind moaning through the pines and the dry leaves still left on the birches deepened my unease.
Chee Chee: A Study of Aboriginal Suicide by Al Evans