In 1979, when I was 13, already having experienced much trauma in my short life, I was lured away from my home and into a nightmare that has haunted my world every minute of every day since.
I was “in love” with the neighbour boy… He was a man actually, but I didn’t care, he had long, beautiful hair. He lived with his family across the street and rode a motorcycle, and most importantly (to me) was that he noticed me.
What I didn’t know was that his brothers and their friends were not very nice people and that my association with their brother had provided them with the perfect opportunity, the ideal victim… the little Indian girl with huge problems, just sitting there waiting to be abused.
They tricked me into a car, saying that the boy (man) I was “in love with” had requested them to come and get me, to go and meet him in Galt, as he had been arrested and was being released. So, they were going to pick him up, they said.
I will spare you the gory details, but that was not, nor was it ever, their intention. They intended to kidnap the Indian girl next door and do unspeakable things to her because of the colour of her skin.
I know this because they told me so. They thought it was their god-given right to do these things to me because I was brown.
After they finished beating me and raping me, they left me in a farmer’s field, bloodied and broken, never to be whole again.
My whole life changed in that moment; I was no longer a child. I was no longer loveable, nor would I ever be able to have children.
And NOBODY believed me. Least of all, the boy (man) who I was in love with, who never, ever spoke to me again.
But I was one of the lucky ones. Unfortunately, many Indigenous women and girls did not make it out of similar situations alive, and their bodies are yet undiscovered.
May 5 is National Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls Awareness Day but this issue is ongoing and not much has changed, our people continue to go missing every day.
The National Inquiry’s Final Report reveals that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.
Cory Bilyea is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter with Midwestern Newspapers. She can be reached for comment by emailing email@example.com.