My awareness of the statistics regarding suicide and Native American youth on the reservation lands is one of the driving forces of my Ministry. Native Americans have higher rates of suicide than any other ethnicity. One of the main factors leading to this level of despair is called “historical trauma,” after giving some thought to this term, and studying the history of the various betrayals of the Native American people, it is obvious that the loss of land, identity and purpose has led to a great and protracted bitterness. This root of bitterness has fostered an ongoing generational trail of tears to which forgiveness is the only antidote. The emotional pain that was so wrongly inflicted can never be justified, and the apologies of many is insufficient to heal the deep wounds that must be medicated! And though we can all agree that a great injustice was committed, we must also agree that all of us have sinned and come short of the Glory of God, we cannot expect God’s Grace and Mercy for a better life, if we ourselves are not willing to give it, forgiveness is not an option! Jesus Himself was betrayed by a covenant friend for 30 pieces of silver, he was sentenced to death by his own people for crimes he never committed, after being beaten beyond recognition he walked the trail of tears known in His language as the way of sorrows to a hill called Golgotha and was nailed alive to a wooden cross and left to die, and from there, He cried out with a loud voice, Father forgive them, for they don’t know what their doing! Jesus understands our pain in ways we cannot possibly imagine, and yet, he is pleading with all of us today to forgive and let the healing process begin.

Suicide of Native American Youth