The book written by Mary Lawrence (1996) called My People Myself is a great story of a native women’s struggle in society. The book does an excellent job of portraying a native women’s life on an Indian reserve in British Colombia. With Mary Lawrence’s real life story the struggles facing natives are brought to the forefront and the truths of growing up as a native Indian are described in the harsh settings of old run down houses. Readers are able to read and see that native Indians have endured great pains over the years at the hands of society and the government. The struggles that are depicted in Mary Lawrence’s book are in regards to physical abuse and drug abuse. In addition the author discusses sexual abuse. The book My
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Mary’s older brother Hugh was always breaking the rules of the house and Mary would witness the brush stick beatings that would ensue. Mary states that she and her sister Marge would not do anything because they were scared their mother would beat them too. Mary was also exposed to alcohol at a very young age as her Uncle James would leave the reserve on several occasions and come home “full of spirits” and quite drunk. Ironically it wasn’t until Mary’s house on the reserve actually burned down that they were able to get a new house. This house was equipped with running water and a toilet that flushed. However this good turn of events was short lived as this is where Mary’s story took a turn for the worst and it did not get better for a long time.
Mary was only eight years old when her problems really started to get bad. This is when she was ripped form her home and forced to go to a residential school with her older siblings Marge and Hugh. This was due to her moms drinking binges that would cause her mom to be away from the house for days at a time and the children being home alone would have to fend for themselves. Mary and her siblings did have their Grandmother but sometimes it would be days before she would realize that the kids were by themselves. The drinking binges became more and more frequent and the police started to pick up the mother for alcohol offences and she landed in jail in Vancouver. This is when the children were taken