Hurray! The Southern Ute Indian Tribe has finally implemented something to protect the community. (“Southern Utes establish sex-offender registry,” Herald, Aug. 23.) Now parents, grandparents, families and guardians can protect their children! Women can be more aware of what kind of person they may or may not be dating or living next door to. Women can be empowered with knowledge.
My grandma has raised me to be a strong woman, to be aware of my surroundings and to empower myself with knowledge. With this new registration, I will be able to empower myself as a woman. As a native woman, I now can be fully aware of my surroundings, and I can make better judgments about people who I hang out with and about who my children are around.
Now, I am not going to go knocking on anyone’s door wild eyed, or start being mean to those I had no knowledge of their past. Of course, there will precaution, but nothing drastic. I believe that with this knowledge, I will be able to better prepare myself and my children.
I was once a single mother, who moved back from a larger city, and had no knowledge of what my once classmates had been doing with their lives. This tool would have been wonderful to have so that I could have better assessed my friends, where I let my children go and who watched my children. I would have had knowledge of people in my community. Now, those who may be new to the community, and want knowledge of their new surroundings, will be able to assess their life a little differently than before.
This tool will be used as a weapon, but in reality, it should be used as knowledge. The people who have committed the crime have paid their dues and are trying to make a new start. They made a bad choice, and they are trying to fix it. As a community, we should just be aware of our surroundings and teach our children to make better choices.
Kateri Paige Washington