Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Sure Its All About Race. Isn't Everything About Race?

"Why is everything always about race?"
The question


https://www.facebook.com/brutamerica/videos/2131138767102015/?t=137

Will come back to post here. For now just enjoy the tune.

Steve

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Guess We Should Chose Life

Suicide must cross everyone's mind. What takes it from a random thought to contemplation and finally to execution?

Been struggling with suicide for years now. First attempt, real attempt was when I was 17 years old. Pulled the trigger of the gun, pointed at my chest. No fire. The bullet didn't go off. Can you imagine the odds?

This month has been a real struggle. The constant thought in my head about ending my life. It gets really deep in my mind and the struggle is real. With a decision always coming close. It is quite weird in a way.

 

I know its not a good thing to do. Ending your life when there are so many good in your life is just wrong. I think it would be a blessing if I were suffering in other ways besides depression. The joy of those in my life would be apparent. As it is, the joy is always being undermined by my own feelings and thoughts. Weird and selfish I know.

So I will continue to chose life. I have a great partner, my wife Suz. I have great kids and grandkids. I have a great family and friends. So what's not to live for, right?


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Ni' Shaa ga



Sitting late at night thinking about our 25 wedding anniversary. Been some good years and of course many mistakes.  The mistakes were mine of course. Those are the regrets, my mistakes and not realizing how lucky I was.


Monday, July 30, 2018

Indian Reserve the Dependency Incubator


An incubator is great, it helps things grow. "A place or situation that permits the formation and development."  Chickens are grown in incubators. Businesses use it to help grow other businesses. The greatest miracles can happen with an incubator. Babies's lives are saved when an incubator is used. Yes an incubator is a great thing.

Reserves are incubators as well. It is a closed place and situation which permits the formation and development of people. In some Reserves people can grow their language, their cultural ties and continue with an appreciation of their ancestors. The Reserves were meant to keep people enclosed in a confined area so as not to encroach on the lives of the White population. The Indians on the other hand only wanted to ensure a safe place for their children and didn't expect to be confined.

The Reserves can viewed as both a curse and a blessing.  A curse by the restrictions added to them by the Government. These restrictions also had some blessings. In a world where the push is to assimilate into a alien way of life, it helped keep their identity. The confounds of the Reserve kept the traditions alive. The looking after everyone was the part of the Reserve. Sharing with others and a communal outlook. Despite the restrictions placed on the Reserve, the people in the Reserve looked after each, nurtured each other. The Reserve permitted the formation and growth of Indians. While the Residential School system, the legislation of government was attempting to "kill the Indian in the Child", the Reserve incubator system kept growing the Indian.

Time is a constant and with time there is change. The Reserve system has slowly changed the type of incubator it once was. The change is speeding up in today's society. The growth and nurturing of language, beliefs, traditions, and identity has changed. The belief system changed from one of knowing all things are connected and alive, to an alien belief system of punishment, reward and compliance. The change has affected almost all aspects of life in the incubator; the Reserve. Gone are the days of looking after each other. Gone are the days of caring for one another. Now you have an incubator which grows the individual. The individual wants over those of the whole community's needs.

The Reserve system has gone from having people look after each other to looking after only themselves.

The Reserve incubator is growing a large population of individuals with no regard for the community. Individuals have embraced a victim mentality. They have become dependent on the Band office, the Chief and Council for their every want. The Reserve has become a dependency incubator. The whole governance system continues to feed this change. The change from community wellness to individual wants. The Band Office is inundated with people begging for something. On any given day in any Band Office there are countless souls sitting around waiting and wanting something. The wants are endless; a house, a job, a personal loan, a door fixed, clogged water drains and door knobs. How far have we fallen?  The Chief and Council do not have the will to say no to those knocking on the door for hand outs.

The old people would often say to the young ones in a half joking manner, "what you going to do when us working people are gone?"

Those days are here.

But we can work on changing. We need to for the sake of our kids and for the sake of the community.  We know there are many issues and their impact on our lives is complex. The reliance of the Band office is but one of many symptoms from our history with oppression colonialism  and the persistent pressure on our identity.

For many Indigenous folk, lost is the backbone of their identity, their cultural ancestral ties.

“Culture is the backbone of any nation..." Ingrid Goeieman 

"...culture is the backbone for any nation and is also an identity..."  Governor of Sindh, Justice (Retd) Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui





Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Good Leaders Need Good Followers

The Assembly of First Nations is holding it election of a new Grand Chief. There is a lot of chatter from regular folk saying who they support and who they would vote for.

For me I think I would vote for the incumbent, Perry Bellegarde. The reason I would cast a vote for him, is just due to his laugh and smile. Only for the reason he is happy. Being happy and being personable is contagious. So being happy is not a bad thing. I have seen the attitude of a few of the candidates and its sour. I am not a fan of sour.  Now whether or not Bellegarde is a good or effective leader is another thing. Despite who gets in at the AFN election they should get the support of their followers.

In the US the president has a solid group of followers. The followers may be a" basket of deplorables" but its where the President draws strength from. The Assembly of First Nations needs to attract good followers. Followers who will support the leaders. If the leader has commitment from supporters, the leaders voice becomes a force you have to listen to. A good leader needs good followers, not sheep. Being a good follower means you are not blind to a leader who is not doing right by their stakeholders. It also means you will be active in the actions of the leader; giving feedback, keeping aware of the happenings of their challenges, wins and obstacles. A good leader of course keeps their group informed and engaged. The sitting on the Throne mentality is a recipe for rebellion. The leader who isolate themselves from their followers is weak. Others recognize the weakness of isolated leaders. The voice of a isolated leader is a determent to all they serve.

So be a good follower and not a deplorable. The deplorable is clueless, misinformed, mindless and a zombie sheep. So the President of the US may not be able to depend on the basket of deplorables for the long term. Still the current President has the sheep support and it doesn't seem to be waning.

Never see People of Color as Zombies? 




Sunday, July 22, 2018

Go Ahead, call them Aunty, Uncle

Go to any Indigenous community and you will hear someone call an older person Uncle or Auntie.

Its the way it is.  The kinship of Indigenous people is important and continues to be. The family, and the extended family bonds were almost stopped. For some reason other segments of society discriminate a bit more when it comes to who they acknowledge as their relative. For Indigenous folk there is really none of this limiting who is your relative (unless it comes to dating). So the act of calling someone your cousin or you Auntie was not being used too much when the big heavy stomp of Christianity and the Boarding schools stepped on our people. Weird and not sure why it was not okay to acknowledge relatives?

The practice of calling our older people as Auntie or Uncle has not died. It has been returning in our circles. It is a great thing. It brings us back to how we honored each other. I like that, I encourage it. Sometimes children will ask you, "how are we related" to them. When I speak of my cousin's kids who I refer to as my niece and nephew. We are conditioned in modern society to use the labels; second third forth fifth cousins. There are even tools online called Cousin Calculators.  If I were to guess I would say its the whole White society is into the "individual" thing. They pride themselves on being individuals and independent.

Indians us Aunty and Uncle as Terms of Respect all through the World.

I hope you will continue to call the older ones, Aunty and Uncle.

One of our Relatives from Aotearoa (New Zealand), Carmen Heteraka told us this little story of a young man paying respect to an Older Maori woman.

"This Maori fella was partying around the town. He met this more mature Maori Woman. As things went on in the evening they found attraction in one another. They closed of the evening with going to her place. They engaged in pleasurable entertainment and fulfillment. After copulation they lay together. He looked into her eyes and he thought of the nicest thing he could say to her. Looking in her eyes he said, "I love you... (dramatic pause)... Aunty".




Friday, July 20, 2018

How Long Can We Grieve




I haven't been to visit Compassionate Friends in sometime. Always intend on going but it just doesn't happen. I should make an effort. 

This newsletter lists the children who have died. The list is for parents who have joined Compassionate Friends. Our son is listed in this newsletter.



Seeing your child's name on a list of the dead brings out different thoughts. Sometimes it stirs the emotions and sometimes it brings thoughts. Thoughts which mess you up. Thoughts where you wonder, why? Thoughts where you want to be angry. Thoughts were you want to just give up as well.

So how long should we have our child's name on a list? How long can we grieve? How long before it becomes a drain on others who know you? How long before you are to bury the grief and not show it to anyone anymore? 

Is there a certain amount of time where you are suppose to let "time heal the wound?" 

I can't seem to find the date. I can't seem to bury the hurt. I can't seem to behave like normal people who have lost a child to suicide.

So what do you think? Should we stop  with the misery now?  I mean it will be 13 years and it is a long time. The death should be a distant memory now.

What is the fucking convention for grief?

13 Fucking years and the hurt is still here. So what the heck is up with that shit?