Monday, December 15, 2014

Compassion Fatigue kills Homeless man, not homicide, says Judge
Brian Sinclair Sinclair died of a treatable bladder infection in September 2008 after sitting in his wheelchair for 34 hours in the Health Sciences Centre's waiting room
Brian Sinclair lost his legs when evicted in 2007. Forced to sleep outside, "He was found, literally frozen to the wall of the church."

"The inquest into the death of 45-year-old double amputee Brian Sinclair in a hospital waiting room in Winnipeg has found it was not homicide and doesn't require a public inquiry. However, Judge Tim Preston says in his final 200-page report that Sinclair "did not have to die." 

Robert Sinclair, a spokesman for the family and Sinclair's cousin, said they welcome the report's recommendations, but they're disappointed it does not address what they believe is the main underlying issue: negative stereotyping of aboriginal people.
"It was disappointing because the truth still doesn't exist there. Yeah, it made some good recommendations, but the burning question is why did he wait there 34 hours?" Sinclair told CBC News in an interview.

This is what the Judge said killed Mr. Sinclair.  "Poor communication, overcrowding, understaffing = compassion fatigue".  Can you fucking believe it?  I think everyone knows what took place. Compassion fatigue??? Compassion Fatigue???  Holy Fuck can you actually believe that??? I mean how many people walked by this man? Even when other Native people went to tell the nurses that he needed to be looked at? No one looked at him. He did what you were suppose to do when going into emergency. He went to the desk and told them why he was there. Then guess what happened?  Compassion Fatigue. That is what happened. Compassion Fatigue. How many white people died in an emergency room from compassion fatigue? 

The inquest heard Sinclair hadn't urinated in 24 hours and so was referred to the hospital by a clinic doctor in September 2008. He wheeled up to the triage desk and spoke with an aide before taking a position in the waiting room.
Sinclair vomited several times as he languished there. A housekeeper cleaned up around him, but no one asked him if he was waiting to see a doctor.
By the time Sinclair was discovered lifeless by other patients, rigor mortis had set in. The cause of death was a treatable bladder infection.
An internal review found 17 staff members saw the man, but no one assumed he was waiting for care.

"According to inquest report, Brian Sinclair was kind, humble, fiercely independent- and sober when he went to ER for a treatable infection." 

Can you get that? Compassion Fatigue killed this man?  Compassion Fatigue???

If you believe that, you must believe the police in the U.S. are not unfair to the Black Man.  If you believe that you have no problem when a police officer stops you in the U.S. or Canada. You must believe that racism does not exist?

The fact is there is a race war in North America. The White population (many) does not like, even hates the man/woman of colour. That dislike, or judgement of Colour (Black Brown) comes out in different ways: lack of jobs  - discrimination in hiring, education - discrimination in school admission, health - discrimination in services of health care, justice system - discrimination in judgement by all components of judicial system.
You know what people of Colour are warring about? All they want is equity. Never mind equality. That doesn't exist. But give them a fair chance at society's amenities. That is what they are trying to get.  Simple.

People (main stream, the conservative, the religious wingbat, the Klu Klux Klan, the Heritage Front and the person living in your neighbourhood) will say "they get everything for free", or "why don't get a job", "look after their kids" and other pearls of white (there are of course the misguided person of Colour that echoes this sentiment as well) wisdom. 

You know what it really comes down to?  People don't like people that are not like them.  They fill their heads with evidence of bad things that "these" people are known for. Blacks are hostile, angry. Indians are drunks and lazy. This is what people (society, whites) want to be true. They want to be able to stand tall on the tops of other people's heads. To be better than others. They want to live in privilege.

Its comfortable to live with privilege. You don't have to worry about getting shot by the police for getting your drivers license out of your car. You don't have to worry about your son or daughter being shot by the police for playing with a toy gun. You don't have to worry about your crippled grandmother being tackled to the ground for reaching for her walker. You don't have to worry about your eight year old daugther being tasered by the police. You don't have to worry about your brother dying in a hospital waiting room.  You don't have to worry about...

....Compassion Fatigue.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"You think your shit don't stink!"

That one person tells you - "You think your shit don't stink!?!" 
So you answer: "sure it does".

I mean what can you say?

There are some instances where you just can't answer.  People want to fight.  Whether its the politicians attacking each other or the general population attacking you and of course the Indian on Indian battle.

Its not an easy thing to be reasonable in an environment that is heated up. There are so many compelling reasons and urgent matters to tackle. There may be no time for being passive in some situations. Like the way the Earth is being treated.  No one has the time to be reasonable in the time of environmental disaster. The time has come to take up the challenge of protecting and slowing down the damage that has been caused. There are other things as well. Rights of Indigenous people all over the World are being ignored, taken away (in many ways brutality leads the way) and diminished.

In Canada and the U.S. there are battles going on regarding the carbon emissions being produced. You know its quite funny because people battle in the open but the real war is being lost ( I almost said won) in the boardrooms of the Money companies. You think we have a say?  I think we should but we are reasonable. We think the morals, ethics and kindness of our fellow human beings will win the day. But there are no morals or values when it comes to Money. You think Money is reasonable? Nope, never. Money knows only greed. How do you battle that? And money hides in plain sight. The gas you buy, the light blub you turn on. The pineapple you put on your pizza is money. What has this have to do with Indian on Indian or people wanting to fight?  Well everything. That Pineapple comes from plantations that have displaced whole communities. Stolen away their sustaining lifestyle to be put in a wage economy that doesn't sustain them. That gas you buy is killing people's lifestyles of using water ways and animal harvests.  That lightbulb is the end result of a hydro dam that displaced many or caused mercury poisoning. Even worst it comes from the coal buring electricty, one of the biggest polution machines.

Our battles for the Earth are on the outskirts of where decisions are made. We are busy fighting outside of the war. We think we are in the battle but nope. We are attacking ourselves or others that have no real power.  We are mad at the local Indigenous groups for what they do or don't do. If they try and engage in dialog with any Money entity, they are labeled the "Sell outs".  We are mad at some individual that has a job working at the perimeter of Money. We raise our voices and try to be unreasonable with things that in the end really don't matter all that much. It is Money that we need to battle. It is Money that we need to be unreasonable with.

You know what Money is doing right now?  It is killing the Amazon.  What the Hell does the Amazon have to do with Indians on the Reserve or living in the innercity?  Or the middle age, middle class Whiteman and Whitewoman that is selling insurance, working at the bank or pushing emails at the office?  It has eveything to do with them.  You see money is killing the Earth. It is doing it in a way that you don't think about or see everyday.  It is killing that living being that protects the Earth. And it is starting with the Heart and Lungs of the Earth. You see the Amazon is what cools the Earth from those pesky Carbon Emissions. It quiets the farts of the big machines that are clogging our airways, choking our breath, hurting our hearts. And you know what the crazy thing is about the Amazon?  Much of it is Indigenous Land. Its funny eh? Those damn Indigenous people that are fighting to keep a hold of their lands from the big Money (resources extraction companies like Oil) are actually fighting to save your stupid life all the way over here.

You may not know that Money is recieving more money by way of government subisidies to explore fossil fuel exploration (partly in the Amazon), about 26 billion dollars worth. Cool eh?  I mean Money gets Money to be fed even more. It is like a Windigo; a cannibal --  beast that eats and eats only to get more and more hungry. The smart thing to save more of the Earths' lungs would be to stop exploration and let the forest stay. Nope. Money needs more money. If Money had any sense it would use Money to pay for the Earths lungs to stay healthy. Each country should pay for the use of those lungs (Amazon forests).  The argument of economic growth would be a moot one.  

 AMY GOODMAN: And what do you say to someone like President Correa, who said, "I want to preserve the Yasuní National Park. I don’t want to take the oil from the soil. Please," to the industrialized world, "help us protect this space"? And he couldn’t raise the money, so he’s moved in, you know, with Chinese companies and has infuriated the indigenous population there.

 ATOSSA SOLTANI We will continue to stop—fight for saving Yasuní National Park. His arguments of why Yasuní should be protected in 2007 are still true today. And really, we want—it really is up to the international community and to China, who has given Ecuador $13 billion in financing in exchange for the oil that Ecuador has remaining in its Amazon, including Yasuní oil. So it’s also up to China to say, "Hey, maybe China should forgive Ecuador’s debt." And President Correa should assume leadership role and keep the oil in the ground and protect this area, which is not only the most biodiverse place on Earth, it was actually here around the ice age, and it’s expected to survive climate change. It really is the cradle of life.
 ATOSSA SOLTANI: I would say, "What is the U.S. doing to basically end all subsidies—all subsidies—for exploration?" You know, our government spent $26 billion subsidizing new reserves, or looking for new reserves. That has to stop. We have to basically tax carbon. We need to tax carbon and stop talking about climate mitigation of, you know, one pollution credit versus another, allowing someplace to pollute versus saving carbon elsewhere. We have to get beyond that and look at carbon tax. We have to look at cutting—not only cutting exploration, changing the laws that now allow fracking to proliferate throughout America, and looking at basically ending subsidies for fossil fuels.

An you know what, they are reasonable. Unfortunately, Money is not reasonable. Money is greedy, and it has no loss of appetite. So keep up with your fight and being unreasonable. But lets use that unreasonable attack where it makes the most sense. Not at the little bug, the small beings, the poogets (farts) and other people or entities that skirt the perimeter of Money. Focus that energy at Money. Money is there in the pockets of ruling Governments, Banks, Resource companies.

Sure it is fine to keep badgering and keeping tabs on the small change beings but focus on the Money.

Money is killing us and it doesn't care. It doesn't care for you, your kids, your Mom, Your Dad, your Granny, Granpa, your cousins, your community or your people. It cares not for next years or the next seven years, never mind the next one hundred years.

I know there is old adage that says "think globally but act locally".  I get that. So you don't know where the Koch brothers live or work. 
So you can't get to them and have them hear your voice. I get that.  And you use the vehicle that is in front of you. So you keep up with protesting the big Money (hard to get any bigger than Koch family) by the fighting at their toes/tentacles. That is a battle that you can see. I guess you won't get the chance to tell/ask David or Charles; "you think your shit don't stink!?" 

I guess my point is, fight them. that is great, but let's not do it at the expense of the inconsequential Indian.

Consider this: 

One of the better questions I heard is "are you being a good Ancestor?"


I started this post as part of a frustration. I see hyprocrital actions and feel like I am part of that. I see Activists fighting for change. Noble and admirable actions. Yet, I see a frenzy of anger hostility aimed blindly by our own. You see I think people are generally good. At least I hope they are. Still I feel bad when I see good people letting hostility and anger rule them. I am back and forth with the actions. I mean I support the actions that people are doing in fighting for the Earth. Who wouldn't? At the same time I too criticize our local lobby groups and community leaders. Many times I feel that they are out of their depth. I think many of them are just plain stupid. I still want them to do good. Its like that feeling you get from watching Tony Soprano of the televsion show the Sopranos.   You know that there is bad but you hope that there is going to be good (you want Tony to turn out to be good afterall).  That is how I see Indian leadership. I hope for change. I would rather encourage good and challenge than get on a real call down of them. You know what I mean?  I am not naive that I think everything is going to happen right away. I do feel that one person can really have an affect on how we do things. So I am optimistic. We are having a national leadership race right now. Lot of negative comments about the Assembly of First Nations, and Chiefs in general, but I am hoping for some change. Change for good. That is what I was trying to post about. But I got side tracked because bigger things are happening right now. The Lima Climate Sumit is taking place right now. So I figured I would tie that in with my little "you think your shit don't stink" post.

I feel that we battle in ways that is in our reach. Some fight inside, some with compromise. some with "burn this bitch down" and others in the front lines singing with a Drum, while some want to pick up the gun.
In any case the real real enemy is Money.  And money is in the hands of a few. Those few own the world.  The real fight is to take it back for the rest of the 7 billion people in the world.

I guess time will tell if we are good Ancestors.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Man in the Mirror

I guess that is an interesting title, the man in the mirror. It is a song that was made popular by the late Mr. Michael Jackson.

I'm Gonna Make A Change, 
For Once In My Life
It's Gonna Feel Real Good,
Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right . . .

 That's Why I Want You To Know
I'm Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change
His Ways...

I did a post a few years ago about looking in the mirror. Never gave a thought about the Michael Jackson song, but my brother had it used in a power point about abuse/domestic abuse/wife abuse. The lyrics should resonate with me and others that have caused conflict or hurt in their lives. You know those sayings like "be the change you wish to see in the world" and other good words. Its not enough is it?  When do we say that we have really changed? 

Today I had such a rough day mentally. I struggle sometimes to maintain  or control the rage that is inside me. That rage is not to anyone but is meant for me. But who sees that rage or who feels it?  It is the family, the grandkids. It is the tone of voice, the short bursts of "enough" and the occassional "Jesus Christ or fuck sakes" that is poured out. Then it hits the feelings of ugliness about oneself. How I hate that person. That arse who can't even change. Didnt' he cause enough sorrow?

Then the other feelings rush in. The tired of life feeling. The thoughts of its over. No more!  The thoughts of living a legacy of hurt gets muddled. You think of leaving despite the hurt that it may bring to your family. You spiral into many thoughts of regret, alienation, sorrow, anger, repulsed by your own head. The deeper you go the more insane you feel. Your anger had always been the default position. Now it tries to take lead again. It goes from one extreme to the next, from not really feeling anything to feeling eveything.

You try and make an earnest attempt to change your ways. Every single day you think "I am changed" but you know that it is one slip away from being the same old shitty arse you. One quick outburst and you know you are still that fuck up who couldn't control his anger. His immature behaviour. Anger the mechanism to deal with fear. That fear turned to anger and anger gave some type of control.

People think you are doing well. They think that nothing is going on there. They think you are doing fine. "I am good"... "mino ayaa".  But in reality it is a constant never ending battle just to live. Sure it is not every single minute and you do really truly have good days. But you know that you shouldn't be having good days. You know that you should not say out loud, I am having fun. You know you don't deserve to ever be truly happy. You know you should have been the one to die and not your boy. You know its not just about the boy and the mistakes you made there. It is ALL the mistakes, the hurt, the lies, the trouble, that you are that compounds it. You wonder will I ever be able to function. To really be able to contribute anything meaningful?  It was never just about the boy. He was the breaking point. The ultimate mistake that you made. Not him but the way you were with him. Your love didn't matter because it was your actions that were at fault.

So you think you know depression eh?  Well I don't.  I just know that I am on a borrowed time here. Some days you think no more, I don't want to hurt anyone anymore. 

I see alot of fucking crazy ass people on the social media. Drama this and drama that. Being all benevolent and stuff but at the same time just feeding misery and spreading it around like manure in a farmers field. That stench sure travels, eh? All the time they want others to see them as the kind one, the good one, the hero, the activist, the defender of rights,  the victim of others' wrath or jealousy.  Shit anyway. They are just no better than me, and I am a piece of fucking shit. 

As my deceased Uncle used to say ... "fucker John your moneys gone" ...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

25 greatest songs for a Funeral (actually at a Wake)

By no means am I a Christian person, but do I ever like the music played at Wakes. You know the services for the recently deceased. In our Reserve people come out and sing. Not everyone mind you but a few people and do they ever sound good. The songs are of the country and gosple type. You know the songs?  I saw the light by the great master Hank Williams Sr.  I'll have a new body, and so on.  There are the guitars playing and maybe a bass guitar as well. Usually it is acoustic guitars. Anyway, I have been to a number of Wakes in our Reserve and the music is something that I enjoy (as well as the food, treats and tea -- for some reason there are white mints there?) This got me thinking about what kind of music I would like to hear at my Wake (should there be one -- kind of leaning against one but you never know)

At first I thought I would list one hundred. One hundred? Who has time for that? So twenty five is not too overwhelming of a number.

I will start with what I think is the best Wake song out there. I would love for this to played at a Wake that I am part of (should there be one):

Boogie Wonderland by Earth Wind and Fire. If you watch this video, there is no way you can't say that is fun fun fun!  After this song, it doesn't go in order of what should be played next. The tone of the Wake has been set. 

Lust for Life by Iggy Pop

Rebel Yell by Billy Idol

Whole Lotta Rosie  by ACDC or you can go with Let there be Rock. You can't beat Bon Scott. He was the man! 

Slow Ride by Foghat Now who can resist a Wake with this tune playing? 

Wammer Jammer by the J. Geils Band "A little bit of chicken picken"

Got My Mojo Working by the Great Muddy Waters.  In this version you can see him signal his band to cool it down a bit as they started. Or you can switch this one with Mannish Boy.

 Dead Flowers by the Rolling Stones, of course the original by Towns Van Zandt version would be cool too. If you are not a fan then another Stones Song would be groovy.  I have always liked Emotional Rescue

Nobody Knows Me by Lyle Lovett.  Of course anything by Lyle would make the list. So a nice ballad to let people rest after abit is cool. 

Come on Up to the House by Tom Waits. Shit if you're going to start with Lyle might as well get the master out there as well.  Tom and his Ballads kick arse. His lyrics are so damn cool.  "come down of the cross, we can use the wood"...

Bright Side of the Road.  No Wake is complete without Van the Man. Van Morrison.  Heck you could fill up the list with one album of Van. 

1999 by Prince.  Or one of his songs from Purple Rain.

YesterMe YesterYou by Stevie Wonder. I have been a long time Stevie Wonder fan. His song Superwoman is awesome. This song is a reflective song. You know you got to give them some ballads to soothe.

Illegal Smile by of course John Prine.  You could put any Prine song here.  He is a story teller and I like that.  "You may see me tonight with an illegal smile. Please tell the man I didn't kill anyone.  I'm just trying to have me some fun."  Funny how he can make a good story out of most anything.

Three Little Birds by Bob Marley.  Hell just put on his greatest hits cd and let it play.  You be Jammin'.  But didn't the U.S. force the Buffalo Soilders to kill Indians?  I don't know me.

Over the Rainbow by Israel IZ Kamakawiwo'ole.  I think this song is a classic and it is a real Wake song. One that could go in anyones home.  Just cool.  All I can say. It played at the Wake at my Boys.  Makes me sad and think of my Mom. So what is a Wake without a few tears. But mostly you want joy for the person.

Sunday Morning Coming Down by Johnny Cash. Although Kristoferson is good, John played Kris's song to perfection.  

I'll have a new body  by the greatest white country blues player Hank Williams Sr. My Dad was a big fan so I heard lot of Hank as a Kid. I think lot of Indian homes playe Hank in the days. If you don't have this one, the favorite is I Saw the light. A real Wake Staple.

Life During Wartime. by Talking Heads.  One of my favorites by Talking Heads. Makes you want to just kick open the casket and start dancing.   A very cool tune.

Night time is the Right time by the sensational Ray Charles.  This is one of my favorites of Ray. He is of course just great. This song would make you move your head as you sit and visit at the Wake of your loved one (me).  You know what is a great song? but wouldn't make my 25 greatest Wake songs? A change is gonna come by Sam Cooke. It might be a good song for someone else's Wake. " It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky..."

Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd. You can't have a Wake without Floyd. This song is special to me personally.  It reminds me of a son that I had. He's gone now. but I remember him in this song. Heck you could through on this live album and be cool with it as well.

Welcome to the Boomtown by David & David. It's okay but its a take or leave. Maybe shouldn't be on the list, but feeling the timing of the song.

Hard Times in the Land of Plenty by Omar and the Howlers.  Okay this one is pretty good. "Some people some people have not".   I used to like this tune at the time.  Not sure how it came to my mind.  But its okay. 

Copper Head Road.  By Steve Earle.  Of course we have to have this one on here. People love this song. Its a good one. I like his new style as well but you got to admit his old country rock was good.

Check it Out. by John Mellencamp.  Either this one or the Cherry Bomb. But I like this line "you can't tell your best buddy you love him".  Tells you a lot of society.  Reflective song, but not too sappy or I should say sad.  "Check it out, time to question my own behaviour".

I'll Stand by You. by Chrissie Hynde. One of the sexiest women in the music industry (her and Mary Chapin Carpenter). 

If I should fall from Grace of God.  The Pouges. You just can't have a Wake without playing some Pouges. I am a fan and so was my boy.  I just love their Christmas song. best one out there.

There are many songs out there and singers but this list could be one to start of your Wake. So your arse won't get sore sitting around drinking coffee.



Monday, October 13, 2014

'Kia ora' - Maori are really loved by Indians.

'Kia ora tatou'

Maori are the tangata whenua.

We are fortunate to have met some Maori over the years.  When they come to Canada they are treated as Royality.
Actually they are treated better than royality they are treated like family - Cousins. That Which is better. I believe this to be true from the Indians I have seen interacting with the Maori.  Perry, Jigson, Ivy, and a host of other Reserve people. That is because they are our relatives. But we don't treat them like the cousins we see everyday. We treat them like the cousins that live a couple of Provinces over. Because when you see the same old cousins everywhere, you just give them the 'yeah yeah' treatment. (Smile and wave boys, smile and wave.) The cousins from aways away are treated a little better. You still tease the heck out of them and make fun of them, but you are more generous to them. Sure you will pull your everyday cousin out of the ditch in the middle of winter but you won't give him your last five bucks. If we treated our far away cousins  like royality they wouldn't be able to use the toilets. We would need to bring in a new toilet everytime they want to go take a dump.  I guess that is the gossip of what took place that time that Her Royal Highness came to Winnipeg.  The rumour was the Queen had to have a new toilet, one that was not used by anyone else. So the Maori can use the regular toilets in any Reserve home that they visit. They don't need to be treated like anything other than "cuz", our far away relatives. So that way we would give them our last five bucks. So we treat our far away relatives like our close relatives; with fun, kindness, happiness, generousity and openness. We don't treat them good to impress them. That is not the way. We treat them good because that is the way.

I like to think that Indigenous Folk like other Indigenous folk. Aroha
If you go to their home community, they will treat you with kindness and with an open home.

It was nice to meet new Indigenous people and it was also great to see an old friend, Carmine Heteraka. These Maori came to the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba as part of a get together (conference) on health.  I was not part of the conference at all.  I like to go to conferences to check out the trade shows. Lot of good information, lot of great craft and art. And to top it off you get to collect a lot of free pens. You can never have enough pens. There may even be a bag or two that you can score. I know, I know it is a Pa-chaak move. A Pa-chaak is (although I am not sure of the english translation) kind of a jerk. The jerk can be good or bad. You know the type, come into your home, doesn't take off their shoes, looks in your fridge, takes your last beer, jumps to the front of the line, mouches food for free at conferences. That's what I did. I am glad I did. I ran into our friend there from New Zealand - Aotearoa.   I also met a bunch of new relatives from New Zealand.  

I think there are many Natives out there that feel the same way. You may have met some great folk from other Reserves, different Tribes from different provinces or from different States or countries. That is what has generally been the experience I have seen. Other Indians will treat you pretty good when you go to their community.  I have gone to quite a few different Reserves in United States, Canada and in Manitoba (Cross Lake, Shoal Lake, Pukatawagan, Berens River, Bloodvein, Dog Creek, White Dog, Hazleton, Alderville, Fox Lake, Rocky Boy, etc) and the folk are good.  The close by Reserves are okay, but because they are close by they treat you like that, a close cousin (so no giving you their last five bucks, although some will).

For me I have some great feelings of comfort and happiness when I think of the  Maori and New Zealand. I was very fortunate to have gone there, thanks to a relative from Sagkeeng (Perry). At New Zealand we stayed at the home of Marlene and Mak Leuluai of Whangaruru.  They opened their home to a whole group of us. Fed us, shared their families and their culture with us. It was fantastic!  My Son was on the trip as well. He was about 12 or 14 at the time. I wish he were still here today. It is our hope, Suz, Chloe and I to go there one day. I have mixed feelings about that. The first time there was so wonderful, I am afraid that going there again may not be as I expect it to be. You know what I mean?  You don't want to be disappointed.  Weird I know. Its like that saying "you can't go home again".  "... took it to mean that things and you change, and that you can never recapture the feelings you had in the past. It will always seem different."  If and When I go to New Zealand I want to be treated like a God (not thee God but "a" god).  I want people to treat me as a long lost relative or a far away relative. Not like strangers. I guess that is what I am afraid of.

I was lucky this time around that I got to take a few people to visit my cousins. And I was happy because I knew my cousins would not disappoint, they would be good hosts. Because that is the way. They are open and kind.  Right away they looked for gifts for the visitors. My other friend in Sagkeeng I know him and he is the type to feed the people. So I am sure that when the Maori went to visit in Sagkeeng he would feed them.  I can guarantee that would happen.

That was one of the things I notice about Indigenous folk, they want to make sure you eat, you are fed. When I was at the conference, hanging around the people told me to eat. Make sure to eat.

That is a commonality amoung Indians, they want to make sure you are fed. It is important.

So if you ever get the chance to meet some Indians or Maori or other Indigenous folk, make sure to feed them. They know that is the way. 

Māori are the tangata whenua – the people of the land