Monday, November 30, 2009
Ramblings about Indians and Indian Reserves
I am an Indian, specifically and Ojibway, an Anishinabe. When we were kids we were known as Saulteaux. There are still people who ask if you speak Saulteaux. My Auntie laughs when she tells the story about her work in Muscowpetung Reserve in Saskatchewan. My Auntie lives and used to be a Teacher in that Reserve. She married into that Reserve. We used to go visit them when we were kids. Anyway, my Auntie teaches Ojibway as well. She is a fluent speaker (as all my Aunties and Uncles are). Sadly a lot of people no longer speak. I think this one Reserve Peguis, almost all the people, even the old people don't speak Ojibway anymore. My Auntie speaks Ojibway with the people of the Reserve and they don't understand her. Some of them have said that they speak Saulteaux, so they can't understand her. The language is the same. Only the name is different. LOL.
Indians come in all different size, shapes and from all sorts of different regions. I have been in an out of the city for sometime now. But the Reserve is still my home and will most likely always be. In the Reserve the faces of the younger people are no longer familiar to me, but their parents are familiar. Today our people are struggling with who they are and what they should be doing. There are so many different ideas that come from the people about who they are and what they face. People keep referring to the Reserve as Third World. I never did agree with that sentiment. We have very hard life in the Reserve and there is no denying that. I just don't think we should compare the lives or our communities with that of someone in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and others. We do have some measure of freedoms that those people can not enjoy. Besides the phrase Third World is from the Cold War era and should not be used anyway. Our communities were once described as Fourth World, but that's another story. In any case the measurement of hardship compared to undeveloped countries is not really adequate or fair. Enough of that.
I enjoy Indian people. Walking around the malls in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba you are going to see Indians. The little kids are so darn cute. Kids are like that, cute. I love to see the smiles, the laughing and the running. I know that adults lose that ability to see happiness in anything. It is not right but I want to give money to little kids when I see them. I want to be able to make them feel good for a very short time. It's not that they need it, it's arrogant of me to want to share that way. It's just that you want to share in the joy they have and perhaps by sharing with them, you can catch some of that joy as well.
There is so much hardship in the world that we can not always dwell on it. We need to appreciate the good we have as well. We can never ignore, nor should we, the bad, the hardship in the world, and the stuff going on in our communities.
Just rambling for today. Take care peoples.