Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's about the search

"I want my child's name in metal, in stone..."

Why do parents, families, and friends of a suicide have a difficult time 'letting go'?
I think it's about the search. With other types of death there is a search. A search for answers. A search for the cure for cancer. A search for the offender that has taken the life. A search for a safer highway, safer drivers. A search for revenge. A search for justice in some cases.
It is all about the search for answers. Why! Why?
I think that is what we need as survivors of suicide loss. The search for answers that we may never find.


The above quote was from a CBC radio interview with a professor at the University of Toronto. He had lost three daughters when his house was destroyed in Palestine by tank fire. He is searching for justice, for forgiveness and for someone to say they made a mistake and acknowledge it.

Ask your mom for 50 cents




Tiny Tot song.  There is one the sesame street tiny tot song that I think is the best tiny tot pow wow song out there.
http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf9235

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What is in an Apology?

What can we expect when we apologize? I believe an apology should be unconditional. You should not expect anything in return for the apology. You should not be able to use and apology as an excuse. A way to rationalize out the wrong we have done.
I have been rude where there was no need for it. This lady, her name is Shirley. She is the director of a local Wellness program in our Reserve. She walked by me at the office and I yelled after her as she walked down the hall, "well hello". She looked back and did not say anything. She knew my remark was meant to be rude. I went on to tell the receptionist that it is not good for a director of a wellness centre to be rude.
In actuality it was me that was rude to her. Her behaviour is fair, after-all about 3 years ago I swore around in her office and questioned the policies of the Wellness Centre. 
So what can I expect when I go to apologize for my insensitive and rude behaviour? Absolutely nothing.
I find that we can use an apology as an excuse for our own behaviour. That is not what an apology should be.

I speak of being kind and struggle to follow that Teaching. It is a hard thing to do. Always be mindful of what we say, how we act and what we do. There are many people who are at the receiving end of someone's wrath, rudeness, impolite behaviour or just plain meanness. The ones of us who are at the giving end, must be more aware of what our actions mean to people. It takes a little effort to be mean, so why don't we use that same effort to be kind.

Here's to you, your families, your friends; let's use our best hugs and biggest smiles, our most sincere apologizes to our friend's, families and to those that need it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Powerview RCMP and the Sagkeeng Reserve

I remember how the police used to seem to us on the Reserve. They were not our friends. They were considered mean. I had the opportunity to go to the Powerview high school in 1976 and 1977. Powerview is a small town not too far from our Reserve. I didn't mind going to that school. We made some friendly acquaintances with some of the people in school. Never went to socialize with them outside of school. Anyway the kids used to talk about the weekends. As most teenagers do, there had been some drinking on the weekend. This kids in Powerview talked about getting driven home by the police. On the Reserve that didn't happen. The only real relationship with the police was the one where you tried not to let them catch you. I had numerous drinking under age charges. With the court system at the time (and may be still that way)  you were suppose to have your parents or guardian accompany you to court. We didn't really do that. I just went and pleaded guilty on those occasions and took a fine. Not all the police in Powerview were considered bad. A number of them were pretty good people. There were a number of Native police officers that treated the community very well and treated the people decently, with respect and kindness. Strongquill, Munroe, Wilson are just a few names that stand out. Sadly not all the police behave in the professional manner.
I think the reason for this is the environment that the police come into. The town's people are not that close to the Reserve community. There are two town's that border the Reserve, Pine Falls and Powerview. Pine Falls was private industry town for many years. The main industry in the area was the paper mill. The paper mill was the town of Pine Falls. Sagkeeng and Pine Falls were not close neighbours in the get along sense. However, some of the land that Pine Falls sits on is Reserve land. I think the town's culture influences the RCMP's view of the community. In addition the police officer meets people at their worse, so that skews their view even more. In any case the police does not have a relationship with the Reserve community, except as the odaapinigewininwag, (the men who take them away).
I had the opportunity to talk with the Sergeant of the Powerview RCMP detachment this summer. He is Brian Jack. I asked him about the relationship of the police and the community. "How come we never see the police having coffee at our restaurants? How come they never take part in the activities of the community?" I brought up the issue of gangs and how they do not represent any of the people in the community The Sergeant told me they were working towards a good relationship with the Reserve. He also said that he was speaking with the Chief about the gang situation in the Reserve.. I am not sure how realistic this is as one of our Councilors has very close family ties with active gang members in and out of the community. I imagine the police know this and would not be willing to let the Chief and Council know of their initiatives regarding the gang membership in our community. Lot of people are related or are friends and acquaintances of gang members. It makes for a difficult situation for the police to infiltrate and eradicate. There have been no major arrests of drug dealing in the community.

Not too long ago a friend and acquaintance was arrested in the community. He is a local businessman that owns and operates a hunting supply shop, White Wolf Hunting Supplies. This fellow, Cory is a very nice guy. He does a valued community service by providing gun safety instruction and administers the license requirements for gun owners. In Canada there is a law that prohibits people from gun possession or gun acquisition unless they are licensed. Prior to Cory offering this service, most of the Reserve members were in breach of the law.Cory has provided community members with local access and instruction of the license process.
The police acting on a tip said that Cory was a gang member and was providing guns for gang members. They raided his home, his place of business and have revoked his license. His stock has been seized and he can not conduct business as either a sales person or a safety trainer or a license provider.
He is in a battle to clear his name. Problem is this will take a lot of time. He will most likely lose his business. He will win his charges, but the damage to his reputation has been done. The police admitted to the news that none of the guns seized were illegal. It is likely the police have been provided gossip information about Cory. The nature of Reserves and the Indian factor. Community members can be very jealous of someone doing well in the community. Instead of wishing them well, Reserve members will hope for them to fail. That is the reality of a Reserve. Cory is just another casualty of a hurtful entity and individual. The police instead of investigating just go for the easy kill.

One of the things about police is that they paint everyone with the same brush. The Natives gangs make it difficult for everyday Native people to go about their daily lives. The reputation of gangs falls on the majority of Native people. What are the police going to do? Well they will treat everyone like a criminal and let the courts deal with it. It doesn't matter to them. Doesn't matter if an innocent person's life is in a shambles.
This is where the leadership of our community has to stand up. They have to make sure the police are doing their job responsibly. They have to make sure the community is not poisoned by gang activity.
However, the situation remains one where the police push forth with harassment of regular folk in the Reserve; the Chief and Council of the Reserve allows gang culture to putrefy the rest of the community.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dead man's curve.

Our home in Sagkeeng First Nation or as it was called the Fort Alexander Indian Reserve, had a speed limit of sixty miles an hour. This was in the 1960's. I don't know about now, but back then to drive at that speed was to drive fast.
Our house is on the river side of the highway. The highway is paved. Long story but some of the Reserve land was taken and surrendered to the provincial government. A transport route for the truck hauling industry. That is why it was paved and had posted speed limits.
The road by our home was on a "S" curve. This S curve and high speed limit caused some excitement, scary moments and sadly even death on the road in front of our house.
I remember the worse accident to happen in front of our house. It was a car collision between Deceased Sam Bruyere and the Guimond family. I didn't see the actual crash but was there right after. As the families around the curve, my relatives, all came to the accident. I remember Sam sitting in his car. It was an old big car. You know the type with the big steel steering wheels. His car slammed into the side of the other car. The door of the other car was stuck to the front end of his vehicle. My brother Poncho picked someone up the was in the ditch and carried him close to the road. I believe 4 people passed away from that accident. Sam being one of them.
Another accident that I did witness was the rolling of an old black car, like a 55 chevy or one of that style. It looked wild. The car rested on it's four wheels after coming to a stop from rolling over and over. When it was stopped. There was a guy laying on the road face first. He lay there for a while. He got up and went to the car where there were some people inside. He took a lady out of the car and left the other people there. He and the lady walked into the bush. His name was Canada.
There were lots of accidents on that S curve. My brother Poncho and his friends crashed in front of the house as well. They hit our driveway and the car filled. It was 57 Ford. My brother had flew out the back window and had hurt his back. My dad put him in his truck and drove him to the hospital. Shorty and Buck were there too. Shorty got his hand stuck between the door and the car frame. It almost cut of his hand it seemed like.
The road ditches have since been widened and the speed limit through the Reserve does not exceed seventy kilometers or 45 miles an hour. There were other fatalities in front of our House and numerous car accidents.

It was  an exciting time living in on the S curve. Thankfully you don't see that too much these days. But there are still a number of people that drive wreckless in the Reserve.

Sadness and glory in songs.

Songs mean lots. I wish I could write songs/poetry, but that's not a gift I have.



I wonder about the messages that are put into the words of a song or poetry. Even in stories. We may get it or maybe we won't. Still it's good to listen.

"I'm drunk today and I'm rarely sober..."

"my days are numbered ... and lay me down..."


"I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah"

Friday, December 10, 2010

We are all a little bit crazy.

I was downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba today with my Grandkids. An old man was walking down the street. Every few steps he would do a spin, a turn around and he didn't miss a step. I at first thought he was getting away from the cold wind. It was about minus 29 with the wind chill this morning, so it was cold. He kept doing the twirl as he walked, so I decided that guy is crazy.

It is funny how we like to think each of us is crazy. We have our little quirks that we like to do, that someone else may think 'that guy is crazy'. I like to say "those bastards" when a story is told. (Craig Ferguson, that bastard has stole my line on his late late night show) My wife will tell me a story of just about anything and I will answer with those bastards. She was telling me to stop it this morning as I was driving her to work. My grandson and granddaughter, the boy and grandgirl; Jackson - meeya were in the car. Boy can only say a couple of things, like papa and doon touch. So my wife figured his next sentence will be "doon touch you bastard".  I say those bastards as my "yoohoo". The Elders in the Reserve would answer a story with yoohoo, to let you know they were listening and it wasn't questioning the story like it may sound. It is to acknowledge that I am listening.

I am not crazy but I do get quirky about certain things. I will get on a kick. Like a frying pan kick. I will look for them, buy them if I have money. Years ago it was a bag kick. I liked to get bags, like gym bags. Cheap ones if I could get them. A couple of years ago it was brooms, this summer it was socks. I don't go over-board with the stuff but like to make sure we have them. I gets in my mind and I look out for them.

So this crazy guy that was walking is kind of cool. He makes a twirl as he is walking and it looks good on him. Just like those people that have really good conversations with themselves in public.

Now that's crazy. :D

Saturday, December 4, 2010

G'waabaamin Poncho

 My brother Poncho is now gone. He was sent off by his family and friends.  A one day wake was had. He wanted the Fire to be at his house. My brother is a man that will be missed. He was easy to make friends for sure. A guy that liked to work. I will miss him that is for sure. His daughter Shirley came on the bus from Calgary. I hope she will have a quiet and safe trip home. She is gone back today.


My uncles Robert and Herman are pictured together.




Uncle Harold with cousins Barry and Lawrence.






 Cousin Chipper. Poncho's God son.


COURCHENE, Russell Michael (Pancho) - September 10, 1949 -November 30, 2010 On November 30th, 2010 surrounded by his family Pancho Courchene peacefully passed away. He leaves to cherish his memory his beloved wife Jeannie, children Rick (Christina), Carmen (Mike S), Mike (Maya), Cara (Lionel ?Duke?), Crystal and Shirley, numerous grandchildren, his father Henry, and siblings Leonard (Isabel), Carol, Donald, Howard (Valerie), Steve (Susan), Jean, Sally (Daniel), Brenda (Alvin) and Lorraine, brothers and sisters in law, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Pancho was predeceased by his mother Mildred Courchene, brother Luke, sister Jean and nephews Donovan and Evan. Wake services will begin at 11:00 am on Thursday, December 2, 2010 at the St. Alexander Roman Catholic Church in Sagkeeng First Nation. Funeral service will follow on Friday, December 3 at 1:00pm also at the St. Alexander Roman Catholic Church in Sagkeeng. Pallbearers will be Rick Simard, Mike Courchene, Lionel Guimond, Howard Swampy, Wayne Courchene and Norbert Bruyere. Honourary Pallbearers will be his Godchildren Amber Simard and Barry ?Chipper? Courchene.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stolen from Natalias's Friends blog

http://nataliasfriends.blogspot.com/?expref=next-blog
The Language of Grief

By Darciehttp://nataliasfriends.blogspot.com/?expref=next-blog D. Sims, Ph.D., GMS, CGC, CHT

Once I lived the American Dream. We were a happy family, military by career, parents by choice. And with the birth of our son, our family was to have been complete. We were the American Dream—at least for a little while.
And then, as it happened to you and to so many, it all ended. We learned you couldn’t paint a rainbow on the wall and expect it to stay. The dream came to pieces and we were shattered. No longer the American Dream, we became the American Nightmare. We were bereaved.
We had entered a world we knew nothing about. Suddenly we were strangers in a strange land. We needed help. We needed understanding. We needed someone who could speak our language . . . the language of grief.
We discovered we were grieving, not only the death of our child, but the loss of close friendships, self-esteem, and self-identity as well. We were SO alone . . . left untouched by those around us who must have been afraid, too. Perhaps Death is “catching,” or maybe no one knew what to say. I didn’t know what to hear. But, as the months passed, it only grew darker and we began to wonder if we would ever know peace, joy, or love again.
Eventually, we began to wander and found a few support systems (Thank heavens for TCF!). The Compassionate Friends became a lifeline for us. We found we were not as alone as we feared and we began to struggle through the valley of grief. But as the years went by, I noticed that we and all the other bereaved people we began to know were still struggling with something. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, until one day, I listened to the words we were all using to describe our grief journey. As I listened to my own words and those of fellow strugglers, I began to realize it was not the journey we were having trouble with . . . it was the language we used.
So, I want to create a NEW LANGUAGE! Can we speak in terms of HOPE instead of sorrow? I want to create a new language where Denial is a river in Egypt, not a sin in grieving. Maybe denial isn’t really denial but Postponement. Sometimes I’m just not ready to deal with reality. Before you can deny anything, you have to acknowledge it and once you acknowledge it, then you can postpone it until you are ready or able to cope. Postponement just seems to be a more accurate and usable word.
Perhaps we can replace Acceptance and Acknowledgement. Acceptance, to me, means agree with and I Will Never Agree with what has happened to us! But I can work towards Acknowledgement of what has happened.
Maybe we can change the words we use. Change the Language of Grief into the Language of Hope. Let’s get rid of the word LOST and find the word FOUND. People die, but we do not lose them. They are forever threads in our fabric, memories in our heart, love in our being. They are now and always will be a living and loving part of who we are.
And then, perhaps we can change one more word in the Language of Grief. Can we use the word Healing instead of Recovery? Recovery is a medical word, designed to describe broken bones, not hearts. We recover from a broken arm or the chicken pox. But recover or get over the death of someone I love . . . ? We don’t Get Over the death of someone we love! We get THROUGH IT, one moment, one hour, one day, one hurt at a time. Healing is a hopeful word and I want to be hopeful in my journey.
And let’s get rid of Closure as well! There is no such thing as closure! YOU DON’T STOP LOVING SOMEONE JUST BECAUSE THEY DIED. We grieve because we loved someone! And we WILL CONTINUE TO LOVE THEM FOREVER!
If I could just see HOPE. I kept looking for the aisle marked happiness. I thought it was a place. I kept waiting for it to get better and it only grew darker. If I could just see hope . . .
Hope isn’t a place or a thing. Hope isn’t the absence of pain, fear or sadness. Hope is the possibility of renewed joy. It is the memory of love given and received. Hope is you and me and the person next to you and across the room, down the street and in your dreams.
We are each other’s hope and we need a new language to reflect our hopefulness, not our despair. If we could just change these few words, I believe we might be able to make some progress towards healing. I am tired of struggling to accept when acknowledgment is more honest. I am tired of being in denial when I know exactly what it is I want to deny, so how can you say I am denying anything? I just want to postpone it for awhile. When I feel more capable, less tired and have some skills and tools, then I will work on my “denial.”
And nothing, nothing closes at the funeral except the casket! I will always continue to love my child and hold him within my heart, my spirit, and every fiber of my being. I will have an ongoing and continuing relationship with him until I can once again hold him in my arms. If that is “crazy,” then yes, I am! As a psychotherapist and a bereaved mom, I believe it is my right to continue to love my child forever and loving your child should not be considered as mentally unhealthy. Good-bye? You want me to say good-bye? I wasn’t through saying Hello!
I want a new language, a language of hope and healing instead of denial and death. I want to remember my child’s LIFE first! And that is the new language of love!
May love be what you remember the most!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday



A great site put up by Wab Kinew. 
http://www.anishinaabemow.in/

Saturday, November 13, 2010

INDIAN Heartbeat

A beautiful song by the Great Van Morrison. Just feeling a bit melancholy these days.


Oh, won't you stay
Stay a while with your own ones
Don't ever stray
Stray so far from your own ones
For the world is so cold
Don't care nothing for your soul
You share with your own ones
Don't rush away
Rush away from your own ones
One more day
One more day with your own ones
Yes, the world is so cold
Don't care nothing for your soul
You share with your own ones
There's a stranger
And he's standing by your door
Might be your best friend, might be your brother
You may never know
I'm going back
Going back to my own ones
Back to talk
Talk a while with my own ones
This old world is so cold
Don't care nothing for your soul
You share with your own ones
This old world is so cold
Don't care nothing for your soul
You share with your own ones

Monday, November 8, 2010

Uncle Henry POW WWII

Remembrance Day is here once again. I want to introduce you to my Uncle Henry. He is gone now. I only met him twice that I can remember.

Uncles Henry (Mannish) & Louis (Red)

He and my other Uncle Louis were in the army together. Henry followed his brother Louis. Henry lied about his age. They were both POW's.

This is my Uncle Henry's friend (on the right in gray suit) Mr. Hudson Chambers. These pictures were sent to my cousin Vince (Henry's son) Fontaine by Mr. Chambers' daughter.
These two men were POW's together.

I really don't know much about my Uncle and his exploits. His time in the army and his experience in the camp. I just know that Mom loved her brother
 "Mannish" very much.   I believe Vince is going to be organizing a Memorial Gathering in honour of his Dad sometime in the future. That is a great thing. My Aunties are going to be really happy about that.

Vince looks like his Dad for sure.



Evelyn LaForte Henry served with The Queens Own Cameron Highlanders and Hudson his buddy served with Essex Scottish Regiment. they were captured and became prisoners of war and were made to walk a thousand mile march to work in and underground coal mine in Czechoslovakia. Hudson Chambers who was Henry's buddy died last year after Remembrance day . Rest In Peace!

CHAMBERS, H. HUDSON (September 1, 1924 – November 21, 2012) - Passed away peacefully with family at his side at Sakura House Hospice, Woodstock.Hudson Chambers. Born September 1, 1924 near Bright, Ontario, Hudson grew up during the Great Depression. He served bravely with the Essex Scottish Regiment during the invasion of Normandy, landing at Juno Beach on June 8, 1944, and was captured about six weeks later at Falaise, France. He spent his twentieth birthday as a prisoner of war, laboring in the underground coal mine at Teschin, Czechoslovakia. As the Russians advanced from the east in January 1945, Hudson’s German captors moved the POW’s out of their camps, beginning a “thousand mile march” westwards during one of coldest winters of the century. When Hudson and his fellow soldiers liberated themselves by disarming their German guards near Vienna, he was within days of death from starvation. But the spirit which had kept him alive enabled him to carry on for another 67 years. After World War 2, Hudson returned to Woodstock to become a very successful home builder. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Girl suicides due to Cyber Bullying

I saw this on the North Dakota news channel last night. This young girl took her life. Can you imagine what that feels like? That family must be in a world of pain, anger, sadness, regret, and unanswered questions. I wonder how the kids who bullied her feel? I wonder about this because last week my daughter was upset over some girls saying bad things about her. She got a text to watch her back. She was upset. Now she and that girl are friends.
I wonder when the normal happenings of teen life go over the top. You know the petty drama of kids life? I am in pain for the girl and the family. The states of Minnesota and North Dakota are looking at implementing a law to deal with bullying. I am not sure of the laws in Manitoba. It is a situation that we can only look at say, "could have done this, should have done this..."





Early Thursday, a couple hours before the sun rose in Cooperstown, N.D., 16-year-old Cassidy Joy Andel posted a note on her Facebook page:
“My time has come, and so I’m gone. To a better place, far beyond. I love you all as you can see. But it’s better now, because I’m free.”
She then hung herself in her home, apparently unable to cope with the nasty things being said about her through text messaging and the very social media network used to announce her own suicide.
Sheriff Bob Hook, whose Griggs County Sheriff’s Office polices the 1,200-person community of Cooperstown, said the suicide is being investigated as a possible crime.
“It’s definitely being looked at as a bullying situation,” he said, lamenting in the next breath that North Dakota doesn’t recognize bullying itself as a crime.
“This bullying has become almost an epidemic nationwide,” Hook said, acutely recognizing that the issue had hit very close to home and may be responsible for a local girl’s death.
Several members of the Sheriff’s Department knew Cassidy’s family, and Hook said the entire community 110 miles northwest of Fargo-Moorhead is taking the news hard but addressing it openly and promptly.
Cassidy’s school held an all-school assembly about it Thursday. School officials, the Sheriff’s Department and others addressed students, and counselors were made available, he said.
Bradley Cruff, the Griggs County state’s attorney, who lives in Valley City, said news of Cassidy’s suicide had quickly spread 40 miles to the south, where she has cousins and friends.
“Kids down here were communicating with her on Facebook last night and they’re all devastated,” he said.
Hook said his department is gathering facts in the case and hopes to talk to students who might know more in the coming week.
The nature of the comments or information that was bothering Cassidy are sketchy. A perusal of her Facebook page didn’t reveal comments that were overtly harassing, but they could have been deleted.
The teen, who listed her favorite place as her bedroom and has 730 friends on the social networking site, often posted upbeat comments, even as recently as the day before she died.
But then there was this one posted Wednesday:
“If you don’t like the way I am, then don’t come around me. If you don’t like the way that I talk, then don’t listen. If you don’t like the way I dress, then don’t look. But don’t waste my time telling me about it. I don’t care.”
Sheriff Hook said it’s not uncommon for his department to field complaints about bullying or harassment using modern media. He urged parents to make greater efforts to keep an eye on what their children are doing on computers and phones.
“It’s a trend our kids are going through,” he said. “They communicate behind a screen. They text each other standing next to each other. They don’t always realize that who they are writing to or about is a person.”

Forum reporters Patrick Springer and Amy Dalrymple contributed to this report. Springer can be reached at (701) 241-5522 or pspringer@forumcomm.com.
Readers can reach Forum Editor Matthew Von Pinnon at (701) 241-5579 or mvonpinnon@forumcomm.com

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Poncho

November 11 - Poncho has woke up and is trying to speak. Great news.

Update: Poncho had a turn for the worse last night and had another bleed in the brain. A different part of the brain so they had to operate again. As of this post, he is still not up yet. The doctors have taken him off medication to see how he will be when he wakes up. This is November 8th. 

After visiting Poncho in the morning I went over to the Compassionate Friends meeting place. They have drop in meeting on Monday afternoons. I went over to eat cookies and drink tea. The people are so understanding and very nice. Some new parents today. Very sad to hear about the loss of their children. Compassionate Friends is a support group for Parents that have lost children. Four of the parents at this meeting had children that passed away due to suicide. Very bad times for them. It is a good place for people to share with no worry of judgment. 

Feeling pretty sad tonight. My brother Poncho is not looking very well. I tried to get him to squeeze my hand. Asked him if he could hear me. He didn't respond. Thinking of how much death is around our community these days. My brother has to hang on and be well again. I don't like it right now. My wife is still struggling with the passing of her Mom and I am not much of a comfort for her. She is quiet and cries softly and doesn't like to burden others with her sorrow. Me I tell everyone that I am in a world of hurt. Well I will wait for him to better. In the meantime I will continue to tease my brother Don, my sister-in-law Jeannie and anyone else for that matter. It is something to be in the waiting room of the ICU. Lot of families waiting for some good news. Me and Don constantly bugging Jeannie about signing the death certificate of Poncho even before he is gone. It is the way to deal with stress and hurt. False humour. Make them laugh. Get them off the hurt. At least for a little while. 

My brother Poncho is the stuff of legends. He is kind of like that guy in the movie Sin City: Marv. Good stories for friends and family to tell. He is one of those guys that likes to help you. He is the type to be always doing something, working. My brother spent most of the seventies and a bit of the eighties in jail. He was not a criminal. He was a drinker.  A guy who liked to have his beer. Never ever did drugs. He doesn't like drugs. He was a bit of a hot head. He would get into fights, get in trouble that way with the law. End up in jail. Do his time, get out and start over. He didn't go to jail for stealing or any of that crap. He was scrapper and a very good one. He was the type of guy that would throw Mr. Bone out of the house by way of the window. He then got one of his cousins to drive Bone to the hospital. Not to worry about Bone, he is not a good guy. He was a notorious bully in the inner city and he even used a knife to cut my friend Earl in the face while his passed out.  Poncho is pretty powerful from working hard jobs and doing time in jail. He likes to laugh. I remember this white construction worker was at the pub in the afternoon giving some guys a hard time. Poncho got called to come over to the bar. I saw Poncho come over and get a beer. He talked to one of the Reserve guys, who pointed out which construction worker was acting up. Poncho walked up to him and the guy gave Poncho the look. Poncho grabbed him, slammed onto the floor, kicked him in the chest. Drank his beer and left. The guy was going around crying about him being set up. That is Poncho. He's old now and doesn't do those things. But a lot of his young life was like that. He is the guy. He is more than that to all of us. He is the oldest brother. The one we look up to. We know he is always the guy who will help us if we need some work to be done. He won't say no.

Well I just got home from the Hospital.

My brother Poncho ended up in the Pine Falls hospital, back home in Sagkeeng. He was not feeling well and his blood pressure was very high. He started to lose consciousness and then he was unresponsive. He had tried to speak to his wife, Jeannie but he could not talk. He could not wake up after that. He was taken by ambulance to the Health Science Centre in Winnipeg. It was learned from a CAT scan,  he had a blood cloth in his brain and it has caused some brain damage.

My brother Poncho just completed his surgery last night. It was surreal. The doctor was talking to us about the choice to make: let him die, or operate. He has underlying health issues. He has Hep-C from the tainted blood he received from the Red Cross. His liver is not too good. He likes to drink and he has high blood pressure. If they operate he may not be functioning. There is brain damage due to a blood cloth in his head. It happened so fast. I stood there trying to process the consequences of each choice. It did seem like the Doctor was pushing for the first option, let him go. My brother Don, just took charge and said "operate, give him a chance". My sister-law Jeannie was in shock so she couldn't make a decision. With Don not accepting the alternative of letting his brother die without a fight,  he voiced for an operation and to "quite wasting time asking questions".  Jeannie also wanted Poncho to have the operation. Rickie, Jeannie's oldest boy was also not willing to let Poncho go without the operation. He wanted the operation right away as well.

Me, I seconded guessed everything but am glad that a choice was made. My brother Poncho is in the surgery recovery unit. He is still out of it, and the nurses want him to have rest and not have so much visitors coming in. Lot of family members crowding around the waiting area and trying to get into see him. In addition lot of his friend and relatives are calling. He is a popular guy that Poncho. The good news is that he has been removed from the ventilator, he can move his arms and legs and has even uttered a swear word at the nurse.

I am talking to Poncho's oldest daughter, Shirley out in Calgary. You can tell she is very upset, being so far from her Dad. I will keep her informed of Poncho's progress.
Poncho and Jeannie have 5 children. They are all worried, but positive.
Me I feel bad that I even considered letting him die without a fight. That kind of decision is made everyday in hospitals all over the world. You never consider being in that situation. Think I will make a living will. I am not sure I want to be in the position not to be able to decide my own fate. I don't want to put my wife and kids through that as well.

The waiting room is a mixture of sadness, laughter, crying, hoping and waiting. I spoke with the father of a young woman (20 years old) that was in critical care. She had been a passenger in a car accident. A young girl of seventeen that may have been drinking, hit a car of young people in an intersection on Halloween night.  There were five young people in the car. One has been critically hurt and two people have died. The father was in a very somber state, but he was hopefully. He said that his daughter had a tube removed from her head. I can only guess it was a tube to alleviate the pressure of fluid in the head. I don't know. I shook his hand and told him I was thinking of his family. He had so much family there to hold vigil.
I do not like the drinking and driving. The poor families and the poor girl who took that route of drinking and driving.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Corey Bushie will be in Jail for 12 years.

Corey Bushie is a name from the past. He was a 11 year old kid that lived in the neighbourhood. I remember him as this little lively happy kid. He had that little rat tail hair style that kids had in the 90's. We used to live in the north-end of the city. A very poor community. My boys went to school in the area and they had a lot of friends. My older boy has always been good at making friends. He is that easy going type of guy. Anyway, we moved away from the area to a middle class area. When that happens things change, your kids meet new friends and old friends are not there anymore. It was my son that told me who the Corey was in the paper. I was saddened to hear this. As my son pointed out more than of few of his old friends have ended up in the paper for some type of criminal act. It makes me glad and sad at the same time that we moved from the area. I still go there quite a bit to look at our old house. I want to remember the good times that my kids had. The north-end is filled with Indians, poorer White people, Ukrainians, Polish, Filipinos and other new immigrants. One of the big things we noticed when we moved to another neighbourhood was the quiet. No kids playing, no street noise. I remember it being eerie when we first moved. Strange I know.  My boy and I wondered about the old north end neighbourhood. Did moving give them (our boys) a better chance than the other kids?

"A Winnipeg man who claims he's been wrongfully convicted of a deadly inner-city shooting will have to spend at least 12 years in prison before he can apply for parole.
Cory Bushie was found guilty of second-degree murder earlier this year, triggering an automatic life sentence. The only question left to decide was his parole eligibility.
The Crown asked earlier this week to have it raised as high as 16 years, while Bushie requested the mandatory minimum of 10 years. Queen's Bench Justice Doug Abra ruled Friday 12 years was sufficient given the circumstances of the case, which include Bushie's extensive prior criminal record.
Bushie, 30, has always denied being involved in the July 2007 killing of 20-year- old Aaron Nabess in a lane behind a known crack house at 575 Magnus Ave. Nabess was shot four times, staggering through the neighbourhood for several minutes before collapsing. Bushie claims the real killer was never caught -- but jurors clearly disagreed.
The case centred around two women who testified they saw Bushie pull the trigger. Defence lawyer Danny Gunn argued during the trial their evidence is flawed and may have been an attempt to cover up the truth.
Gunn said there were plenty of other people with opportunity and motive to kill Nabess, a known drug dealer. He also argued even if Bushie pulled the trigger, he was too impaired at the time to form the necessary intent for murder and should have only been convicted of manslaughter.
The Crown told jurors there should be no doubt about Bushie's guilt. They noted the testimony of Marilia Martins, who broke down in tears while describing how Nabess and Bushie got into a dispute that ended with gunfire while she and a friend stood nearby. The four had just left the North End home, where a party was going on inside.
Bushie repeated his claim of innocence during sentencing submissions this week and plans to appeal."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Banana seat Bicycle

The Blue Angel!  This is exactly, EXACTLY the same type of bike I bought for my girl (oldest girl) when she was little. The blue tires and the white banana seat.
I used to love riding a bike when I was a kid. There was big bike. I used to put my leg under the cross bar so I was able to reach the peddles. That is why a girl's bike was always better, the cross bar was always angled low so it didn't matter how small you were or how the big the bike was.  I see that many bikes of the old style have made a big comeback. People like to remember their youth. With all the new technology and fancy stuff, the old bikes just don't cut it for the younger kids. You were pretty lucky if you had a bike to share as kids. A great way to get around. I am glad to see that some of the old stuff still makes in today's world. If it works why not use it? But we like the new and up to date things, don't we?  It was a real different world growing up in the 60's and 70's. I guess really it's not that different for the poor. If you were poor than, being poor today is probably the same thing. Only the poor today have more to miss out on. If you call not having video games, flat screen, IPODs as the things to miss out on.

Oh well. Let's take a minute and remember the old bike. Aaaaahhhhhhhhhh that's the stuff.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Act of Suicide and Wear Purple Day October 20,2010

I listened to a radio program on CBC Radio Ideas that was entitled "To be or not to be". A look at the act of suicide.
For people that are survivors of suicide loss it is an eye opening discussion.
Suicide is a topic that people REALLY do not want to talk about. It is seen in many different ways, and to talk about it, maybe it will set off a suicide.

I took a few things away from the radio show. I know that suicide is not an act of cowardice. Many call the suicide person a coward, a selfish individual. That is not the case. Nor was it really bravery. It is not bravery, but rather as Dr. Thomas Joiner says it is an act of "fearlessness". "Joiner proposes that there are three key motivational aspects which contribute to suicide. These are: 1) a sense of being a burden to others, 2) a profound sense of loneliness, alienation and isolation, and 3) a sense of fearlessness. All three of these motivations or preconditions must be in place before someone will attempt suicide."
http://www.psychotherapybrownbag.com/psychotherapy_brown_bag_a/
Myths, suicide is impulsive, suicide is selfish, is done to hurt someone. Talking about suicide increases the risk.

I truly believe and I KNOW that my boy did not take his life to hurt his family. He did not take it to be a burden. He took his life to stop the pain. He felt (and it was wrong) that he could better help his family by not being here anymore.

One of the things people think that there are notes in suicides. In reality notes are not normally left. The note people want to see if there is a note is one that says it was not our fault. We would like to have seen a note that Virginia Woolf wrote:

"I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier 'til this terrible disease came. I can't fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can't even write this properly. I can't read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that — everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.[25]"

My son did not leave a note. He did not send me an email, he did not call me. That kills me. My son did not try and reach me before he left. But hey, what can you do?

I saw on Facebook there is going to be a wear purple day for those  that committed suicide. It is to remember those young boys that took their lives. Those boys were gay. I see that there are a lot of hate messages on that facebook site. Both about gays and about suicide. A lot of intolerance in the world of facebook. Spirit Day October 20, 2010.

Suicide can happen to anyone. No one knows why, and that is NO ONE knows WHY?


I will wear purple. There is enough hate in the world, why not share some support, some kindness.



http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2010/09/29/to-be-or-not-to-be-part-1-2-listen/

3 Questions for personal or work assessment

Where do we want to be?
Where are we now?
What do we need to get there?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Indian factor hurts Indian business

The Indian factor about business in this instance is not the collective thing but rather the jealous factor. You know it is thought that Indians don't do well in business because of the individual factor, they are more for the collective than the individual. In any case today's program is brought to you by the letter B, for business, Indian business. There are many Indians doing pretty good out there in the capital world and some that are just getting by. Just like any business out there.


With business there is competition; usually other similar businesses out there. In the Aboriginal community there are some businesses that have to compete with political organizations. The news paper industry is one example. There are a number of Aboriginal newspapers in Canada and a few in Manitoba. The Aboriginal political community is hard on the independent Indian news. They impose sanctions against the news paper businesses, refuse to support them, and provide their own in-house papers designed to give a one-way message.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

ThunderBird House

Thunderbird House, Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. A haven in the heart of the City's Main Street. An area that was dying. An area that has seen its share of hardship, hurt, loss, violence, hope, healing and renewal.

There are two people that are now synonymous with the Thunderbird House: Stephanie Eyolfson and Chrissy Gauthier. They are doing great work out of the Thunderbird House. The Thunderbird House has a Sweatlodge that is open to the public. People have access to a Sweatlodge within walking distance from the inner-city. A very high number of Indian people live in the inner-city (and all other regions) of Winnipeg. There are different Elders and Teachers that have access to use of the Sweat Lodge. You know how Indians are, they follow certain gurus(Teachers/Elders)and avoid others. That's the nature of people. You associate with who you are comfortable with. The Thunderbird House also has an Elder's room that people can come and use for Teachings or just visiting. The Thunderbird House is a community centre type operation. The room is large and can hold about three hundred fifty people for an event.

The Thunderbird House DOES NOT receive an Operation and Maintence grant and does not have a budget to cover all of its expenses. Rental of the Centre would ease some of their funding shortcomings. For some reason, the numerous Aboriginal organizations in Winnipeg, Manitoba rarely, if at all, use the services of the Thunderbird House. It is a common trait amoung Aboriginal organizations, they do not network with each other, never mind support each other. Many of the Aboriginal organizations host a number of meetings, seminars, conferences throughout the year, but much of their business goes to Winnipeg hotels.

That is one of the things that has to change, Indians supporting other Indians. There are times when you have no choice to use other venues, but if the service is there why not use it?

Assemble of Manitoba Chiefs is notorious for supporting itself at the expense of other Aboriginal initiatives. AMC will not use the Aboriginal press in its communique. They spend a lot of money putting out glossy magazines to highlight their achievements. The Aboriginal press is not considered for use. The press is shunned if an article spotlights shortcomings in our Aboriginal political elite. There are other Indian organizations that use this practice as well, the Manitoba Metis Federation, the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, Southern Chiefs Organization and a host of smaller quasi-political and service delivery agencies.

Would like to see the Indian agencies supporting each other. That includes the few Aboriginal media papers, social agencies, consulting groups, marketing groups, political allies and other groups. Perhaps it could start with AMC, MKO, SCO, MMF, taking a look at Thunderbird House and see how the House can meet their meeting place needs.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Indians are Fat!

Indians are fat. That is a fact. Too much Bannock, not enough exercise. Lots of pop, chips and greasy foods. Yep we are fat.  It's not just us but it seems everyone in Canada is getting fat. Same with the United States. We are fat. Fat!
I recently joined a gym to start running. I have been to the gym three times already. Every other day since I joined. When I went to the gym I told the pretty young blonde manager that I was there because I am fat. She said I was not fat. I said sign me up!
I told my brother what she said. And I told him that I was an athlete. He said that I was an allaround athlete. All round is what he actually said. He said yeah, I was in shape as round is a shape.
I think I am going to like going there. It's a small clean gym. Mostly machines for cardio and some weight training machines. Not a gym for the mammoth gym rats you see in those free weight gyms.
I signed up my daughter with me. She is going to start running sometime soon. She used to swim laps a couple of years ago, but no longer. I am one of those nags that talks lots but doesn't walk the walk. Talk to her about what food to eat and to exercise. So I better try and be a better model.

Being fat is a wide problem. All sorts of people are fat. Fat can even be sexy. There are those people called chubby chasers. Good for them. More to hold, not like those skin and bones you see on a fashion cat walk.


So being fat you are part of the crowd. Everyone it seems is fat these days. So if that is the case why are governments spending big cash on trying to educate people on fitness? You have Bodybreak commercials on Canadian television. There were tv ads about the 65 year old Swed being healthier than the 30 year old Canadian. This was an attempt to embarrass the average person to get off their fat arse and get to jogging. The Canadian government sponsored a program called ParticipACTION. The 1980 ads were catchy. Not sure if it got people off their collective arse, but it had a nice tune. There was even a mascot; Harvey Lazybones.

It would be okay to be fat if there were not consequences with it. Not being able to buy ONE seat on an airplane. Even famous celebrities are not immune to fat. Kevin Smith was kicked of a plane for being fat. The real consequence is the health risk of being fat. As Indian people we seem to catching all the illness out there. Fat being one of them. But is it an illness? Or is our lifestyle contributing to the health crisis?

I am not fat! I am round in certain spots. I carry a front pack of food and sludge. I refuse to buy two seats on a plane! I want to be able to see my friend. :D

Monday, October 4, 2010

Vigil for Missing women: keeping them alive

Tonight a Gathering was held for the Aboriginal Missing and murdered Women in Canada. It was held at the Manitoba Legislative Grounds in Manitoba Canada. It is a demonstration of Hope, Caring and Support. We need to remember. Need to keep Women in the front of our Minds. Need to keep seeking for their safety. Need to try and get them Home. Need to keep them alive in the minds and Hearts of people, of family, of community.

Jennifer Catcheway's Mom. Jennifer is one of many missing Native women. Bernice, Lucille and all her family are looking for her.
Singing for the Missing women. Singing out their names and telling them that this is for them.
Lot of Women have gone missing. Keep them in your mind/memory. Think about the families, think of the Women.
Chickadee Richards spending some time remembering the Women. She is a Traditional Teacher. She has said she will participating in the next Gathering For Survivors of Suicide. As a person in the front lines she deals with Suicide and is going to make a difference.
Another beautiful strong Woman, Lori Mainville. She is an activist, a Mom and a Traditional person.

Handing out candles for the Missing Women.



Woman, Karen Courchene from Sagkeeng. My Reserve. She was in my school and class as a kid.

The RED DRESS Women. An Aboriginal Artist is collecting five hundred dresses and going to display them on the trees in the city. She wants the dresses to represent the Missing Women. And the display is to put in the minds of people. To make them aware of the Missing Women.

Television and Movie Star, former Member of Parliament of Canada, Ms Tina Keeper.


A
Another Woman from Sagkeeng Indian Reserve in Manitoba, Ann Bruyere. Not sure what her married name is. A very good person.
Lot of Missing Women represented at the Vigil.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

300000 kilometers on the car


My wife has a 2003 Toyota Corolla. An awesome little car. The odometer is stuck on 299999. So we have gone over the three hundred thousand kilometer mark.
Indian cars, well this is no Indian car. I remember as a young guy lot of people had Indian cars. Cars that should not have been on the road. :D

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Another Gathering for Suicide Survivors April 2011

It is the George Chuvalo documentary: Still Standing. The horror he went through with his family tragedy is unbelievable.  He is indeed still standing. As my friend always says "a lesser man would be in the fetal position".
I am thinking that George would be an excellent speaker to come and speak at a Survivors of Suicide Gathering.

I am thinking we could do it again for April 2011. It would be costly to bring Mr. Chuvalo in to speak but well worth the effort. I think I will ask around what people think and see if it is still an idea to hold another Gathering for next spring. If we seek input now it might be worth it.

We did alright this year. People were really generous.
So maybe I will ask the Elder what he thinks. I know at the end of the Gathering in April this spring he has said he wanted to do it again next year. So that will be the first thing is to ask what he thinks.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Winnipeg Manitoba Museum of Man & Nature

Ah, me, Amelia and JackJack (Boy) went out for the morning. I have been trying to think of things to do with a three and one year old. Television is said to be no good for kids, causes Attention deficit disorder. In other words makes kids stupid by the time they are nine. So I don't want that. I have been taking the kids to the city parks. St. Vital park is pretty big with a fair amount of woods for looking at venturing into, if you are into that. We go there and the kids play on the structures. It's nice to spend them there. Lots of Geese hanging around putting poop on the ground. We went to St. John's Park in the north end yesterday.
A very nice park in the midst of the north end. The north end of Winnipeg is one of the poorer areas of the city. It is also a very high crime area. I guess poverty and crime have a symbiotic relationship (if crime and poverty were living things). Another nice park is the one down town in the city central. Another high crime, and relatively poor area.  Lot of new immigrants in the centre. The park there is new, fixed up and fancy. Not too much green space, but enough to be an oasis in the middle of all that concrete.
So today it was museum time. Going to see Indians in glass boxes, all dressed up in their going to the Pow-wow best, or in their going to get married duds.
That place is Fantastic!!! Oh I've been there before, but you kind of forget how neat it is to be in a museum. Next I think I will go to the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Not sure how that will go with the young ones.
But I sure did like that museum.
This is an example of an older snowmobile. We called them skidoos when we were kids. I guess that is a trade name sort of like kleenex is for tissue paper. In any case when we were kids, my dad got one like this. He used it for trapping and we used it for fun.

Some great minature javascript:void(0)work, I think they call it a diorama? In any case the museum had your Indians, but it also had some old bones, some stuff from new settlers and few other interesting items. Amelia thought one of the big dinosaur skeletons was a dragon. She was pretty clingy through that section of the museum. We went through the museum at a good pace, so we also went down to the Planitarium. The show was on at two, so we just went to the hands on exhibit. Cool place for kids and adults.
Don't the canoe and the meat look real? This is a minature display from the typical northern Indian village I would guess.
Those damn Indians sure could make clothes look fine. The beading and the design. I have a vest that some old ladies did for me from Norway House. The beading is really good. I hope that I could get another one for my grandson and granddaughter some day. I wonder when the Chinese will start making beaded Indian outfits? I bought a few beaded purses when I was in Vancouver and they looked good. Cheap in price. Quality was not there yet as the threads got lose and beads fall off. But when the do they will have a pretty market from all the Indian dancers out there. I kind of hope it doesn't happen. But who knows, I say the art of beading is dying for Indians. Some will argue it's not. All you have to do is check vendors at pow-wows and other Indian events and you don't see beaded stuff. It is time consuming and people don't want to pay for the amount of time and effort you put into the beading, never mind how much of an art piece it is. So beadings becomes a select hobbie for the purists and the ones who can't afford to pay five grand for an outfit. Anyways rambling here.
The museum was cheap to go to, well worth the costs.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thank you followers of the blog

Kitchi-Meeqwitch to you guys. I feel really good in having my blog read and having you sign on as people that follow.

I hope to say out loud things floating around in my head and things I notice around. I might decide to speak about other things than just moldy old Indians. One thing I admire is the people that can write funny. Not just funny stories, but write funny. That is hard to do.

I like to read the other blogs. Sometimes I forget which blogs I comment on because I don't follow them all.

I hope I'm not looking like I am sucking up or anything, just wanted to acknowledge your presence here. You know "announce your presence with authority".

Monday, September 27, 2010

How ruthless can one human being be?

Feel really bad today. I just found out that a good friend of mine was badly beaten. He was considered brain dead that day two months ago. I felt so bad that I did not know until today. I felt so bad that I did not keep up with how he was doing. That's the way it is; we never expect bad things to happen. Bad things do happen.
I told my friend I was really sad and upset that I didn't go see him earlier. I felt a lot of pain for my friend. Especially feel bad that I am helpless to do anything for him. I want to avenge his pain. Want to hurt the person who did this. But those thoughts can only ever be thoughts. I can only sit with him and visit. I am still in shock at the sight that I see. I know him. I know him to be a good hearted guy. I know him to make mistakes. I know him that he should not be in the shape he is.

My friend was almost beaten to death by a bad person. How ruthless can someone be to beat someone so bad that they are killing them? The truth is, it happens a lot and everywhere. From husbands beating their wives and kids, to friends beating friends. In the news some young teenager girl was found beaten to death. That is someone's child, sibling; someone's baby. We can sympathize and emphatize with the people but we can never know the true pain of another. And we shouldn't have to go through that. What can we do? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps something. I don't know.
All I know is that there are some real mean people out there. Maybe it is a mistake, maybe they didn't intend to go to far. Maybe???

I guess we can pray for the victims to get healthy. I don't know. Does prayer help? Maybe? My friends Mom said he was lucky to have 3 angels that day; the people who saw him being beaten and called the police, his own Mom for seeing his thumb move when she pleaded with him for a sign that he was alive, and the Doctor for believing her and seeing his thumb move as well.

I will go see my friend and visit. It is all I can do.

Well I am still upset, past the sad part of what happened to my friend, now into the angry thinking. For his part my friend, asks me how I am doing. Tells me I seem a lot better. He is concerned how I am doing. I ask him a lot of questions. Will there be brain damage? Will you arm ever work again? Will you get that eye sight back? He is optimistic. He has always been that way.

I have known my friend for about 15 years. We get along very good. I just didn't hang around with him (or anyone for the last five years). But I remember how he is. A good guy. He is not an Indian, but so what. Friendship goes beyond some stuff.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Clarence Twotoes

http://www.ryanmcmahoncomedy.com/
Clarence Twotoes, This guy is funny. I like his stuff.

I joined his group on facebook. He was recently posting about how some people are upset with his comedy and that he is not "tradish", or he is hurting the image of Indians or something to that effect.

The Indian Factor, ("member, I spoke about it before?")it causes us to be hard on ourselves. Sometimes it's the jealous factor but sometimes its "I am more Indian than you factor" or "I am more Traditional than you factor". We run into those people all the time. Take themselves way to much. "We need to pray", we need to thank the Spirits, we need to humble. Yeah we know. We see an ant on the ground, "offer some tobacco to the Spirits". Yeah we know, you have a relationship with the Creator that is more special than ours. Yeah we know.

We don't say goodbye in our custom, Yeah we Know!!! I remember I went on a trip to Rocky Boy Reservation in Montana. When we were leaving this fellow that we were visiting, I said "good bye" to the guy. Murray, my buddy I was traveling with, said we Indians don't say goodbye. Holy heck I was mad. Fucking guy I could have beat him up right there. You know he was cutting me up in his way. Yeah I know, we say G'waabaamin or G'waabaamigo; I'll see you or I'll see you as you are. Yeah we know. Holy heck these guys sometimes. We were together all the time on the trip, and he runs me like that. Heck anyway!

Back to this Ryan aka Clarence Twotoes. He is funny. If I could post a video on this page, but I don't know how to do that. Just can post a link for you to see.

Believe or not there are people who really REALLY talk like thish (Clarence).

I don't know the guy in person, but heck I am a fan of his stuff. I think we need more guys to show Indian humour.

People are always talking about how great our humour is, but man we seem to be crabby even more. :D

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vegas Baby! Indian in Vegas!

Still Celebrating my turning fifty years old. Suz took me to Las Vegas Nevada. Holy it was hot! Who the heck left the oven on? That's what it felt like when you went outside. The fake rocks on some of the buildings were like charcoal, Hot! The amount of people on the small skinny sidewalks was amazing. If you are scared of getting germs on you, don't venture outside. If you like to bump into people that are looking up at the sky, good place to be. If you like stepping on the backs of peoples' feet, a great place to try out your "oops! I'm sorry" line. You know when you step on the back of their feet and they turn to be angry and you make that puppy dog eye look and say with all the sweetness you can muster and say oops, sorry.
We stayed at the Palazzo. HOLY heck, that place is awesome!!! You see the movie Hangover? Well picture that room. Except smaller. On the forty first floor with a view of the Las Vegas strip. Having those kind of curtains that uses a remote control to open and close them. Open, close, Open, close. "STEVE!!! Quit fucking around with that remote!" Oops, I'm sorry.
Back home now and hanging with the babies. Speaking of babies. Holy heck, there were lots of young girls walking around there in Vegas. Skimpy outfits. Some very classy and happy looking. All walking around with these real big plastic bottles of some type of coloured drink. Some of those bottles were three feet tall. There were even this plastic guitar containers with a straw sticking out of them. The girls and maybe some guys, wore them like a guitar and there were some kind of liquid in them. Each of these containers must have held two to three litres. Holy heck, that's a lot of booze to be drinking by ONE person.
I didn't even spend five cents on any gambling machines. Not that I don't gamble. I do buy lotto tickets. The slots just seem so stupid and boring. Why go all the way to Vegas and sit at one spot for the whole time you are there. You miss out on the sights, sounds, the buildings, the people watching. People watching, now that is entertainment. I would go back there in a minute. Not today or anything, but maybe next year or a few years later. Guess that's not a minute. But it's a heck of thing, going to Vegas, a heck of a thing.

I remember my first trip to Vegas, it was in 1981. Sure was different. I got into a fight at the airport on my way back to Canada. Actually, it wasn't a fight as it was more of a mauling. I got mauled, beat up by this fat white drunken Canadian. A guy coming back on our flight. It was scary. The guy started the fight by blowing smoke in my face as we were in line at some airport store, getting a magazine for the flight. I turned and looked at him and he blew more smoke in my face, and said "what you going to do about it?" I laughed at him, called him an asshole and left the store. He came out mad looking and I waved at him, "hi asshole". He came over to me and punched me in the head. Then all hell broke lose. We were fighting. My hair got pulled out and I had a big bald spot on the top of my head; my coat was all ripped up and so was my shirt. My neck was all scratched up. Damn asshole. The cops were going to throw us in jail. That damn guy who was beating me, had family yelling that we started it. My friend at the time, jumped in to the fight and saved me from a bitch of good beating. It was funny. He leaped in the air like a pro-rassler. He bulldogged the guy. Like in the movies. People were screaming. It was a small airport. So people were all around. The cops were big. They were giving us the hard time. All the time my friend, another Indian guy, was yelling at them, "go ahead throw us in jail, we get this in Canada all the time". Holy heck I was scared. First time really out in the States. Had no money. What were the jails like here? Will I be a play thing? Holy heck, Please stop yelling at the cops.
Any way the cops just wanted us on the plane and gone. Holy heck it was a heck of a first trip. When I first went there. I played the slots. Coins came out the machines with all this great noise. It felt like you won a million bucks. I played the dollar slot coins. They used real, REAL dollar coins in the states. I must have won a hundred bucks. I put all those coins in my pockets and my pants were falling down, those coins were so heavy. I didn't know that those little plastic pails were for your coins.