Saturday, December 28, 2013

Regrets... guess everyone has em'.

Night time is a lonely time. Thoughts can be overwhelming when you are trying to sleep.

For me, it is a time when the regrets of life coming flooding into my head and there is no way to turn it off.

I wonder if its like that for everyone?  I don't remember what its like not to have regrets.  I wish I could have do this, been better at that, behaved better or treated this person better. My regrets focus on my actions or lack of action I guess?

In the big scheme of things I wonder how the big CEO's can manage? How they can justify to their family about the destruction their company is doing?  The oil, mining, ocean and forest industries?  How their actions kill the Earth?

For me its the individual things that I struggle with. I guess its that time of year. New year and all that. We want to have a fresh start. Do we really have a fresh start?

I mean like when you want to be a kinder person and this one day a guy makes you mad and you do get mad. Does that mean all the kindness you had been dong is gone? Does it mean you have to start all over again trying to be that person that is kind? To be able to say or actually feel like you are a kind person now?

Like the christians in their "back sliding" deal? ("To revert to sin or wrongdoing, especially in religious practice.")You know if you sway from the bible a little bit?  Is it like that?

Regrets, man they can sure mess you up.

Well I hope your regrets are few and you live a good life. What good life means for you, that is.

Cheers.

Steve

Friday, December 13, 2013

Is there a Neslon Mandela in all of us?




What did Nelson Mandela stand for?  Why was he so great? When did he know he was destined to become who he was?  Nelson Mandela was above all else a Freedom Fighter!

In his own words: "I had no epiphany, no singular revelation, no moment of truth, but a steady accumulation of a thousand slights, a thousand indignities and a thousand unremembered moments produced in me an anger, a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people." (from Long Walk to Freedom) 

That is what made him great. Do we have that in our people?  Do you know someone in your group that is like that?  Mandela gave up his life for his people. Can you imagine that?

Heck many in modern society can't even give up going for a car ride. Shit.

But there are many in general society and our own communities, that are freedom fighters. There many different types and different scales of struggle and sacrifice.

Some of those freedom fighters believe that words are not enough. Mandela felt this way at one time as well.

 "Sebatanan ha se bokwe ka diatla (the attacks of the wild beast cannot be averted with only bare hands)"

You see those girls singing in Russia that have been jailed? Those women are freedom fighters. Those  Greenpeace activist jailed in Russia for trying to climb an oil rig, well they are freedom fighters.

Now in no way am I comparing Mandela's fight, plight and success with that of others. Its just that there are many freedom fighters at various times, places and activities. Some freedom fighters have given their lives. Some have been jailed for 27 years under horrific conditions. Some are exiled, some are ostracized while others are inconvenienced. There are many different types of people doing many types of things to make the world they live in a better place. In Mandela's case he went to jail for his cause and his beliefs.

Mandela loved his country and his people. But he was not unrealistic.

"Many people have painted an idealistic picture of the egalitarian nature of African Society, and while in general I agree with this portrait, the fact is that Africans do not always treat each other as equals. Industrialization has played a large role in introducing urban African to the perceptions of status common to white society."

In the world today we must look at the reality of things. Can we be like Mandela? Can we look ourselves in the face and see what is there?

I know there are many in our community, the Indian community that believe we are lost, we are doomed, we are destined to become part of the white society. I think we are not. Our community is not the idealistic picture as well.  But our community has great things. One of those great things is people and a belief. Our beliefs in our ways is our strength. Sure we have some issues. We have been subjected to a vicious attack on our spirit. We are still living through that attack. There are some pains. Still we are recovering and there are those that never got broken.  Like in Mandela's case, there is no one thing that is awakening us. It is a host of thousands of stabs, that we are overcoming.

There are many freedom fighters in our community right now. All you have to remember is Idle No More. There are freedom fighters being born as we speak. Some are in grade school. I see this one little baby at many of the rallies. His mom is teaching him. To be proud of his people.

That is what Mandela was about, his people. He is an inspiration to all people.

We can build of off people like Mandela. In varying degrees of course.

We have people . We have freedom fighters in many ways.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Born Again... A good thing



Born Again the Wikipedia definition says this: "In Christianity, to be born again is to undergo a "spiritual rebirth" (regeneration) of the human soul or spirit from the Holy Spirit, contrasted with the physical birth everyone experiences. The origin of the term "born again" is the New Testament: "Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.'"[Jn 3:3 NIV][1] It is a term associated with salvation in Christianity. Individuals who profess to be born again often state that they have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.[2][3][4]"

Okay then, so basically people get a "do-over". That is great news. As I messed up first time around. Could have been a better Dad and a better son.  But what can you do, eh? Although I can truly say that the Creator is giving me a second chance with my kids and of course the Grandkids. Love those little demons.

I know people usually associate 'born again' with the christian population. Me, I am thinking more of the Indian crowd. The born again Indian in this case.

I was just thinking about this Elder that I heard speak a few times. She is a very knowledge person and sure knows her Traditions. Like most people she likes to put a little "dig" here and there.  That's how we are as people, Indian people.  We love our people but we also like to give the kick once in a while. You know how it is.  Anyways, her dig is about how she grew up Traditional and never had to be a born again Indian. She is right, but still...  I think she could give some slack to those that have not had the opportunity to live with parents or grandparents that did not suffer from the dominance of Christianity and the "get rid of the Indian" attack by government forces. I mean really? Is it their fault as to the circumstances of how and where they were raised?  Lot of our people have been on the end of the big stick that is called assimilation; aka the residential school experiment. The polices go back, way back and were honed by the master poet himself, Duncan Campbell Scott.  You know this guy? The guy who coined the phrase, "kill the Indian in the child".  Well lots of our people, most I would bet, have suffered from his long shadow of blunt force trauma. You like that? Kind of poetic?  No? Oh well, you get the picture, he was a bad guy for Indians and his actions were long in practice. So I don't agree with the giving digs to some (not all mind you) of our born again Indians. After all I am one for sure. Born again in the sense that I didn't practice Indian Spirituality or Teachings until I was introduced to them in 1980.  Before that I was just a regular Indian guy that learned Christianity at the Boarding school in Fort Alexander.

Like I was saying, the born again Indian is a good Indian. Although we know of some that are crazy. You know the type. The ones that know everything and must follow everything. Kind of like the crazy born again Christian. I like the Urban Dictionary definition of a born again:  born again christians are the sect of christianty for people who fucked it up the first time around. They believe that redemption will come from following the bible more literally than god would ever wish, to the point which their ideology becomes culty and near immoral. born-agains are extremely hypocritical and their misuse of god's texts and discriminitory views give Christianity a bad name. Ironically, it is these people who preach their superiority that are the biggest jack-asses. And then they have the nerve to look you in the face, after they have just finished bad mouthing gays and other religions, and preach the superiority of their ideology.   Similar situation with the born again Indian. Some of those guys and gals just go way over the edge wacko. You know those type, smelling of smudge all the time, whether its sage or bear-root. They tell you that you have to go Sweat. They will give you instructions on how to pray; how to behave; how to respect others and then call down some other Traditional Elders.  That's okay though, they just prayed.

But really the born again is a good thing for Indian country. They are the ones that have traveled down that colonial road and decided "no more jello pudding for me, ma".  Oops wrong reference. They are eager to learn, work hard at becoming a good Indian and even more, a good person. That is what it is really about. The roads we choose are full of obstacles. The tools we use to overcome those obstacles are things like belief. Belief is fundamental to any good Indian, whether they are Born free Traditionalist or the Born Again Indian. You believe that Indians had a very good path prior to contact. They believe in the pride of their heritage, their relatives (family or otherwise) and their ancestry. Born Agains are going to make new free born Traditionalists. That is a good thing.

So next time someone calls you a born again, say Miigwich, I appreciate that.





Sunday, December 1, 2013

A little bit of Sagkeeng First Nation Faces

Boogie & Uncle Bob

Jerry & George (Elder)

Auntie & Teesh



Allan Britney
Charlot

Isabel Brian

Marie Aunty

Joe & Don

Darlene, Barb, Linda, Marie

Lloyd Len

Harold

Dolres, Jeannie, Norman

Tasha, Donna

Debbie & Derrick

Frank, Chantal

Chief Donavon

Cuz's

Darlene

Buddy




Ron, Neil

Morris



Cuz's

Theo Fluery & Jess

Marylin & Fleury

Don & Theo

Smiley & Chuvalo
Smiley can't take a picture. :)



Elaine & Chuvalo

Perry

Ron & Sally

Edith Hall.


Turtle Lodge Davy Courchene
Sundance




Mona
Shorty

Nancy Richard