Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I am so lonesome for my Boy.



Every night, not one single night goes by that I do not sit and think of my boy. Losing your child is a horrible, horrible legacy.
I love my Boy.
I miss him so much.

So please take the time to remember your child. Even if they give you  a hard time.  You would give anything to meet those struggles rather than have your child die.
Not trying to bum you out (old 60s reference) but just sharing my pain at this exact moment.

Thanks for being here.

Take care and have a good night.

Steve


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Record a Ceremony and lose your Soul.

This summer The Aboriginal People's Television Network (APTN) in Canada aired a 3 part program recording of a SunDance Ceremony held in Manitoba.

Parts, 1,2, 3 in the links below.
http://aptn.ca/news/2013/08/14/the-sun-dance-ceremony/
http://aptn.ca/news/2013/08/14/sun-dance-ceremony-part-2-the-buffalo-dance/
http://aptn.ca/news/2013/08/15/sundance-part-3-the-conclusion/

Let's say the shit hit the fan over this program. APTN had to deal with a fall out of Traditional Indians attacking them and telling them they had no right to record a Sacred Ceremony. Many of the Traditional people were down right nasty and hateful. I guess they are protecting what they feel should be protected. I get that for sure. A few, mind you a very few, thought it was beautiful to see the Ceremony being shown on television.

With many Traditional people angry over the airing of the show, and strongly voicing their outrage, the news show, APTN invited a couple of Traditional people to speak about recording Ceremonies. One of the people to speak was a Sundance Chief and the other speaker was a Helper.  They spoke about how wrong it is to record Ceremony.
http://aptn.ca/news/2013/08/22/in-focus-deals-with-broadcasting-the-sacred-sundance-ceremony-part-1/

The words by both speakers condemned not only APTN recording of the Ceremony but also attacked the integrity of the  people that invited APTN to the Sundance.  Listening again to their comments made me think, "holy heck our people are stupid".  Yikes, who in the heck do I think I am, to say something like that. A blanket statement yet!  Of course we are not stupid. We are survivors, we are strong, we are adapters, we are still Indian. But yet we do say some crazy and stupid things.

What I do think is that we do fall into a place that is right in line with colonial thinking. I mean, really?, "our people never allowed recording."  Give me a fucking break. How asinine of a statement is this? Are we that unsophisticated that we can't allow something to be remembered?  Jesus H Christ, our Ancestors were some of the best recorders in history. How do you think, some Ceremony songs are still here after centuries? Or how come we know the Creation Teachings?  Our people recorded things. Of course we didn't have a camcorder or youtube at the time. We recorded in many ways; oral Teachings, Wampum Belts, Scrolls, Totem Poles, Paintings, Beadwork, Language, Petroglyphs, Pictographs, Cave Paintings, Geoglyphs, Tattoos and Petroforms are just some examples of recording significant instances or Teachings.


We have adopted some of Hollywood influences into our everyday consciousness and even into folklore. We have become our own colonizer.  We think we should be static as a Nation in order to be truly Indian. That ship has sailed folks. We are still here and we are still Indian. Only thing is we do drive cars, have cell phones and can use a camera without thinking it is going to steal our soul.

One of the arguments made was that not recording would keep it Sacred.  I call Bullshit on that. Tobacco is sacred. Sacred in the value and the use of it. How sacred is tobacco when you smoke a pack a day. You throw your cigarette butts on the Ground. Mother Earth, our Sacred Mother?  Its all context people!  Of course Tobacco is sacred and its not going to be less Sacred just because others use it for personal pleasure.  It is Sacred in how you still use it in that way, the Traditional way. So Sundancing for the people is Sacred, so what if there is a camera. Is your prayer or your sacrifice that much weaker? Of course not. As for the decreasing of its Sacredness I know that could happen. When we commodify things. When we make it into a money maker, commercialize or for entertainment, I see that and get that. This is not the case. Our whole way of living is Sacred: The Hunt, the Trapline, Fishing, Praying, Ceremonies, the Roles of the Youth, the Carrying of a Pipe, the Taking a Tree, the Naming Ceremony, the Feast, the Role of Parents. Is it any less if we take a god damn picture? More of our people know more about the Bible that our own ancestral Teachings. How sad is that? And we still want to deprive our people of seeing our Ceremonies/Teachings?  How sad is that?

Our people are here. Many people do not have the luxury or wherewithal of being able to attend a Sundance Ceremony, let them be able to rejoice in the Sundance in a medium that is available to them.



Monday, November 11, 2013

Remembrance Day November 11, 2013




It is always something to see the Veterans at the Remembrance Day Ceremonies. I watched the Ottawa Ceremonies on television this year.

I saw our Prime Minister lay at wreath at the Monument in Ottawa. I saw a number of Indians there as well. A wreath was laid on behalf of the Assembly of First Nations.

I also was thinking of how Canada has been treating the Veterans. And from their record, it is not very good treatment. Shameful in fact.




http://rightojibwe.blogspot.ca/2009/11/young-indians-should-join-armed-forces.html

http://rightojibwe.blogspot.ca/2010/11/uncle-henry-pow-wwii.html


Friday, November 1, 2013

"Fooled 'em all again".

A childhood friend (Burnell, he was more known as Fabian) died a few weeks ago. It was he that coined the phrase "fooled 'em all again" for me. Not coined it as the first one to ever say it, but to use it back home as a joke. He was talking about his older brother Sheldon. Sheldon was a larger than life fellow. Strong as an ox, talked to anyone and everyone, but didn't have substance. You know character substance. That is where Fabian came in. He said to us one day about Sheldon, " I wonder at night before he goes to bed, if he says, fooled them all again".  We all laughed. Fabian wasn't being mean he was just like that, had a smart wit (for a guy that many at one time thought was slow).

I have been thinking a lot about that phrase lately. It came up again with my friend Douglas. His wife is this nice sweet lady that you see as kind an considerate, you know? A lady. Doug says she is anything but what you see out in public. She can curse like a southern state redneck truck driver. Blow farts that would shame a five hundred pound man. Ah, just kidding. Doug just likes to poke the bear whenever he gets the chance. His wife is actually quite normal.

But really I have been thinking about the 'fooled 'em all again' because we see that so much today. It is everywhere. In Canada the ruling government is rampant with problems and the leader of the country says "no, everything is hunky". He is known as a guy that controls everything in his ruling party. No one in the party can do or say anything unless he lets them. And now he expects everyone to think that He the leader had no knowledge of a cheque scandal in the Parliament Senate House?  Fooled 'em all again. You see these Senators that the leader selected have been caught doing some bad stuff. The Leader (Stephen Harper), Prime Minister of Canada, did not know his Chief of Staff wrote a cheque for ninety grand to pay off one Senator's bad doings. It was also found out that another cheque for sixteen grand was written to pay off this Senators legal bills. The Prime Minister at least admitted that it was standard practice for his party to pay legal bills of his party members. The thing is people are buying this from the Prime Minister. Oh well, I guess he can go to bed at night and say, "fooled 'em all again". 

The other news is the Mayor of the City of Toronto, Bob Ford. It has been confirmed that there is in fact a tape of him smoking crack cocaine. Ford denied that he smoked crack while being Mayor. But the police have found the hard drive. He still says he has no reason to resign. He is still going to bed at night, "fooled 'em all again".

Another big 'fooled 'em all again' group is the pro-fracking lobbyists and oil companies. They know and everyone knows it is not "if", there will be contamination, but when the contamination will occur. The other big fooled 'em again is the pipe lines. Not if there will be a leak, but when. And the artic oil expeditions and drilling. Everyone knows there is no way to cap out in that environment. But hey no one lives there anyway.  "Fooled 'em all again". Also the media and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are big "fooled 'em all again" players. The police arrested 40 people in New Brunswick over fracking protests. The police were filmed in full cammo, armed with sniper rifles and were caught shouting obscenities at the Native protestors. But yet the media blamed all of the action on the Natives, "fooled 'em all again". 

Seems like we are in a fooled 'em all again period. I guess that's the way it is.

Me, I think that the young, the Aboriginal, the smart, the concerned, the environmental conscious will stand up and say, "nope, not fooling us this time".  

Elsipogtog First Nation

Elsipogtog First Nation take on Fracking company and Police

I see you, police.  Elsipogtog First Nation.