Monday, April 21, 2014

Are you an Apple?

My Mom was a great lady. The kind of person that was so open and honest.  Lot of people can be like that. Sometimes you have to laugh at the the things that they say. My Mom was the backbone of our family. The Mom who kept everyone together. I really liked her.

She went to Boarding (Indian Residential) school in Fort Alexander Indian Reserve. I think she had a grade three or four education. She loved to read. I remember as a kid my Mom had all sorts of reading books. She was also a good believer in the Church. She did her Rosary prayers all the time.  I don't I ever did one of those in my life.

Anyway my Mom would say some of the funniest things that you wouldn't expect her to say.  There is a radio station in Manitoba called NCI .  NCI is a Native radio station and has a lot of Native talent on there as hosts.  I remember there was this one gal on the radio that my Mom could not stand. Mom said "she sounds like an Apple".  Holy heck I didn't even know my Mom knew about Apples. So it was funny, this old Woman calling another Neechi (Friend Indian) an  Apple. Mom was not the type to really put down anyone. So it was really funny.

Apple is a put down of another Indian by an Indian. It means that the Indian is trying to be White. Have main stream values and ashamed of their heritage. I think for my Mom it was this woman's voice on the radio. I think at the time it was either Rosanna Deerchild or some other host. Not sure.

I am not sure if there are that many Apples these days. You know? Since its kind of cool to be Indian.
In his book Red Earth, White Lies, Vine Deloria, Jr. discussed why Americans wish they could be Indians:
They are discontented with their society, their government, their religion, and everything around them and nothing is more appealing than to cast aside all inhibitions and stride back into the wilderness, or at least a wilderness theme park, seeking the nobility of the wily savage who once physically fought civilization and now, symbolically at least, is prepared to do it again.
 Deerchild is quite a Woman. She is an accomplished writer a known radio personality and a very proud Native woman. I guess the way she talks, her accent or lack of one is what annoyed my Mom (if it was Deerchild).  I don't see her as being an Apple, the opposite actually. I think she is a good Native role model (in some circles).

I kind of laugh when I hear some Indians talk. There are the guys like Gerry Big Bear who is a radio host. Man he sounds like a White guy. There are many like this. I guess it is where they grew up. Maybe that is why they have no "Indian accent". It seems weird to look at them, when their voices don't match their face. My Mom was real Reserve, just like many of her people in her generation. Being Indian is what they were/are. So I guess it didn't appeal to them that others would rather be white than Indian.

They were some in our Reserve and other communities and cities where Indians claimed to be anything but Indian. They were White, Italian, or whatever but not Indian. Some tried to marry out of the Indian. Mostly Women in this respect. Saw it in our Reserve.

But today I think there is a resurgence of Indian Pride. So there is a lot less need to be White, or Apple. There is less of a need to hide who you are.  You see the constant and multiple attacks on the heritage, social conscious, and life of the Indian is being countered. It is being countered by the realization of Indian Spirituality. It never died. But now it is more and more being Lived by Indians. So with that Spiritual awakening, the pull or allure of Apple is almost over. The rise of the Indian is strong.

I imagine there are still a number of Apples out there. I don't know if they are on the radio stations or television shows. Maybe they are in main stream business or politics? After all that is still the strong hold of the middle aged white guy.

1 comment:

  1. I think its great that AB ppl are shedding the shame that colonialism has drilled into our heads. Liberation from oppression will hopefully happen and the term apple is be a thing of the past.