Saturday, March 28, 2015

If Its All About You Than You're Doing It Wrong.

Today a meeting of concerned community members took place at Thunderbird House in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Thunderbird House is in deep trouble.  The people met to come up with ideas and a plan on what to do. Thunderbird House is a Spiritual community house that is open to everyone looking for help. It just has no funds to keep its doors open.  My idea is to try and sell it. 

A letter went out to many of the Native entities in Winnipeg and to Native leaders and Directors of agencies. It was plea to start networking, to start dialog, to start supporting each other. What do you think happened?

A few interested people came out.

There were some interested people there, but none of the Leaders and Directors of other Native agencies.
That's too bad. But it is indicative of what is wrong with Native people.This is a copy of the letter that went out (it was edited to change the mistakes and some words but essential this is it).

Booshoo Tansi,  Good Friends

We need your brain, your ideas, and your input as to the image and operation of Thunderbird House. The Thunderbird House has been around for 15 years now. It is a place which has faced many challenges and has endured turmoil.  Thunderbird House has evolved to house many people and many activities.  It is a constant support for people wanting to conduct Ceremony or to hold seminar events. However, there is misperception of the House and what it stands for or what is its use should be.

We are somewhat aware of the view a few people have regarding the House.  Some may view the House as political and caters to a select few.  It is not the case and here is where we need your help; we would like you to provide direction for the future.  To see what Thunderbird House actually is and what it could strive to be:  A place for our community.  A place the everyone is welcome and able to utilize. There are very good organizations in the immediate and surrounding area of the House.  The foundation of care from those entities is primarily Christianity.  We offer a Traditional house. Many of our clientele are people that follow or want to follow an Indigenous Traditional path.  It is the foundation of Traditional Teachings we want to adhere to.  We know that support is needed for all of us to grow and continue to serve the people. That is what we are here to try and do. By talking, by sharing, by getting together and embracing other ideas, views and assistance, we can be stronger.

The criticism we hear about Native people is that they do not support one another. We know the opposite is true. We know people in our community care for one another. It is one of the things we are counting on. We are counting on you to come to our House and provide direction, provide ideas on where we go from here.  So let’s be the people to “walk the talk” and be kind to each to other, to share, to respect and to believe in each other.  

Come out to this March 20, 2015 10:00am. We would love to share food with you and have a luncheon, but we are poor in terms of cash.  We will have tea and coffee. It will be the start of a strong Circle of Friends working for the people.  When you work for the people you are working for the Creator. Be one of those who make the Circle of Sharing, Caring, Kindness and Belief work. Please contact us to let us know who you will be bringing.  

The people that came out to meet with the folks of Thunderbird House had a lot to say. Much of them talked about the impact Thunderbird House had on people and of its history and its intent. Some came to say much more. Many people wondered out loud why can't we support each other like other people do? Many were talking about ways to gain funds and support for the house.

In any case I was there for a while. I had two of my grandkids with me. Another Woman had her son there with her as well. My friend commented on that and said this: "It's whats good about Indians and gatherings; they have their kids all around. Other people don't have that. It might not be acceptable in some settings". 
Kids are a big part of our community. 

This is what I think:  I think we are getting to be pretty sad. In some cases pretty phoney. In some cases pretty ugly. In some cases just apathetic over what is going on. In some cases we only care about our little islands. In some cases we are only interested in protecting and maintaing our little kingdoms or queendoms or empires. In some cases it's this: why should I be interested in Thunderbird House, "I don't go there?" 

That is true many people of means don't use the Thunderbird House. Many people that can't afford to use it go there as well. The thing is this: those are your people there. Those are your people that don't have access to go to Sundance or Sweatlodge out in the country. Those are your people that just need a place to go and smudge have a cup of coffee. Those are your people that use the building to hold Wake Ceremonies for their families. That's it, Those Are Your People. It is all about your people.

If its all about you than you're doing it wrong

Being a Traditional Indian or compassionate Indian, I mean. 

 I like the idea that we can support each other. Just need to see it in action as oppose to an idea. 

The other night I listened to former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson do a speach on "UBuntu". 

From South Africa, a concept of reciprocity: that living in society demands that we take care of each other - that as it goes for one, so it goes for all of us. Ubuntu, reciprocity, is a statement of family cohesion and coherence that accommodates all living things. It also implies our connectedness - that we truly exist as individuals only when we take responsibility for each other, and that this responsibility goes back to our earliest beginnings as well as deep into the future.

Now this is doing it right. 

That is exactly what the Native community use to embody; looking after each other and reciprocity.

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