Monday, May 31, 2010

"When you're rich and famous, you'll send me a postcard... "

Remember that scene in the movie the Jerk? A funny movie in its time. Steve Martin as a poor black man. He is in the gas station and Jackie Mason let Steve stay at his gas station. So Steve asks how much, Jackie says, "nothing, when you are rich and famous you'll send me a post card". Steve says "a post card? Okay it's a deal".
Later on Steve sends Jackie a post card.

"Dear Harry, guess what?

"I'm rich beyond my wildest dreams.
"But I haven't forgotten our deal.
Here's that postcard I promised you.
"I bet you thought you'd never get it.

"Your friend forever, Navin."

How do you like that? (Jackie)

He promised me a postcard,
and he sent me a postcard.
Kid has integrity.

I am going to do you a favour as well. Here are two ideas that will send you on your way too.

First one is a key chain. Almost everyone has a key chain. The key to this idea is that the key chain will be a key. A Key! Key chains are in most people's pockets. These key chains have some type of little trinket attached to the chain. Some of those trinkets can have great sentimental value to the holder. Me I think a trinket is a trinket but and that's a big but, if the trinket is given to you by your child or someone special in your life, that trinket is no longer a trinket. The key chain I am thinking of has no sentimental value. It will be a trinket on your key chain. But that trinket will be jazzy. Jazzy, snazzy, shiny, and maybe attractive. The trick is the trinket. The trinket will be a key. Not just any key, like a Ford Pinto, a Gremlin, a Pacer, a Pony, or a Chevy Vega (for the younger folk, not a key that would fit into a Cavalier).

The Key will be of the most exotic cars you can imagine. The Ferrari, the Maserati, the Bentley, and even a car like the lowly Jaguar. Each of these keys will have a beautiful depiction of the car, so when people see the key (chain) they will know what kind of car it is. The key may not be an actual key of what the keys are today, but what people think a fancy car key could be. Keys are not keys any more, many are key fobs.

Just imagine yourself sitting at your local coffee house, cafe, lounge with your key ring on the table as you sit all cool, with your Foster Grants, your Dockers and your Birkenstock sandals. People will know, they will know by your key that you are more than a JC Penny type of guy or girl. They will see that you are a person of refinement. And all because of the key. The key to your possibilities! So you can have that idea. Did you know in some places people would put their keys on the table so the ladies and the guys would see what you drive. This was a pick up ploy. But I give you this idea not for that. I want you to be beyond that. Think of it. You will be bigger than you are now. Just with that key!

Now the other idea I am giving you is not politically correct and might seem really childish. Hey, we have people like that and that is who will purchase your product.
This one is a game. Not just any game, but a fun one. You know you can play monopoly with your kids. Well this one you really shouldn't unless you want Child Protection come calling on you with the police, who use battering rams to smash open your door, snatch the kids from your grasps, ignore your wails of protest and your weeping, moaning and crying hysterically. No this game is for adults. And not those teetotalers either. You have to be a drinker. Preferably a social drinker as this is a social game.

The game will be a board game with the added electronics. Simple electronics like the game Operation. The other component will have a small version of the game Simon.
There is also a game played at fairs that test your hand eye coordination. It is a simple electronic game. You have a metal ring that you must remove from a twirling curved rod. The rod is about 12 inches tall and sits on a base that rotates the rod. the ring is placed on the base in the middle of the rod. If you touch the sides of the rod with the ring, the buzzer sounds just like the Operation game. This one is a bit more challenging.
The board game called "GET HOME" will have these components. As you move your pieces (cars) around the board, you will run into several obstacles. A space will be a police officer stopping you and asking you to remove your wallet (ala the operation component) and you use a tweezer type hand to remove the wallet. If you touch a side you will be arrested or fined (moved back). There will be a check stop at some point on the board where you will have to conduct a sobriety test. You will need to walk the line (like the Fair rod game) if you fail, well it's jail. The memory (Simon) portion of the game will be used at another check stop. There will be shortcuts that you can use on the board, like back lanes but you run the risk of getting arrested by the police and must go to jail.

The game is meant to play at a social event, either while you are entertaining friends while having a few drinks. The hand eye portion of the game will show you how drinks impair you. It is not to encourage drinking but to add to the social evening. People already drink in social settings. In any case there you have it.

I know in the Reserve this game would sell (place stereotype here). Just kiddin'. It is a game that will not be attractive to a whole group of society but will be okay to a portion. I tell you this game will sell. You don't have to be having drinks to play the game, but having drinks will show how your coordination is affected by booze. Not advocating booze, just saying if you are doing that in a friendly safe setting, why not play a board game.

Go forth and have fun.

Going to Pukatawagan Cree Reserve

Well I got the opportunity to go to Pukatagwagan Reserve in Northern Manitoba. Only two ways to get there, an eight hour train ride from The Pas, Manitoba, or by airplane. Oh, yes, you can drive on a winter road during the cold months, but not right now. My brother Don has a consultant business and he gets jobs with Reserves. He got an email from Carolyn Constant of OCN, Opaskwayak Cree Nation near the town of The Pas. She needed someone to provide a 3 day-seminar. My brother was going in for an operation and he couldn't go, so he asked me. I was happy and excited to go. I had never been to Puk (as it is locally called), so the opportunity to meet new people and see the Reserve was good for me.
I left Winnipeg at 5:30 pm on Tuesday. There is an Indian gas station just on the outskirts of the City. It is Roseau River Ojibway Reserve land. A number of Reserves in Canada were cheated out of land and there are a number of land claims taking place right now. It is a very slow, expensive and complicated process. The problem of Land claims is compounded because the Federal Government has no land, with the exception of federal parks and National Defense land. The provinces have control over all non-private land in Canada. The provinces are not technically responsible for the Indian land shortage, but they still are involved in the land claim talks. It is a long and ugly story. So I gassed up my car on the Reserve. It is here that I get a discount on gas. The Reserve can fore-go the tax on Indians when they gas up. It results in a few cents being dropped from the full gasoline price. Anyway, while I was gassing up the car. A group of Indians were gathered in the corner of the parking lot taking pictures. I went over to see what was going on. This was the group of people, young mostly, that walked from Nelson House Manitoba, Canada. The group was part of a Running Club that the Native community holds. Nelson House is a Cree Reserve about 900 Kilometers north of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The road I take to The Pas is highway number six north. It is a six hundred Kilometer trip so that is about 6 hour drive, not too bad. I drove up to Fairford Reserve before I stopped for more tea, and gasoline. Fairford is called Pinaymootang by the Indians there. I think it means where the Partridge (Grouse) nests, but I don't know me. You turn off the highway six onto highway sixty and go past the Easterville community, also known as Chemawaywin Reserve. I didn't stop here for fuel. I decided to go through and keep on driving down the highway. I saw three deer, one black bear and one wolf as I made my way in The Pas. I pulled into the town about midnight. I was pretty lucky as Carolyn had booked me a room at the Kikiwak Inn, the hotel owned and situated on the OCN Reserve. I was very surprised to see a wolf by the highway. It was when I was close to The Pas when I saw the wolf. Carolyn's husband Arnold, told me that there were quite a few of them around that area.

Wednesday morning Carolyn and I were to fly out to Pukatawagan. Due to freezing rain, we were told to wait until that afternoon. We flew out to Puk in a Navaho plane. It was a hour long very windy ride. I put my head to the side of the window and went to sleep. I don't fly well. In some cases I would have thrown up. Upchucked on whomever was seated beside me, but not this time. I was the ultimate cool, cool as a cucumber.

Pukatawagan airstrip is a little ways from the Reserve. I am not sure but most of the airstrips in the northern communities are not situated on Reserve land, but rather on Provincial land. But who knows. There had been rain up in the Reserve. Mud-atawagan is the name that Puk gets, and rightly so. There is no real access to gravel up there. The roads are made up of clay mud. When it rains it is heavy and sticky. There are no cars up there. People use trucks and four-wheel quads. The winter road and the community road would beat up a car in no time. Even the RCMP (provincial police) use four by four trucks with big knobby tires. I did not take rubber boats on my trip. I wore sandals and brought my running shoes. I dressed for comfort of the south and never even thought about what it would be like in the north. I was lucky that I took a jacket. My wife made me take a sweater and a jacket. You know how women are, nag-nag-nag. Jeez, you would think I was a kid or something. I am a grown man I can take what I want. Anyway I decided to take a sweater and a jacket on the trip. It was raining heavy and one morning there was frost. Just a little bit of frost.

There are no hotels up in Puk. People try to get permission to stay at the nurses trailer. The nursing station has a trailer for their staff that come into the community. The trailer was full-up so Ralph Caribou asked his sister if we could stay at her place. Carolyn has a cousin up in the Reserve so she went stay with them. The people who took me in where very nice people, Andrew Dumas and Claire Caribou. Claire works as a janitor for the nurse's station. Andrew is hard of hearing, so it was fun talking with him. He would look at me sometimes and laugh. I would laugh too, but I had no idea what I was laughing at. I think he thought I was a bit simple, as I talked lots to him and he just stared at me like I was crazy. Andrew has one of those vine plants in his living room. He has tacked the vines to the ceiling. The vines go all over the house. There must be some dampness to the vines or something, because their smoke detector kept beeping every few minutes. It was making me crazy, I wanted to rip those things done from the ceiling. Andrew and Claire are immune to the sound.

Carolyn and I were hosted by Ralph Caribou. He was the ex-Chief of the community. He is now working for the University College of the North. He is in charge of the UCN program located in Puk. Ralph and Carolyn want to bring a carpenter apprentice program to Pukatawagan. Housing in Reserves is a major issue. There is a shortage of houses in all (I say that with confidence) Reserves in Canada. In addition to the housing shortage, there is the issue of poor housing. Whether it's poor workmanship, old homes, and mold issues. Pukatawagan has an additional issue with soil contamination. The old school had diesel fuel lines leaking underneath the building. Children got sick. The school had to be closed by the community before anyone would examine the situation. A number of homes are situated on contaminated soil and have to be torn down. Not a very good situation for the community.

The group of people that took part in the workshop were Reserve carpenters and a few people that are going to be working in their sawmill. Taking part were Jonathon Bear, Melvin Castel, Ken George Colomb,Carolynn Constant, Terri (with an "i") MaCallum, Gladys Sinclair, Cody Bighetty, Cornelius (Professor) Linklater, William Colomb, Eli Caribou, Jerome (I have been a carpenter for 25 years!) Colomb, Elton Bighetty, Darcy Colomb, Sheldon Caribou, Johnny Baker, Zack Black, Joseph Colomb.

It was a lot of fun to be in the community. The host Ralph Caribou and his wife made us a lunch. It was fried Pickerel (Walleye), Bannock made with brown flour, mashed potatoes, steam vegetables, and some blue berry jam. I passed on the jam. Have never been a fan, although I like blueberries. My Mom was crazy over jam and so is my wife. Me I pass on the stuff. I can tell you I have most likely had better tasting food before, but this feast was up there for sure. The food we ate was so good, mmmmmm aaaaaaahhhhhh. I had my share of the food and then some.

The group of people we visited with and dealt with were great. A good bunch of Indians. Laughing, teasing and being shy all at the same time. Jerome kept telling us he was a carpenter for 27 years. He didn't say 25, he made sure to let us know it was 27. A master carpenter. Johnny was one of the more vocal in the crowd. Not afraid to let us know what he thought. He was the guy that introduced me to the BBW's. Big Beautiful Women. I like that. Or he said they could be Big Bodacious Women. There was a young guy named Cody, I hope he does well in the future. Corn is a guy there that is very smart. One of those guys that visualizes things and then finds a solution. And of course there were a couple of girls in the class. Good for them. ;) :D

On Friday we had the opportunity to go visit the University building situated in the Reserve. The University College of the North has a couple of trailers up in the Reserve where classes take place. I met this amazing lady there. Shirley Anderson is an Ojibway (actually Saulteaux) from Fairford First Nation (aka Pinaymootang). She is my new hero. She can speak Anishinabe like a professional. She has one of those friendly ways, not afraid to share, laugh and joke with you. She talks with you like you have known her for years. A very interesting childhood (from what I heard in that little bit of time visiting with her). She has a strength that comes through in her mannerism. Not the schnook type. You know what a schnook is; loud, brash, arrogant, insensitive, mean. Nope this lady is definitely not a schnook, but she ain't no wall flower either (not sure why I used ain't, I ain't no damn American).

On Friday at 4:30 pm it was time to head back to the The Pas. I met a few people at the airport. Johnny and Melvin were there. Johnny was having some meat flown into the Reserve. So we had a chance to hug and say goodbye. He didn't strike me as the hugging type, so I didn't hug him or Melvin. Melvin was a very energetic and interesting guy. He wants to learn and he is not afraid to seek answers to his questions. I didn't get the chance to learn about his family life. But I didn't get the chance to visit people in the evenings. I am sure they were busy in the evenings.

We were quite lucky on return trip to The Pas. The plane was a medi-vac plane so it was faster and smoother than the regular Navajo that we came into Puk with. I guess something was wrong with their Navajo plane. The Medi-Vac Service is vital to the north. When people are seriously ill, the plane is their only means to get to a hospital.The Medi-vac is a life line.
When we first arrived to Puk on that Wednesday a Perimeter Airline plane was grounded there. It had hit a Seagull on the way down. So on Friday the plane was still being fixed. Scary to be a passenger going back on that plane. Perimeter is based out of Winnipeg Manitoba. We spoke with the pilot of that plane and he was confident that it would be okay. He said the mechanic is going to ride back with him. The Airlines in Manitoba are key to the well being of a number of Reserves in Manitoba. Many communities are isolated and have limited modes of transportation routes. The winter road life is vital for them. That is when fuel and building materials are brought into the community. Pukatawagan is lucky in one respect, that they have a rail service. Other communities can only rely on the air in spring and summer and the frozen winter road in the winter months. With the warming climate, short winter seasons have been raising havoc on the isolated Reserves that are in the South of the province. This year, many hauling trucks got stuck on the ice roads and could not finish hauling supplies. The cost and impracticability of flying material is just too cost prohibitive. Flying back it was not as windy so the ride was a lot smoother. I did grab the little Filipino guy sitting next to me when we first took off. I grabbed him kind of hard and it was a little bit of a spectacle, as I was the only person to ask the pilots for puke bags. The pilot was very concerned, he did not want me to throw up on the floor. There were 5 other passengers; Cree women; they laughed at me. Women!

In The Pas I gave a Shirley and one of the Cree ladies a ride to their hotels. Shirley bought me lots of Earl Grey tea for the road trip. I started out to Winnipeg right after I fueled up the car. I was using my wife's 03 Corolla. It's good on gas, but a little loud on the highway. Highway noise can be quite loud in these little cars.

Just outside of the town of The Pas, I picked up a hitch-hiker. His name was Michelle Reba from Quebec. I swear to God, his accent was so strong, he sounds like former Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chretien. He is 48 and a Pentecostal preacher, a Christian. He goes from Reserve to Reserve preaching the bible. I had thought about letting him off, but decided to visit with him. He did preach quite a bit. We had some sparring back and forth, and he would come back with "the Lord works in Mysterious ways". He certainly does. I asked him if he shakes around and hits people in the forehead real hard. He said he doesn't go for that. I asked him why God was testing Abraham when he sent him up the mountain to sacrifice his son. Michelle said God wanted to know if Abraham truly love him. I asked Michelle why was God so insecure and how come he didn't have faith in Abraham that his love was real. We had that type of conversation up to the outskirts of Winnipeg. I bought Michelle lunch and pop. He sold me a Saskatchewan flag for twenty-five dollars. Michelle told me that I cannot tell people about my kindness to people. If I do I would lose the reward that Jesus had in store for me. I said okay.

I arrived back into Winnipeg around midnight, it was raining pretty good. It was nice to be home. I visited with Suz and ended up watching Star Trek until two thirty in the morning.

That was my trip to Pukatawagan. I would for sure go back and visit. This time I would take rubbers and some gifts for people. I didn't really have gifts to give, so I gave my razor, a sweater, a little cash,peanuts, and some beef jerky to my hosts.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Friends come and go.

This is a painting done by David Blacksmith. It depicts a WindigoKan. They come out at the Sundance and bless the people. Here the Windigokan is at the Tree of Life. A lot of symbolism in this piece. David and his family conduct ceremonies for the people. He has put this picture image on a t-shirt. It is to fundraise for the Sundance they host in Manitoba.

Well it's all good. We have friends when we are kids and meet new ones as we go along in life. Our attitudes change, and we go in different directions.
I have many friends that no longer are my friends. Just kind of old acquaintances. That is okay. Some friends are no longer friends. Just people I once knew but no longer know. I love to watch little kids play. I think kids are the best friends to each other when they are young. We got so much to contend with when we are older.

I was a friend, in a superficial way with this woman, Lana. I have now found her to be a bad person. She might think the same way of me, but I know that would only be to justify her actions of betrayal. She betrayed a mutual friend. A friend that she once called her lover. Me I thought she was funny and tried to hard to be smart. You know the type, hard working to be in the know, but not having natural smarts, and a bit naive at times. I know that sounds cruel but that is the way it is with some people. My friend Earl & I use to make sport of her, not malicious, but make fun because she tried so hard. I did like her. Now I don't think I would give her the time of the day. Never mind pee on her if she was burning. Ah I think that is a bit much, I just don't think I would talk to her again. Which is sad and bad but we can't always be forgiving.

I was friends with relatives and will always be relatives to them, but for some reason don't visit with them anymore. Some of these relatives were really close as we grew up. I guess life takes you in different directions. I remember when we were younger we spent a lot of time with our friends and family. Now as I am older I spend most of my time with my immediate family; wife, kids and grandkids. I miss visiting with other friends, but that is okay. I am sure they are appreciating their families as well. I view some of these long time friends as crazy people. :D Some friends it is a blessing that they are no longer in my life. Or a blessing for them that I am no longer in their lives. For many we have just gone down (cliche here) different roads, different paths or just different ways.

Many times I feel real bad that my friends are gone. I have a lot of good thoughts about them and hope they remember good times we had.
Like tonight, I miss my friends, I miss my boy. He was my good friend.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hey you F*ing Wagon Burners

Been over to my sisters place in the Reserve for a BBQ today. It was a nice day. I like the Reserve and the family. The Reserve sure has some great aspects, like knowing who people are. Even the people in the nearby town. When we were kids we used to go to town and walk around, maybe a little shop lifting for small junk. I was one of those guys that didn't think anything of my actions. Just did what my mind said to do.
The thing was in town, even though we look white, the town folk knew who we were, we were Indians. Which is fine, it's the best that way. You belong with who you are. You knew were you stood. There was a line both figurative and literal as to who you belonged to. In the hospital we had the two waiting rooms, one for Indians and one for Whites. It wasn't racist, it was just the way it was and it was comfortable.
We were not town folk and they were not Indians.
I remember it was normal to walk along the road in the Reserve and White people would drive by and yell at us, "hey get the f**k off the road you f**king wagon burners". It was just the way it was. I remember we used to throw rocks at cars or the big semi-trailers going through the Reserve. Dumb I know. It was the way it was.
Been thinking about that a lot lately, 'the way it was'. I remember as kids with games played,we use to do the 'e-ni-mi-ne mi-ne mo, catch a n****r by the toe' rhyme. It was not right but it was the way it was. But that's the thing, it doesn't have to be just the way it was, the way it is. We have the ability to change it.
Doesn't matter if we are ignorant of the fact, it is not right. We need to get informed, to learn, to educate ourselves. It never occurred to me as a kid that the Jew in the Bible was related to the Jew used as a metonymy for cheap. It is wrong and there is no excuse for it. I don't want my kids growing up and saying that's the way it was. We need to be better than that.

I want my kids to live better than I did. To be better than I am.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Indian humour what the heck.

Jackjack with his big head. His parents didn't laugh
Just wondering if we can pin down what Indian humour is. Is it the self-deprecating humour? You know the type of humour and jokes that put ourselves down. There is the one story of the Russian fellow that came hunting in Canada. They were out hunting in the bush, when the Russian and his guide came across an Indian running past a clearing. The guide shot the Indian. The Russian was shocked. The guide told him, it's okay we're allowed to shoot Indians up here. As they arrived back to their bush cabin, they spotted an Indian running away from the cabin with a six pack of beer. The Russian quickly sighted and shot the Indian. The guide said, "what the heck you do that for, we're going to get in trouble!". The Russian, said "you said it was alright to shoot Indians up here?" The guide said,"yeah, but you can't bait them!"
Or is Indian humour that toilet humour (double entendre :-)): "That damn bar uses John Wayne toilet paper!, What's that? It's rough and tough and don't take no shit from Indians." Or is it blue humour, the kind you don't use in public, but do anyways. Or is it slapstick, sarcasm, satire, or non-sense? Is it the type of joke where we say "do women like it when you screw them?" And the old guy answers, "well, put your finger in your ear and move it around?" Or is it like a deadpan, "no disrespect, but your short, fat, bald and ugly!"

I am not sure, but Indian humour could be a host of all those things mixed together. You fall down, and people laugh. Like when we were out rice picking and my Dad called my brother-in-law Smiley by our dog's name, Leroy. Or when my brother was thrown head over heals down a rock embankment off of the 3-wheeler machine. He was flung in the air like he got tossed over the top rope of a wrestling ring. He could have died, as he landed on a big pile of jagged rocks, but I still turned to Smiley and laughed like it was a scene from the three stooges.

Humour has become a defense mechanism for all sorts of people, non-Indians included. I remember when I listened to the Columbia shuttle explosion. The joke came out not too long after, "What does NASA stand for? Need Another Seven Astronauts." It was some morbid and black humour. Some say that is a way to deal with tragedy. Like as young guys we used to hear the older guys tease each other "you got bad thoughts, Tigha?(not sure what the real word is, it's French)" This was a reference to the infamous Father Palmado, who used to wash the boys in residential school. The priest would tell the boys that they had bad thoughts so he washed them, thoroughly (their genitals in case you didn't pick it up with the thoroughly remark). 

I remember when my Friend Merv had passed away. The Wake was taking place at his brother's place. Merv's new girl-friend was there as well. I was teasing and talking to her a bit. It was fun. I turned to Merv's brother and told him, "jease, Merv's not even cold yet and she's hitting on me." He laughed. That was good.
Or humour could be used to make fun our selves and our mortality, like when Marcel Guibouche talks about age: "Holy heck, everyone is getting so old, even my kids are older than me".

Not sure if you could pin down Indian humour but it sure is a fun thing to have. Or could Indian humour be those slack jokes or puns we all try to get away with, and maybe even some gross stuff. Like this guy from our Reserve was having sex with this woman from another Reserve. She had the big Indian accent and Ojibway is her first language. Anyway they were going at it, when he "slipped" (actually his "thing" slipped). She yells at him, "kawiin imaa".(it slipped into her bum hole, so she said "not there". Yes Indian humor is crude and rude at times. Indian humor gets lost sometimes with the younger crowd.

With Indian Humour there is no shyness when it comes to body functions and sex; even bad sex or forbidden sex. People also are big into teasing. Teasing is fundamental part of Indian Humour. Teasing is not limited to a setting. You can be in mid-prayer at a Ceremony and someone might tease you. Mostly tease you after you finished speaking of course. Indian humour can be lost on many people, even other Indians. One thing is about Indian it seems to be a staple with Indigenous folks. Like the Moari and the Aborigine of Australia.

One thing about Indian humour is that it can be really harsh, crude, insensitive, sexist, uncivil and not comfortable. Not comfortable for even Indian folk, especially the younger generation and really old.
Like this: A young girl was testifying at her rape trial. The Judge had asked her to explain what happened. In her very heavy Indian accent, she said "and then he put it in my vir-gin-yah." Either implying her vagina or her virginity.

Just recently I had the opportunity and the solemn task of saying the Eulogy for an Elder and a friend who died.  There was a lot of hurt among the family and it was a very stressful situation for the family. I spoke of the Elder but mostly poked fun at some of our shared memories. It was not a eulogy of speaking about how great he was but how much fun we had. I looked out in the crowd and said "I see many of you in the crowd today and you would have to pay people to go to your funeral."  It didn't go off as I would have thought. I was trying to tease the crowd but they may have felt I was singling them out and speaking right at them. To me it was funny. Humour is like that, it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pepsi in baby bottles, so good & so bad

At the high school in Sagkeeng they are having a health fair for two days. I went over to visit my cousin the principal there. He is a heavy guy, always been active, but is now a bit heavy. A couple of my other cousins work at the school and they are heavy as well. Why I mention them is that they were very active athletes as young men, but have now grown big. I see lots of my relatives getting big. Everyone is getting big. We know the world sees beauty as skinny bone racks, but being really heavy is not good. We have lots of health problems. The health fair gives us a snap shot at what we face and where our kids are heading to.

I remember as a young guy I used to see some babies having Pepsi in their baby bottles. That was years ago. I hear that it still takes place. You know drinks (pop) are sweet and kids like it. So it makes sense to give the little kids a drink. But really we're doing so much damage to our kids like that. The display of bottle showed us how much sugar is in a can of pop. Holy smokes! No wonder we get sick. We are addicted to pop, to sugar. Yuck. I am guilty of buying pop for my 13 year old and for my grand-daughter. But no more. I vow to stop doing that.

I am also very bad for going to McDonalds. I take my grand-daughter for nuggets and fries all the time. Tonight I talked with Chloe and we are now going to boycott rotten ronnies. I intend to keep this one. I want my kids to have the best and that means having their health.

It's so easy to get to eat junk and be lazy. I have to be a better role model for the kids, so that means getting rid of my big belly and my man boobs. Although they are quite attractive.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Man, I'm giving you gold, I tell ya, it's gold.

I was sitting on the Throne the other day reading my book. My wife hates that. She goes to have a shower and I sneak in to use the the toilet. Usually she never hears me sneaking in, but for some reason she manages to know I am there. She yells at me, "are you pooping?!?" I told her I would give her a complimentary flush. I was suppose to say courtesy flush, but Hey, I make mistakes with my cliches sometimes. But that's okay she knows what I mean.

So I have 23 flowers now. That is great. These people must be the some of the most smartest people on the planet. You know the kind of people that see diamonds while others see coal. Yep, this blog is gold. The words that flow on the screen are like drops of cool mist across your face on a blistering hot day, cool. You see these 23 people can see that these words here are more than words. It's like a tablet. A tablet for the ages, for the historians to find and discover the lost words. Yep, I am happy to appease the followers, these enlighten creatures of the universe, these special people (not special as in "special" but special as in way ahead of the curve).

So be proud of yourselves my good people, you are in the know, you found the gold, you know the 'secret' that others are missing out on. I will continue to water the garden we have here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tyler has been found.

This boy is lost in our Reserve.
I wonder where this boy went? Wonder what happened? The search in the Reserve continues. I can't imagine the anguish, the horror of not knowing.
He has been missing for over 6 weeks now. People go out and look for him all over. They have been searching the bush, the creeks, and have not found him. There is no hope that he is alive. Hard to think about. People are wondering if someone did something to him. Rumours abound. People are searching but where to look. People are saying someone must know something. Who knows?
SAGKEENG FIRST NATION -- There is a growing suspicion that foul play might be involved in the disappearance of Tyler Arkinson, the 14-year-old RCMP are searching for with dog teams and aircraft.

"(RCMP) have some new idea," said Camille St. Croix, the first cousin of Tyler, speaking for the family after he met with RCMP Tuesday evening.
A member of an RCMP search and rescue team scours the area along the Winnipeg River in Sagkeeng First Nation, where 14-year-old Tyler Arkinson disappeared early Sunday morning.
A member of an RCMP search and rescue team scours the area along the Winnipeg River in Sagkeeng First Nation, where 14-year-old Tyler Arkinson disappeared early Sunday morning.
St. Croix would not say what RCMP told him but confirmed stories circulating in the community that Tyler, was involved in a fight outside the local hockey arena on Saturday, the night of his disappearance.
St. Croix said he has also heard that Tyler was confronted shortly after by four youths who "dog-piled" him.
Later, Tyler joined friends at a bush party and then went to a house party in Sagkeeng. He was last seen leaving the party at about 3:30 a.m. when the owner told guests to leave.
His disappearance occurred during the reserve's annual Melvin Fontaine Memorial Hockey Tournament that attracted hundreds of aboriginal players from Ontario to Alberta. "There were hundreds of strangers around at that time," St. Croix said.
Tyler was not a hockey player and was not attending school this year. He lived in Calgary a year ago for a short time but had returned home to Sagkeeng, about 130 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. St. Croix maintained Tyler had been drinking that night.
Grace Starr, Arkinson's great-aunt, said it's not like Tyler to go missing, adding his family is very worried.
"That's the part that scares us the most," Starr said this morning. "It's a close-knit family. If Tyler was going to be away overnight, he would call or ask his mom to come pick him up."
St. Croix thought it was suspicious that Tyler attended "a rip-roaring party. Then at 3:30 a.m. (the owner) kicked everyone out and (the house) was completely spotless at 9:30 a.m." when family went looking for Tyler.
He added that Tyler had taken his bicycle out that night and stashed it in the ditch to use later to get him home. The bicycle was still in the ditch the next day.
"There was no reason for (Tyler) to go into the woods," St. Croix said.
"We don't like to think there could have been trouble but it could be possible," he said.
RCMP said the Powerview detachment was contacted by the family late Monday afternoon. Officers from the detachment office conducted an initial search.
The search broadened Tuesday, with the local Powerview detachment assisted by the RCMP search and rescue team, the RCMP dog service, the Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner and trained volunteers from Search and Rescue Manitoba, a civilian search organization.
RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Line Karpish said about 30 trained volunteers are conducting a grid search in the area where Arkinson was last seen, south of Highway 11 about 10 kilometres northwest of Powerview.
An RCMP command post has been set up on the highway.
Community volunteers will marshall at 8 a.m. today to help with the search but the terrain is rugged.
"The search now is in an area that has thick bush and it's cold," Karpish said.
"It's kind of rough," said a Sagkeeng man who goes by the name of Bull, who helped with Tuesday's search on an all-terrain vehicle. "There's lots of windfall. Basically, you have to do a lot of walking."
Karpish said Arkinson was wearing black jeans, a grey sweater, a black jacket and red and black skateboard shoes.
Tyler is the second of four children for Darlene Arkinson and Lloyd Letander, and their only son.
"It's pretty hard, and getting harder by the minute" for Tyler's mother, said St. Croix.
Starr said RCMP searchers found clothing in the woods late this morning but the family said the items were not Tyler's.
Anyone with information about Tyler Arkinson is asked to contact the RCMP Powerview detachment, 204-367-8728.

A body found Monday in a community north of Winnipeg has been confirmed as that of Tyler Arkinson, 14, who went missing in March.

The boy was last seen on Manitoba's Sagkeeng First Nation as he was leaving a house party. A badly decomposed body was found Monday on the reserve, 125 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

Tyler's mother, Darlene Letander Arkinson, told CBC News that the RCMP confirmed Tuesday that the body found Monday was that of her son.

She offered thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who looked for the missing teen, and prayers for the families of other missing children.

She said a service will be held for her son at a later date.

"I felt excited and sad at the same time," she said about receiving the news. "But I knew. Our prayers were answered. And it brings a big closure. Right now I just got ... it is him."

The RCMP issued a release Tuesday afternoon confirming an autopsy had positively identified the remains as those of the missing boy. Police said the cause of death was undetermined.
Search teams look through bush and wooded areas on the shore of the Winnipeg River in March.Search teams look through bush and wooded areas on the shore of the Winnipeg River in March. (CBC)

The body was discovered along the south shore of the Winnipeg River in an area that had been searched in the spring.

Arkinson's family reported him missing to authorities after they did their own cursory search and failed to locate him.

A team of volunteers, RCMP members and representatives from the Office of the Fire Commissioner and Manitoba Search and Rescue searched the area for days and also failed to turn up anything.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Okiijida (Warrior Society) Ceremonies to bring in the youth.

Terry Nelson is hosting Okiijida Ceremonies In Winnipeg.

Today the Ceremonies have started for the Okiijida. The Ceremony takes place in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A number of Native youth are taking the pledge to become Warriors. No! Not the Gang Warriors. Warriors of the true kind.

There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to the Warrior Societies. The Gangs and the Hollywood portrayal of Warriors has perverted the meaning behind Warriors.
I am not the person to Teach about these things but I will give my view of the Okijiida ceremonies going on in the North-end of the City.
There are a number of young Indians taking a pledge to fight. To fight for themselves. To fight to be better Indians. Fighting in the sense that they will beat off the negative things; child violence, violence against women, drug abuse, corruption, low esteem, neglect. The people will vow to become good people. In order to be a good Indian, you need to be able to take care of yourself first. If you can't take of yourself how are you going to take care of others? You give your word to God to be a good person; to work for the people, to do what is in your control to help.
It's about not backing down. That is a very hard thing to do. To look at things and do what is right. To speak up for those that cannot. To be proud of being an Indian. To be able to work for your people. Above all to be kind. To be kind to yourself. The very hard thing to do. Kindness is the toughest thing you can face. In order to be kind you have to be strong. How many of us can have the courage to stand up for the poor, the hurt, the weak, the abused, the neglected, the persecuted? It is a difficult thing. We live in a society where it is normal to walk by the person laying on the side-walk. It is easy to walk away as a husband and wife scream and tug at their children. It is easy to walk away from a husband giving it to his wife. It's not our concern. A warrior cannot do that. She and he will speak up if things are not right.
I hope that these young people can live up to their pledge. To pledge to the Creator, while in front of these witnesses, that they will be good, strong, proud Indians, doing their best for their people.

A Warrior makes a commitment and follows through on that commitment. As my friend says, "remember the things you do,you are working for the Creator". There are hopes that our youth have, and making that promise is one way of making hope are reality.

One of best Teachings I got from a Warrior happened about 20 years ago. I was driving down this street in Winnipeg, just before Christmas. It was bitterly cold, no exaggeration. I was on the curb lane and the traffic was stopped. People were slowly passing a stopped vehicle. It was an older Jimmy. I did what the traffic did and pulled around the truck. I took a look (rubber-necked) to see what was going on. A woman had her truck parked in a no-stopping lane. She was in an open field lot. She was trying to get a man to stand up. It was deep snow and the fellow was out of it, pissed drunk. I decided to stop and go see. I walked over to the woman and the man. She was almost crying trying to help this guy. She said "no one is stopping this man will freeze". "I need to get him into the truck. My baby is in there. She is two-weeks old." I told her I would take the man and drive him home. I was humbled by this woman. She was a true Warrior. I most likely would not have stopped if not for her. I would have just drove by and left the man there. It was Manitoba winter cold that day. The man (Southwind is his last name) lived in the North End of the city. He wanted to go to Selkirk Avenue so I took him there. When he got out of my vehicle, he slipped as he walked to the front of the truck. I got out and lifted him up. The cops pulled up at that time and questioned me as to what I was doing. I tried to tell them I was just helping the man. They didn't believe me. They must have thought I was fighting him or something, because I was bear hugging him as I lifted him. A man came out of his vehicle and told the cops that I was helping the man because Southwind had fell. It was an interesting day.
I never forget how brave and compassionate the young Indian woman was. That is what I believe a Warrior is.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Aliens are coming, better hide your stuff.

Stephen Hawking, most famous Astrophysicists in the world has made the talk about Aliens credible. Interesting, mmmmmm? Why is it that when the most famous smart person talks about something it is now credible? On another subject, what are the odds that one of the smartest people has got a crippling disease that in any other time period he would be useless? If technology did not exist where he can be understood, how would he be able to communicate? We think of Hawking as the smartest out there. He is indeed smart. Ask Marilyn is another smart one. It's the voice of smart people that we tend to listen to.

I think we pick up little bits and pieces of information from all sorts of people and we make them our own. We learn things and that makes us smart as well. I have my own vision of what an alien looks like and that vision is most likely influenced by all the media; comic books, television shows, (Heaven Knows that I am a Star Trek fan, William Shatner is still a God, not "The" God, but still a small-g god), movies and gossip rags and conversations about Extraterrestrial Beings with people. The Alien talk has now been put back on the front pages of the news. This time it's not the kooks or the Dan Aykryod's that are being asked questions, it is the scientific community. The logic checkers of the world. The people with answers that are not seen as fluff, or seated in ancient religious customs or folk lore. It's Stephen Hawking for heck's sake! It's not some story of some guy walking on water or turning water into wine, or some Native guy that's fighting with the Thunderbirds. No Hawking has the ear of the modern man.

One of the things Hawking has to say is, is for us, mankind, to be wary of the Aliens. Do not try and engage them. He uses the history of Indians in North America as an example of what will happen to mankind. He says that Aliens will be looking to loot, pillage, steal, take-over, colonize, exterminate... nah, I'm just kidding. He did say "If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans." Just take a look at the Indians and say I might be like them. :-) He says that the Aliens may be looking for resources that have been depleted in their own world and that may be trouble for us. His remarks have sparked a number of experts to give their yah or nay to his thoughts. One thing is clear though that now that the smartest person on the planet has said there are Aliens, people are listening.

Form the point of view of an Indian, I say listen to him. Hide your stuff, don't put out the welcome mat. You may have to move or have your home taken away from you. :D

Cherokee Fiddle, cause Good Whiskey Never Let Him Lose His Place

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