Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thank you followers of the blog

Kitchi-Meeqwitch to you guys. I feel really good in having my blog read and having you sign on as people that follow.

I hope to say out loud things floating around in my head and things I notice around. I might decide to speak about other things than just moldy old Indians. One thing I admire is the people that can write funny. Not just funny stories, but write funny. That is hard to do.

I like to read the other blogs. Sometimes I forget which blogs I comment on because I don't follow them all.

I hope I'm not looking like I am sucking up or anything, just wanted to acknowledge your presence here. You know "announce your presence with authority".

Monday, September 27, 2010

How ruthless can one human being be?

Feel really bad today. I just found out that a good friend of mine was badly beaten. He was considered brain dead that day two months ago. I felt so bad that I did not know until today. I felt so bad that I did not keep up with how he was doing. That's the way it is; we never expect bad things to happen. Bad things do happen.
I told my friend I was really sad and upset that I didn't go see him earlier. I felt a lot of pain for my friend. Especially feel bad that I am helpless to do anything for him. I want to avenge his pain. Want to hurt the person who did this. But those thoughts can only ever be thoughts. I can only sit with him and visit. I am still in shock at the sight that I see. I know him. I know him to be a good hearted guy. I know him to make mistakes. I know him that he should not be in the shape he is.

My friend was almost beaten to death by a bad person. How ruthless can someone be to beat someone so bad that they are killing them? The truth is, it happens a lot and everywhere. From husbands beating their wives and kids, to friends beating friends. In the news some young teenager girl was found beaten to death. That is someone's child, sibling; someone's baby. We can sympathize and emphatize with the people but we can never know the true pain of another. And we shouldn't have to go through that. What can we do? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps something. I don't know.
All I know is that there are some real mean people out there. Maybe it is a mistake, maybe they didn't intend to go to far. Maybe???

I guess we can pray for the victims to get healthy. I don't know. Does prayer help? Maybe? My friends Mom said he was lucky to have 3 angels that day; the people who saw him being beaten and called the police, his own Mom for seeing his thumb move when she pleaded with him for a sign that he was alive, and the Doctor for believing her and seeing his thumb move as well.

I will go see my friend and visit. It is all I can do.

Well I am still upset, past the sad part of what happened to my friend, now into the angry thinking. For his part my friend, asks me how I am doing. Tells me I seem a lot better. He is concerned how I am doing. I ask him a lot of questions. Will there be brain damage? Will you arm ever work again? Will you get that eye sight back? He is optimistic. He has always been that way.

I have known my friend for about 15 years. We get along very good. I just didn't hang around with him (or anyone for the last five years). But I remember how he is. A good guy. He is not an Indian, but so what. Friendship goes beyond some stuff.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Clarence Twotoes
Clarence Twotoes, This guy is funny. I like his stuff.

I joined his group on facebook. He was recently posting about how some people are upset with his comedy and that he is not "tradish", or he is hurting the image of Indians or something to that effect.

The Indian Factor, ("member, I spoke about it before?") it causes us to be hard on ourselves. Sometimes it's the jealous factor but sometimes its "I am more Indian than you factor" or "I am more Traditional than you factor". We run into those people all the time. Take themselves way too much. "We need to pray", we need to thank the Spirits, we need to humble. Yeah we know. We see an ant on the ground, "offer some tobacco to the Spirits". Yeah we know, you have a relationship with the Creator that is more special than ours. Yeah we know.

We don't say goodbye in our custom, Yeah we Know!!! I remember I went on a trip to Rocky Boy Reservation in Montana. When we were leaving this fellow that we were visiting, I said "good bye" to the guy. Murray, my buddy I was traveling with, said we Indians don't say goodbye. Holy heck I was mad. Fucking guy I could have beat him up right there. You know he was cutting me up in his way. Yeah I know, we say G'waabaamin or G'waabaamigo; I'll see you or I'll see you as you are. Yeah we know. Holy heck these guys sometimes. We were together all the time on the trip, and he runs me like that. Heck anyway!

Back to this Ryan aka Clarence Twotoes. He is funny. If I could post a video on this page, but I don't know how to do that. Just can post a link for you to see.

Believe or not there are people who really REALLY talk like thish (Clarence).

I don't know the guy in person, but heck I am a fan of his stuff. I think we need more guys to show Indian humour.

People are always talking about how great our humour is, but man we seem to be crabby even more. :D

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vegas Baby! Indian in Vegas!

Still Celebrating my turning fifty years old. Suz took me to Las Vegas Nevada. Holy it was hot! Who the heck left the oven on? That's what it felt like when you went outside. The fake rocks on some of the buildings were like charcoal, Hot! The amount of people on the small skinny sidewalks was amazing. If you are scared of getting germs on you, don't venture outside. If you like to bump into people that are looking up at the sky, good place to be. If you like stepping on the backs of peoples' feet, a great place to try out your "oops! I'm sorry" line. You know when you step on the back of their feet and they turn to be angry and you make that puppy dog eye look and say with all the sweetness you can muster and say oops, sorry.
We stayed at the Palazzo. HOLY heck, that place is awesome!!! You see the movie Hangover? Well picture that room. Except smaller. On the forty first floor with a view of the Las Vegas strip. Having those kind of curtains that uses a remote control to open and close them. Open, close, Open, close. "STEVE!!! Quit fucking around with that remote!" Oops, I'm sorry.
Back home now and hanging with the babies. Speaking of babies. Holy heck, there were lots of young girls walking around there in Vegas. Skimpy outfits. Some very classy and happy looking. All walking around with these real big plastic bottles of some type of coloured drink. Some of those bottles were three feet tall. There were even this plastic guitar containers with a straw sticking out of them. The girls and maybe some guys, wore them like a guitar and there were some kind of liquid in them. Each of these containers must have held two to three litres. Holy heck, that's a lot of booze to be drinking by ONE person.
I didn't even spend five cents on any gambling machines. Not that I don't gamble. I do buy lotto tickets. The slots just seem so stupid and boring. Why go all the way to Vegas and sit at one spot for the whole time you are there. You miss out on the sights, sounds, the buildings, the people watching. People watching, now that is entertainment. I would go back there in a minute. Not today or anything, but maybe next year or a few years later. Guess that's not a minute. But it's a heck of thing, going to Vegas, a heck of a thing.

I remember my first trip to Vegas, it was in 1981. Sure was different. I got into a fight at the airport on my way back to Canada. Actually, it wasn't a fight as it was more of a mauling. I got mauled, beat up by this fat white drunken Canadian. A guy coming back on our flight. It was scary. The guy started the fight by blowing smoke in my face as we were in line at some airport store, getting a magazine for the flight. I turned and looked at him and he blew more smoke in my face, and said "what you going to do about it?" I laughed at him, called him an asshole and left the store. He came out mad looking and I waved at him, "hi asshole". He came over to me and punched me in the head. Then all hell broke lose. We were fighting. My hair got pulled out and I had a big bald spot on the top of my head; my coat was all ripped up and so was my shirt. My neck was all scratched up. Damn asshole. The cops were going to throw us in jail. That damn guy who was beating me, had family yelling that we started it. My friend at the time, jumped in to the fight and saved me from a bitch of good beating. It was funny. He leaped in the air like a pro-rassler. He bulldogged the guy. Like in the movies. People were screaming. It was a small airport. So people were all around. The cops were big. They were giving us the hard time. All the time my friend, another Indian guy, was yelling at them, "go ahead throw us in jail, we get this in Canada all the time". Holy heck I was scared. First time really out in the States. Had no money. What were the jails like here? Will I be a play thing? Holy heck, Please stop yelling at the cops.
Any way the cops just wanted us on the plane and gone. Holy heck it was a heck of a first trip. When I first went there. I played the slots. Coins came out the machines with all this great noise. It felt like you won a million bucks. I played the dollar slot coins. They used real, REAL dollar coins in the states. I must have won a hundred bucks. I put all those coins in my pockets and my pants were falling down, those coins were so heavy. I didn't know that those little plastic pails were for your coins.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The biggest issues facing Native Indians today is... Identity

It's not housing, Education, mortality, self-esteem, Treaty Rights, political voice, or any other social dysfunction. It's who we are.

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 9, Suicide Prevention Day.

"Friday September 10th is Suicide Prevention Day

Toronto, Sept. 9 - Suicide will touch us all in some way, directly or indirectly, at some point in our lives. With approximately 4,000 Canadians dying by suicide in a one year period, surveys show a significant percentage of Canadians know someone who has attempted or has died by suicide.

The theme of this year's Suicide Prevention Day is Suicide Prevention Across the World, emphasizing that suicidality is a global problem that can affect anyone, anywhere. Suicide Prevention Day was created to raise awareness, encourage discussion and ultimately prevent more of the estimated 1,000,000 suicide deaths each year that take place across the globe, with many, many more people making nonfatal attempts."
For Canadian youth aged 15-24, suicide is the second leading cause of death (after vehicular accidents). Whereas suicide attempts, particularly in adolescence and early adulthood, are more prevalent in women, males are at higher risk of suicide than their female contemporaries and comprise three-quarters of suicide deaths in Canada. As with younger ages, mental illness, namely depression, is the cause of most suicides in older people.

"There is a need to diminish the stigmatization of depression and suicidality, particularly among men, because it acts as a barrier to help-seeking," according to Dr. David Goldbloom, CAMH's Senior Medical Advisor, Education and Public Affairs.

"Fear of mental illness still comes from the myth many people have that it's untreatable. Available treatments for depression, for example, probably have better outcomes than those for high blood pressure."

As a preventable cause of death, suicide prevention is a topic that needs to be addressed in schools, workplaces and by families. While psychotherapy and medications are effective in the treatment of mental illness contributing to youth suicide, prevention -- such as promoting help-seeking behaviour, building resilience, and training peers and teachers -- have also shown promise.

Losing someone to suicide is more common than expected. One survey showed that 7% of respondents had experienced a loss due to suicide during the previous year. "Beginning this Suicide Prevention Day, we as a society must start talking about suicide more openly," said Dr. Goldbloom.

Eric Windeler is doing just that. Tragically, Eric's beloved son 18-year-old Jack Windeler died by suicide this past March while away at university. Eric has decided to honour Jack by leading the charge to implement Mental Health First Aid training at Queen's University, where the initial uptake has been amazingly positive. On Suicide Prevention Day, Eric is asking that you take a few moments to watch - and then share this video with those you know will benefit.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's leading addiction and mental health teaching hospital. Integrating clinical care, scientific research, education, policy development and health promotion, CAMH transforms the lives of people impacted by mental health and addiction issues.

For further information: or to arrange interviews please contact Michael Torres, Media Relations, CAMH, at (416) 595-6015"

Friday, September 3, 2010

Forgetting Indian Politics & looking at the Indian

Manitoba has a high number of regional political organizations that represent the Aboriginal (Indian) population. Too many political organizations if you ask me. You know the old joke, too many Chiefs and not enough Indians, well that is what we have, too many political animals in the mix.
Of course we do need political agents to look after, and fight for our interests. I just think that some of the political entities are thick, fat and energies could be best spent on other things and issues.

“Right now there are 4,600 Native children in foster care in southern Manitoba who need a cultural and spiritual connection to their identity and families. Without that, they get lost. We have to make our children a priority and put them back in the center of our lives.” This was the sentiment expressed at a Traditional Gathering in Sagkeeng, as reported in IndianCountryToday.
That's the thing isn't it? People are constantly saying that our life has to change. Either we have to work on our children or we have to have the government engage in some kind of program to save our children. What the heck? What about starting at where we can? With what we can do? Right now a lot of parents of Aboriginal children don't know what the heck they are doing. They don't behave like what a good parent should be doing. What ever the heck that means, good parent. We don't make them lunches for school. We don't make sure they have breakfast in the morning. We smoke in the car. We smoke in the home. We let them stay up all night and watch tv. I guess colonialism did that to us? I have no idea. All I know something is broken and it needs to be fixed.
The Traditional Teachers and Elders are right in a lot of things. We need to know who we are. You ask a kid if they are proud of who they are. Most kids or adults will say "hell yeah! I am proud to be (fill in the blank, but in our case) Indian! George Carlin once said that "it is crazy to be proud of a event that occurs by chance. You could be proud that you did something, but proud to be born a certain race/ethnicity? What for? You didn't accomplish anything? You could say you are 'happy' that you are" Indian. Kind of makes a little sense but hey that's getting away from my point. Anyway, getting back to being proud of being Indian. The kids (or you) will say "heck yeah, I'm proud to be Indian". Okay so what makes you proud to be Indian or what are some of the things that you are proud of? "Well I can speak my language." Oh yeah, wait, most Indians can't speak their language. Of all the Indian languages in North America only three languages are considered safe (not disappearing real soon). "Well I am proud of my heritage." Oh yeah, wait, lot of people hid their ancestry. Lot of people hated who they were/are. They were always looked as drunks, welfare bums, lazy, no good for nothing redskins. So that message has been internalized by multi-generations of people. "Well I am proud of my culture." Oh yeah wait, we don't know our own stories. We don't know our own creation stories, our own customs, our own governance structures, clan systems (for those with clans), our lineage (matriarchal/patriarchal), our Spiritual Teachings. "Well I am proud to be a keeper of the land." Oh yeah, wait, I don't have a connection to the land. I don't go in the bush, I don't pick medicine or even food for consumption. I don't know plants. I don't know the water or the bush.

Jeez, well why am I saying I am proud to be Indian? Well I just am.
That's not good enough. We have to know who we are. Are we going to go to University and take up some Anthropology courses or history courses to find out who we are? Or are we going to talk to each other and learn from our people?

Many people are doing that. Seeking out an education from Traditional Teachers and Elders. Many of us are not. We are still living life like it is only us that matters. Never mind that fact that we are parents, siblings, uncles, aunts and gran-parents to some child. I find it funny that lots of us will say, "I would die for my kids, for my family". Shit, most people won't even give up smoking for their kids while pregnant (both Mom and Dad). Or most people won't even stop from taking a drink. Fetal Alcohol Effects Syndrome is one hundred percent preventable. Yet our kids have to live with that legacy.

This is where I think our many political entities could be of some use. They could focus their energies on culture, our culture. Preserving it, promoting it, teaching it to our kids. Helping those that can't have access to the heritage roots. That includes learning about becoming stewards of the land. The political entities could be looking at how we can maintain the land and the environment for the next generations. They could look at local initiatives of bringing back the Teachings into the communities.

I don't know but I do know this, as it is now our political entities are abundant, some of those groups could become more focused on the people. As the Teachers said on the kids.

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

 Urban Cowboy is a 1980 movie with a soundtrack steeped in western songs that had great Redneck lines like, "single bars and good time ...