Thursday, July 21, 2011

Indian People are Crazy!

You want to know something, Indians are nuts. No, it's true. I know, I know it sounds cruel, because there are so many good people out there that show us that they are fine. But Indians are nuts.Okay I admit it, not all are nuts but there are some people out there that do strange things. So strange that you would think they are nuts.  Yeah, sure you say that it is not inherent to one group of people but to all races. I guess that could be true, but I'm talking about Indians here, the North American kind, you know, the yip yip yaahoo yaahoo kind (as portrayed in Disney's Peter Pan or Hanna Barberas Quick Draw McGraw). Of course you may not know that I love Indians. Some of my best relatives, sisters, brothers, parents, cousins and kids are Indians. Still I may be wrong but Indians are nuts. I am going to talk about people here, so you may get the idea that I am calling them nuts. Not at all. I mention them because I want to contrast the sane with the insane. Some of these people are very sane and not nuts at all. Who the heck am I to call anyone nuts anyway?

Take this guy for example: Robbie Knievel breaks record Motorcycle Jump at  Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Casino. Now I don't know if this is what you call a nut-bar, I don't know. Maybe he is just adventurous. Yeah, that's it, he is an 'outside the box' thinking type guy. Yeah that's it. A person of great intellect and grandiose spirit. I like that. He's not nuts. Not sure if he is Indian, but that's the kind of strange behaviour I am talking about. People who do and say things the normal, average, individual may not be inclined to do. Lot of Indians are crazy in ways like that, but they are crazy in subtle ways as well. You know those people that have 20 cats kind of crazy. But not the "baby cooking crazy". The subtle crazy is what you can't really get a hand on, but it's there. People of Aboriginal heritage know it well. They see the signs: Got a big dog in the yard but no dog house. Have a car but no drivers license. Have a canoe but no paddles. Sleep all day and walk around all night. Go to AA for the free coffee and treats. Yell at the Chief because the screens on the windows are gone. Yell at the Chief just because she/he is the Chief. That's the kind of crazy they recognize, those Indians.

I see many people in my Reserve that are nuts. They hang from Trees. Can you imagine that? They have a stick shoved through their skin and they are hanged from a Tree. Crazy, I know.
Sundance 1900's
Yes, they are crazy, but really they are crazy for life. They do the Piercing as part of a ritual in a Ceremony. So I can see that they are not at all crazy but really quite sane. However, there are others that do it, the piercing thing.  They are the people that  make us see the difference between nuts and not nuts. Not sure of the reason behind this, but hey if it makes them feel good, well 'all-ridey then'.They seem to pierce for the sake of piercing. Hooks here and there. Some even pierce the naughty bits of their body.
Shark girl with hooks
Hanging from hooks

Rae Schwarz wrote an article explaining this hanging from hooks thing. She seems sane, but stupid. A quick read of the article has the hanging of hooks as somehow connected to the Sacredness of the Sundance Ceremony and the sacrifice people make at that Ceremony. ??? WTF??? Exactly. In any case it's ART. Good for them. Crazy and nuts but good for them. One person's crazy is another person's art.

Bad Eagle American Patriot
There is this fellow in the United States, called David Yeagley and he has this site called Bad Eagle. Now I am not calling this guy nuts are anything. I just wanted to share his site. He is an American patriot and his site is dedicated to American patriots.  Here is what he writes:
" Liberal American Indians protest the use of the name "Geronimo" in the Bin Laden killing operation.  They think they are standing up for American Indians, but they are shilling for white liberals.  Contrary to their Indian chauvinist pretenses, they have betrayed and denigrated every sense of Indian honor, and no doubt contributed to the depression and alarming suicide rate among Indian youth. " 

I guess the Liberal Indian had a hand is the direct link to Aboriginal Suicide. Maybe I can see that if I look real hard while hanging from metal hooks.  I read some of Yeagleys online forum and think that many of his colleagues or followers are nuts. Crazy with a capital "C". I am not sure if you can be judged by the company you keep. But I do see that some people tend to stay away if they think someone is crazy. Not sure if crazy is hanging out with people who are interested in seeing your people disappear, but that is something different.

Grand Chief Phil Fontaine - Canadian PM Stephen Harper
Look at former Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Mr. Phil Fontaine. Phil Fontaine is a smart guy and certainly not crazy. He knows crazy when he sees crazy. Phil is from our Reserve. His Dad and my Kokum were brother and sister. Phil is the poster Indian for success. Smart, charismatic, well spoken, educated, speaks Ojibway, has triumphed over the Catholic Church indecencies and has had the Pope grovel (well not really, the Pope didn't do a public apology but rather a closed door sorry and oops) and apologize to him. Now that is one smart Indian and NOT crazy. He can spot crazy. That is why he surrounds himself with the non-Aboriginal. He knows Aboriginal people are crazy. He does not want to get that crazy stigma. So he stays away from Indians, aka Aboriginal people. Now that is smart. He knows about insider crazy that other Indians know about. The kind of Indian crazy where a guy will go over to your house when he knows you are away just so he can talk to your woman. Or the kind of crazy where he/she uses your name to try and get a free hotel room or meal at a restaurant.

Another fellow that is smart is this guy: Notice how he has the Headdress neatly (strategically) situated to sit on his head.
Chief oops, Senator Patrick Brazeau.
Senator Patrick Brazeau. Brazeau is an Algonquin from Quebec. He is the youngest person to be named Senator for Canada. He was picked by the political Right Conservative government. Brazeau made his name known as the leader of the group, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. Not sure what this group does but he was the leader. Brazeau is like the American Patriot Yeagley, in that Brazeau is a Canadian patriot and fights against the left thinking Indian. Because of his "right minded" thinking the Prime Minister of Canada made Brazeau the Indian on the Senate. A good choice for the Right. Now that is some smart thinking. Brazeau has been using his new found platform really well. Putting down any and all left political parties that are debating for Canadian Indians. 
Brazeau is not crazy, he knows that it is better to be in the camp than sitting outside the camp. He's not crazy just mixed up or jealous of the Indian crazy. Who knows?

This is one thing I imagine must make Phil Fontaine crazy, nuts,  is that Phil was a very loyal member and advocate of the Left minded Liberal Party and they never made him Senator. Now that is nuts.Those liberal bastards. They had their chance to show how fair minded they were/are but didn't come across. Now isn't that a kick in the head. A party that is anti-social, anti-people, anti-Indian appoint an Indian to the Senate. A plum position like that? But yet this social conscious minded, friend of the Indian government failed to make similar moves? Now that is nuts. 

Kahentinetha Horn, 71, publisher of Mohawk Nation New
There is this one person that I know must be nuts. She constantly gets attacked for talking and walking. She is harassed, kicked beaten but yet she will not keep her mouth quiet. Now that is nuts. If you put your hand on fire and keep getting it burned, burnt, wouldn't you stop? Now that is exactly the thing I am talking about. This lady was in the hospital recently as a result of her constant talking. Talking about how Indians are being abused, stolen from, being wronged at every turn from the government. And what has this talk gotten her. Nothing but abuse, neglect and scorn from others. That lady is Kahentinetha Horn. I don't know Ms Horn, but she must be nuts! Being subject to all sorts of abuse and still she keeps talking and speaking about Indian abuse. Man that is crazy. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Scrap the Indian Act.

The Assembly of First Nations is holding a summit in Moncton, New Brunswick. The are calling it a Peace meeting with some key areas to be addressed. I won't get into all the issues that Indians have to deal with and what the Chiefs are talking about at the summit. The issue that is key for Grand Chief of AFN Shawn Atleo, is the scrapping of the Indian Act.
I  think everyone would agree that the Act is a paternalistic piece of old history and it should be scrapped. Thing is, what next? I think a fundamental shift in how Indians see themselves has to take place as well. The Chief and Councils of Reserves don't think of themselves as governments. They are more caretakers of the Reserve than anything else. Do they make laws? In theory they do, but in reality they do not.
People in the Reserve don't look at their own Chief and Councils as the leaders. There are many examples I could speak of to demonstrate that mindset.

Let say for example, if a Reserve Chief and Council made a law prohibiting people from hunting for a year, what do you think would happen? Would people in the community recognize the Chief and Council law? I don't believe that would happen. People would go out and hunt and the "federal laws" would support them. They would say it is their Treaty Right. The people would not see the Chief and Council as the authority. This problem is demonstrated over and over again. The "bannishment" of people from the community is something that a Band would do in certain cases. You can not banish people from the Reserve anymore. The Chief and Council do not have the authority.

In the Oka Crisis of 1990, the Provincial and Federal governments could not get a handle on who was in charge at the site. They were trying to get out of the situation and come to some kind of end to the situation of Oka. The government did not really know who was in charge. People (Peacekeepers of Kanehsatake) in the area discounted the Chief and Council, some recognized the Traditional Grandmothers and others spoke with the armed Indians.  There was no clear idea of who had authority to speak for the people.

This is issue of not recognizing Chiefs as leaders can be linked to the Indian Act and the Indian Agent. No real power was ever in the hands of the Indians. All "laws" made by Chief and Council, (like dog by-laws and other important laws) had to get approval from the Federal Minister. It is now ingrained in the psyche of the Reserve Indian. Its now the way it is. The Chief and Councils are only care takers of the community situation.It is funny that the Federal government knows this fact but yet acts like all the shady deals made in the past by Indian Agents were made by the Chiefs and Councils. Yet is was the government that insured the Chiefs had no real power to make decisions. All decisions were made by the Indian Agent or the Ministry.

In order for the Reserves to start being effective in dealing with their own issues, they have to recognize their power. The power is in the people and it is loaned to the Chief and Council. If we don't recognize that power, how are we to lead ourselves, when we don't consider our own power?

For many the Indian Act does not allow Reserves to broker their own financial decisions. Borrowing on Land for development and other ventures. For all the woes of the Indian Act, it did one good thing; that is it kept the Lands in the hands of the community and not individuals. The whole essence of Indians is their collectivity and the Rights gained by Treaty from that Collectivity. The Indian Act, never meant to, but it keeps that collectivity first and foremost. So if the Indian Act could be scrapped without affecting the communal aspect of Reserves, I am all for it. I wouldn't want some Individual to lose the Land (in a failed business venture) that our Ancestors negotiated for us to keep. Some people want the Indian Act gone, just so they can access bank loans. Reserves mainly have two things, Land and People. You can't sell the people, but you can sell the Land.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Manitoba Flood: A benefit for some.

The Province of Manitoba in Canada is experiencing the worst flooding it has seen in modern history. If it's not the worst flood in Manitoba's history, the flood sure is getting the most media coverage of Manitoba's history. Regardless, the flood is devastating. Devastating on both sides of the U.S. and Canada borders.
Many farmers, home owners, businesses, cottage owners and towns are being affected. People have lost their homes in the town of Minot.  It is the same for a number of towns in Manitoba.

Lot of lives are going to be affected negatively. My in-Laws have a small cattle Farm in the Interlake region by way of Lake Manitoba. They are going to be left with the decision whether or not to continue farming. It is already difficult for them to continue being a farmer: with the cost of fuel, the crazy weather (drought and flooding in a couple of seasons) and the problem of no Hay for the cattle. Hay land is flooded out all over the Interlake region. Hay fields will not be able to be cut and bailed.

So with the people of Manitoba fed up with the flooding, who do they turn to? Everyone turns to the government of the day for answers. It looks like no one really has answers for the flood problems. The province has tried to mitigate the flood damage to high population areas, but that has left some areas to fend for themselves. Or the flooding efforts have led to some purposely flooding of areas. This is not sitting good with people. The people are tired, angry, exacerbated by the governments response to the floods and they need an outlet for their feelings.

With a provincial election in the next 4 months, the people are going to express their anger at the situation through votes. The government is helpless to combat this. Who will benefit from the situation of the flood? The opposition will benefit. The Conservative Party of Manitoba will be the beneficiaries of Misery ( flood victim).
Those lucky bastards are going to come in and sweep the elections this October in Manitoba. All because of Natural disasters. Funny thing, you don't hear a peep out of them on how they could help the situation. What would they do differently if they were the ruling government in this time of flood?  Nope the Conservatives are not offering alternatives, advice or guidance. They are sitting back gloating and waiting.

People vote with emotion. Emotions are definitely high. It is a shame that some have to vulture off the misery of others. Nature of politics I guess.

Friday, July 8, 2011

David Blacksmith: Healer & Teacher

This is David Blacksmith from Cross Lake First Nation, Manitoba. He is a Traditional Teacher, Healer and an Elder.   Despite his relatively young age (in his 50's) David  does have the distinction of being in an Elders circle of Knowledge.

David is an interesting individual. He is not your average "Traditional Teacher". He is very knowledgeable and very crazy.

There are those that don't like David. That is okay. I am good with David. He is there when you need him. We don't hang together anymore, but life takes you different places. It does not matter we will always be family and friend. I know he is good where he is at. I like him. He is hard to take sometimes but he will be there if you need him. You have to know him. He likes to tease and laugh. That is one of the endearing things about David. I respect him and acknowledge that the Creator has indeed given him some kind of Jazz (power) to work with people. He has a very special connection to my wife and daughter. He was there visiting us at the hospital a half hour before my girl was born. He held the ceremony for the naming of our girl Chloe. You ask him something and he will try hard to do what is asked.

One thing is that people expect our Teachers to be on a pedestal. That does a disservice to all our Teachers. They are Human Beings, capable of fault and frailty. Anyone can put a person down, but its much better to look at the Good in others. David does a real service for people. He lives a life that is not easy. Being Traditional is a hard thing. You can pretend to live that way, but to walk that way calls for sacrifice. We all need to, at some time, sacrifice for our loved ones, our people and our Land. David is one of those rare people that knows sacrifice. He is constantly giving of himself for others. That is Tradition. I know plenty of "traditional" people that have no clue really. And that's okay for them. It's like your "Sunday going church goers"; being close to God only for one hour on Sundays.

I think of David and laugh. A good happy laugh. A warm laugh. A sad laugh. A lonely laugh. A loving laugh.
Be good David, I'll talk to you later.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Canada Day Winnipeg & a Tattoo

West Coast Native Art style

60's Style Woodpecker and pin up girl - Thrush mufflers?

Like the Transformer movie style
Walking around Winnipeg on Canada Day (July 1st) I couldn't help but notice all the different tattoo artwork on people. Some of it is too busy that I could not make out what it was. Some tattoos were cartoonish, while some were simple and many were elegant. I like the art work. I am a little aware of how much a Tattoo can mean to someone. For some it's a statement of their individuality, while others it is a sign that they are not conforming to society's image of what is proper. For some it is a deep cultural connection. And for many it is a calendar. A calendar of some event, important in their life.

I remember this one fellow years ago had a tattoo of a "joint" on his arm. He told me it was a part of who he was; he liked to smoke dope. To me it was dumb. But to each their own. When I think back I guess it was important to him and was a part of him. I have a couple of art pieces as well and I like to think that the art represents part of who I am. I have some Maori friends and I know Tattoo is a very special part of who they are.

I took a few pictures while we were out walking around, but missed out on some great work. Still here are a few of the people walking around the city.

Click on the pictures to enlarge.
A skull in yellow

Alice in Wonderland Disney style

Not sure of the style, but it shows you where to look

Death. I think

Roses and Brass Knuckles

Biker Style 60's

Asia style Dragon

Pretty, fun and happy

Menora perhaps or Chandelier

Too bad I didn't get the whole picture, than it might have made sense


Sea Horse

Knowledge Keeper and Knowledge Giver

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