Monday, February 24, 2020

Compromise The Great Indian Killer

Canada's Government has entered into an age of "Reconciliation" with the Indigenous people. The problem with this Reconciliation is it seems Canadians are not interested in Reconciliation with Indian people. It seems no one told the general public or the elected Members of Parliament or the Provinces about Reconciliation.  The Indian population has welcomed the opportunity for Reconciliation from Canada. Perhaps Canada can answer their question of  "what the heck does it mean, reconciliation?" And by the way where is this George Dixon everyone keeps talking about?

The answer seems to be a one sided equation with Industry, public and government sentiment becoming more and more anti-Indian. The racist rhetoric has been escalating. One retired Member of Parliament was so happy the sermon in his Church called for attacking Indian folks. He said time to go out on the range. He was practically giddy with the possibility of shooting Indians. The Provincial Premiers are calling for violence on Native people who are currently Land Protecting. In Canada a number of the People are setting up "blockades" to bring a stop to Pipelines going through Indian Land - Unceded Land.  This action by the Indians has caused white people (with Indians and People of Colour as well) to lose their shit.  Police are doing what Corporations expect them to do; move in with heavy artillery, full military weaponry, use the canines, bring out the batons, put on the combat gloves and smash those pesky Savages. How dare they inconvenience the real Canadians, the Old Stock Canadian?  

I attended a Gathering organized by Women some time ago; the theme was Standing in Our Truth.  The Women spoke of the system and how working in the system is not the answer. Breaking the system is the route to go for Indian people. No one paid attention to the words. The Indian leaders have been on a path of compromise. The slogan of "we have to work together is the mantra of many an Indian political group." There are going to be many people out there who want to work with the system. Regardless the system has been developed for their extermination, figuratively and literally. It is quite funny the leaders have not recognized the role of compromise in their own dispossession of their homes, their Lands. The Women at the Gathering see it. Unfortunately you can not be prophet in your own home. 

So what is the answer to the "Indian Problem?" I think there is no Indian problem but a Canada problem. Canada continues to tell the Big Lie. They want the population to believe Indians are the problem to you, the public, the tax payer, the good Christian, the Oil Patch worker, the everyday good Canadian. For Canada the "Final Solution" is to be rid of the Indian, even if it means by hook or crook.  While Canada continues on its route for complete dominance of the Indian, some Indians are eagerly assisting with the dominance. Canada is really living a lie. They want you to believe this Land is theirs, but deep down, they know, we all know, Canada has stolen and is stealing Land. That is really what is in play here. Canada can not continue to hide its lies and its beholding to Corporations.  But it is really strange we have people, our own people willing to help them? 

This Indian activist said it long ago when he reminded Indian folks to not forget what happened to the Indian Scouts who worked with the Calvary; they were loaded on the train along with the Indians who fought the government.  Canada does not see you. You are the Indian. You are not part of the Canadian equation. 
Shingus Sends Regards
I think about the scene in the movie 300, where the  Ephialtes  wishes to be a Spartan Warrior. Ephialtes is not able to be a Spartan Warrior, he does not have the skills. The rejected Ephialtes betrays King Leonidas and the Spartans. He is rewarded with fulfillment, meeting desires of women and riches by the enemy.  Ephialtes wants to be in with the Spartan Warriors/Leaders. He is not worthy of being a Warrior/Leader so they ask him to contribute in other ways. It is not enough for Ephialtes so he goes to Xerexes, the other side, the Rulers. Ephialtes has his desires fulfilled and he now champions for Xerexes. When Ephialtes comes to Leonidas all dressed in the finest clothes, gold and jewels and asks Leonidas to join them, Leonidas looks at him and says "May you live forever." To live a life as a traitor to your people is ugly. Ephialtes despite his jewels, gold, fine linen clothes casts a repulsive image. Live long with knowledge of who and what you are.  There are many Indigenous Leaders who continue to believe in the Canadian system. Regardless of the evidence, the past practices, the goals of the Regimes, some Natives will compromise their beliefs, their heritage, their People and their communities for the riches; "I want it all." 

Like Xerexes, the government will say we are going to kind and generous to you - as long as you kneel to them. Sadly there are many who will bend the knee. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Followers: Miigwetch. Thank Yous

I'm gonna get a cocktail
I'm gonna kiss that pretty girl
Cause this old man is going to town.
As good as my witness
Forgive everybody whoever did me wrong

Hey good folk, can you find a happier tune?  I send this to you with the intention to get your arse swinging in your chair, getting you to stand up and dance like the video.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Suicide Spirit Thrives On The Wounded

A friend of mine actively fights the Suicide Spirit. He says the Suicide Spirit hangs around talking with the aim for you to kill yourself.  My friend is a Healer and a Sundance Chief. He brings in the Buffalo Dancers to combat the Suicide Spirit. I really hope he has saved people from the Suicide Spirit. For our people the Suicide Spirit really has been eating.

For me and my wife the Suicide Spirit has hurt us. This summer will be 15 years. Fifteen years since my Boy was found hanging in the closet of his Mom's closet. The thing is I kind of know it was coming. I once even thought of embracing the Suicide Spirit to take my son. How selfish and awful is that for a Dad to think that, even for a second? You see the beauty of youth is to be anything but caught in misery. My son was just caught in misery. He said to me, "I can't do it Dad." I remember how ugly it was. Everything in our place was gone to the addiction.  Addiction had control over our lives. Everything went to the greedy appetite of Addiction. The Addiction is just a monstrous creature with no regard, no compassion, no pity, no redemption, no end to its hunger for everything you are. This is what had my Son, my beautiful sensitive caring kind boy. My son was being eaten away by a vicious creature and I could not do anything to help him. Giving him money, a bed, a roof, an ear did not help him. Raising my voice, sweetening my voice, pleading with my voice did not help him. The addiction creature had him in its claws and fangs, it was tearing away at his Spirit. He was helpless, I was helpless. Running from the creature did not help. The creature followed him and where the creature went the Suicide Spirit was lurking. It is looking for a wound. I think it sees the wound as an opening to get its fangs, its claws and its voice inside of you. The opening it needs to get into you to start feasting, to start tearing at you, to get you to hear it, to get you to feel it, to embrace it and finally to get you to give into to it, the Suicide Spirit.

The Suicide Spirit thrives on the wounded.

Fighting off the Suicide Spirit is something; you can take it to the Suicide Spirit with prayer, with Ceremony, with family, with friends, with children and with strangers. For me I was saved from the claws of the Suicide Spirit by friends, family and children. Just my friend taking time to check on me, to sit visit and to talk, made me second guess the Suicide Spirit as I once sat in the closet with a string around my neck. A strong wife with such compassion and patience kept me and keeps me from opening my wounds to the Suicide Spirit. My beautiful Grandkids keep me from tearing the wound wide open. How can I embrace the Suicide Spirit when all this good medicine is with me. The Suicide Spirit won't quit easily; it thrives on wounds. We get wounded many times in our lives.

You know someone wounded? Can you help heal the wound? Try and keep trying. You are the good medicine the wounded needs.

"Just come on home
Come on home
No you don't have to
Be alone
Just come on home"

Friday, February 7, 2020

More Indian Than You

The impact of colonial genocide has wrecked havoc on Indigenous People's the world over. In Canada and the US, we are still living with the aftermath of colonial actor's trying to erase us from the Earth. One of the biggest remnants of attempted genocide is the damage on our Identity. We are still tending to and mending the damage. It has resulted in politics of who belongs and who doesn't. The fun of identity politics plays out daily and we can take part in the more Indian than you game on today's social media. The thing with Identity game it is played with the winner making you feel less of an Indian than you are. So the game is based on stepping on your neck, kicking your groin, pulling your hair, burning your car tires and who can insult the best without it seeming disrespectful.

Black Dog 
"I grew up in the bush, fishing and hunting." The Bush Indian is more Indian than you for sure. How can you argue with the Indian who knows how to gut and skin a Deer? Those Bush Indians can moose call, can goose call and they don't need a Dar-Rae Can to do it. Dar-Rae Moose call was an ingenious moose call made by a couple of Indians and it sold well. Geography is always a good slag on the grew-up-city-concrete Indian.
"My braids are long and black." The Braided Indian is as cool as the Black dog, the Cane Corso in Game of Thrones. Show me a cooler dog. This dog ate up the notorious monster, Ramsey. So this is not your average Rez Dog. Mind you the Rez Dog is hardy. Rez Dog is so hardy you can run it over and it will get up and still go lay around under your door steps. So the Long Black Braided Indian has you under their thumb. The Long Black Braided Indian can really up their game when they use leather wraps on their hair. Add some beaded earrings and holy brown gravy; "Whew, look at you all brown gravy looking."

"Grew up poor." The poor Indian makes their mark on the world by showing you they didn't have it easy. They are more Indian by way of their economic status. The poorer the more they suffered. The more they suffered, the more Indian than you they are. You can't argue with the suffering victim. The Indian who grew up with parents with money (not real big money but still compared to Bushy down the road) are seen to be less Indian. The went to private school Indians have to be in the bottom of the deck even if they rant and rave about being all Traditional. The colonial stench is still strong on these Indians. 

"I come from the Rez." You city Indians just don't have the real Indian experience. You never had to carry water up the bank, cut through the ice for water, poop in the bush because you were scared to use the outhouse. The outhouse the scariest commode in the world because a rat could run up your bum hole. City Indian, you never had to watch tv with only an antenna. You never had to have a barrel for the water, or wait for the waterman to bring water. Or you never had to use a slop-pail and get that pail ring on your arse. Especially when your slop-pail is one of those old metal 5 gallon buckets. You get the rust stain on your bum.

"I am brown." You won't get followed around in the store. You won't get turned down for an apartment because of your colour. You won't get called Savage. You won't be looked at accusingly by white people on the bus. The cops will not stop you for being brown.
Indian Woman 
You don't know what it is like being Indian. You are white compared to us Brownies.  The Brown Indian really can use their colour very well to be more Indian. The Brown Indian can use their look (as good as the cop who is skilled with the baton) on their fair skinned relatives. No cousin love for them.  You won't go missing or murdered. Brown Indian kind of don't like you. The Brown Indian will get all the public speaking gigs at University, despite their knowledge. 

"I dance Powwow." The Indian Dancer and the Indian Singer are more Indian than you as they have connection to past practices. Everyone who dances and sings powwow is cooler than the Indian who just watches. You are nothing more than a tourist at the Indian Powwow. You have no clue to how Indians are in the Circle. Heck the Powwow Indian might even be a Traditional Indian. When you don't have the look, you are discounted. You will never win the Indian Princess over, or the Indian Warrior. You will never get to be Head Dancer or Flag-bearer. And if you are everyone knows your Brown cousin got you in. And Hip Hop dancing  at the Drum Circle if you are an Asian looking Indian or a Black skinned Indian. The Brown skinned will turn their back on you. They don't see their cousin, their fellow Neechie. "How can you be Indian when you look all Jackie Chan or Lisa Bonnet." "You don't even have a flat bum like my cousin Betsy, the Southern Style Traditional Dancer (Women who dance in place and don't lift their feet}." 

And of course we have the "I am Traditional." Lot of Indian folk out there spreading good love for fellow Traditional Indians but maybe not so much for the light skinned Indian or Black skinned.  The other Indians are not "authentic" as the Traditional Indian. Even the fair skinned Indian who can speak Anishinaabemowin is not cool enough for the Traditional Indian. You can't be fair and taken seriously as a Traditional Indian. The Brown Skins will mock you to other Indians; "Oh just a whiteguy/whitegirl." The Traditional Indian will mock other Traditional folk who don't live up their standards. The Traditional Indian will throw out any pretense of respect if they are not adhered to right away. These Indians are really Traditional, in the sense that they will be meaner than a wolf who's paw is caught in a wire snare. 

More Indian than you has become a battle cry among Indigenous folk. Anywhere where the colonialist has step foot on Land not their own, the aftermath is felt. The need to be more than you, has caught on like a fire on the dry prairie grass. Contests go on endlessly on who should belong and who should call themselves an Indigenous person, in our country, an Indian.

More Indian than you could be a heck of Powwow song.

Knowledge Keeper and Knowledge Giver

There are many beautiful things in the world. Of those beautiful things are youth. How beautiful everything and everyone is when they are yo...