Tuesday, April 5, 2011

ReHab

ACT I
Scene 1
Light come up, we see a figure on stage.  She pulls something out of her pocket.
Jennifer
0028535, that's me.  Oh, my real name?  I don't think it really matters.  All I need is this number, that's how I know I'm indian, there really is no another way to know how to tell the real ones from the fakes.  Hmmm...how do you know you're a real indian?  (whisper) that's feather not dot.  Well first you'll need a full length mirror.  Sit or stand in front of it, get comfortable, you'll be there a while, you'll also need a pen and paper to take notes.  Now, stare at the figure in the mirror, what do you see?  Take note of hair color, facial features, clothing, skin color, everything superficial you can.  It may take a while, but that's ok.  Some people take a lot of stock into what an indian looks like, how they dress.  But what I get a kick out of the most, is that to be indian, it usually includes leather, beads, maybe a feather or two and don't forget the shiny silver and loads of turquoise. 
White Woman
The crazy white woman had to finish her "indian outfit" as she called it.  She was wearing a suede jacket with lovely bone detailing and that looked like a warriors breast plate, a plain velveteen tiered ruffle skirt, and beaded mocassins on her feet.  Yo would hthink that was enough, but her outfit was not complete without her leather headband that she tied over her hair, creating an almost mushrrom look as her hair tried to escape the braided adronment that looked more like a choker than a headdress.  My conversation continued with her as she shared with me her love of all things native as well as the number of pow wows she had attened.  No she was not native by blood, just in her heart.  
JENNIFER
Now this kind of disturbs me.  I'm sure she
JENNIFER
It’s a lazy summer afternoon, my cousin Jeremy (the white one, not the brown one) who was visiting for the next week have nothing to do.  We’re 8 or 9.  Memere has kicked us out, relating us to the outdoors.  In an effort to amuse themselves they played dress up.  They found these Halloween costumes that her other grandmother had brought over.  They picked out their tops and Jeremy found a head dress that had she had gotten from some tourist trap, they painted their faces and headed for the front yard.  The yard abutted the highway, so there was a constanct stream of tourists driving by.  Jeremy and her stood stoically at the top of the grassy knoll waving to the passersby.  At first no one really paid attention, but they got the occasional honking horn or a big toot from a transport.
JENNIFER
Entering the grounds of intertribal, I'm feeling pretty secure, no worries.  I'm here on assignemnt to observe is my goal.  I walk the grounds with a "local" who is friednly and chats with all the vendors, I am not given a second look, but they again there vendors what do they care as long as I guy something from them.  It's the other people that concern me.  Will I be stopped and found out?  I say found out, but not really.  I have a card, I can prove it, but still don't feel like I belong.  If I were quizzed on my heritage I would fail.  It's embarassing when "other" people can tell you more about your heritage than you would have dreamed about.  Can't I just walk around and say I'm indian because well...I am.  Why do I have to know stuff because hippie chick over there has taken one too many trips to the spiritual vortex and believes, wait no, knows, that in a past life she was an old indian medicine woman.  These people threaten me the most.  I fear there thirst for knowledge of wanting to take my indianness away from me.  Shouldn't I know know how to say more than Aanni and meegwetch?
JENNIFER
I get excite getting ready to see the Indians.  Once I arrive, I walk around with a friend who works thre, so it’s ok to be Indian.  As we walk into one of the rooms, a well-dressed, well coiffed woman clances at me, no smile.  I note how helmet like her black hair is, not a strand out of place, lipstick too pink for her light brown, almost white skin.  What’s with the look I wonder, I’m brown, where’s the love?  It’s not like I’m a stranger, we share this quiet unspoken bond because we’re brown don’t we?  Our link to grandmother transcends the ages, my people feel the pain of the earth, so why the glare?  I should be greeted with a warm hug.
JENNIFER
Native American.  Indian.  American Indian.  I want to be indian.  I am, I have papers to prove it.  I am a card carrying member of the Mississaugi First Nation.  80% Indian in fact.  But what does that mean?  To me it means everything and nothing at all.  I didn't grow up on the Rez, I really didn't groe up with the traditions then either.  I know a few words in Ojibway, enough for me to say "Hello pig!" but what do you want I was only 5.  Growing up I didn't think I was different.  My parents were young when I was born and my grandmother raised me.  She was french canadian, so I went to french school.  Looking back at my school pictures I'm the little round brown face in the back.  But I was never considered different.  As a child I would go to the pow wows, because with my fahter being a new artist, he took advantage of any venue he could to display his wares.  This was the only exposure to my culture I had.  No I waslk around with a self-rightous chip on my shoulder at anyone proclaiming their indianness to me.  "realy, I say?" as I wait for the typical answer "ah yes, Cherokee, oh, but you don't have a card, oh yeah".  "Oh, your grandmother was....yeah, uh-huh....", "Yes some of us really rake in that casino money..."  I feel like a hypocrite though most days.  Walking around passing judgement and flashing my card to all these wannabees.  But then when they ask me about my people, I have nothing to say but "Hello Pig"



in rehab
Big Canoe is laying on a bed and is suddenly awoken from a dream as she fall to the floor.
Big Canoe
What the heck?  Where am I? 
Looking around and examining the room.  A little panicked, but her head is throbbing, she reaches for her head and stomach.
Hello?  I anyone out there?  Help!?  Fuck?  Where am I?  Think...think...think...The last thing I remember is being with Gary, standing in front of Taco Bell.  I vaguely remember actually sitting in Carl's Jr. gorging on a Famous Star and some fries.  Ok...The night is a blurr, all I can remember is Nick and his girlfriend coming to pick me up at noon.  We got to the bar and found our usual seats and said hi to Gloria, who had the unfortunateness of working yesterday.  Gary had been texting, letting us know that he'd be there soon.  It felt like hours later by the time he got there, and that's about it.

Shrink
Good Morning and how do you do?  I am 'herr Doctor Schmidt and I have been assigned to.  So....(opening a file) Wanda, why don't you tell me a bit about yourself and tell me how you ended up here?
Big Canoe
Look, I don't even know where here is, so why don't you tell me where this is, and how the fuck I got here?  Eh?  Black-out?  I'm not sure I know what you mean.  I'm an alcoholic?  Yeah, right.  Look I don't know why I'm here.  Oh wait, I do, see that 'roided out big guy with the badge hovering by the door?  I can only imagine how I got here.  (looks down to her bandaged hand)  Fuck, my hand hurts, I can barely move my pinky.  I said I don't know why I'm here?  All I know is that I woke up this morning and wasn't in my room, or my house or my clothes.  No, I don't drink like this all the time, and I will not take the questionnaire to determine if I am a drunk!
Shrink
Look there's no reason to be hostile, why don't you tell me a bit about yourself?
Big Canoe
What? Who am I?  WTF kind of question is that?  It was not my choice to be here, therefore I am not about to sit here and spill my guts so you can psychoanalyze every word I say then I cry over why I'm a fuck up because my parents weren't around.  They had a life to live and I had really good caregivers.  I was loved dammit!  Fuck you for saying that I wasn't.
Shrink
Again, you're being a little hostile.  I'm just here to help you.  I'm concerned about your well being and safety.  Tell me a bit about your background, home life, growing up on a......reservation?
Big Canoe
I am Indian so?  Oh so now your really think I'm a drunk just because I like whiskey and black out-
Shrink
You know you people are truly fascinating-
Big Canoe
Look, I don't know anything about being Indian all I do know is that it seems everyone wants to be one.  Every time I meet someone new and they ask "so what does your name mean?" "are you Indian?"  What do you think?  my fucking last name is Chichimon.  Yes it means big canoe in my language.  No I am not Mexican, Hispanic or whatever the fucking politically correct word of the day is.  I am I-N-D-I-A-N.  Feather not dot.  Casino, not 7-11.  I am amazed when people ask the question.  "So...um...your tribe?"  I pause.  Wait for it....Yeah, I'm Ojibwa.....oh here it comes.......Really you're Cherokee, oh your grandmother was.  It usually is.  WTF, yippee, good for you.  So does that make us blood brothers now.  I then ask the question, so are you registered?  I love that question because you'll weed out the wannabe from the hard core freaks.  "Yes, I am registered" I answer.  I have papers to prove it.  Some people find this offensive, like the one guy who once compared it to being a jew in Nazi Germany, but whatever.  I think of it more as commitment.  I just didn't want some tribal money to go to school, this is me, who I am and have to walk around like everyday of my life.  Unlike you, you pasty white fuck whose Great Great Great Great grandmother was a distant fucking relative of Pocahontas.
SHRINK
I'm not questioning your heritage, I just want to know more because I haven't lived that life.
Big Canoe
Well guess what lady, neither have I.
SHRINK
Why are you so angry?
Big Canoe
I hate myself for not knowing anything.
sfx Indian music, start dancing
Big Canoe
Do you hear the music?  The thumping?  Is that my heart?
rhythm increases
Why does this hurt so much?  Why am I so sad?  So angry?
Flashback to the x mas party with Stacy
Stacy
Yeah, hi, I'm Stacy, a friend of Roxanne.  So cool, you're Indian too right?
Big Canoe
uummm, yeah...Cool what are you?
STACY
Well my grandmother says she was?  Ummm? and now I want to apply so I can get money.
Big Canoe
So you belong to a tribe here in California?
STACY
Oh no, I'm from back East and they don't have casinos there so I figure I'd apply locally, because, well I don't have a job and I need money.
Big Canoe
calmly
Oh, well.  I wasn't aware you could do that, I thought you had to apply to your reservation?  At least thats how it works where I'm from.  So anyway -
STACY
Really? you mean I just can't apply anywhere? 
The music starts again...
Big Canoe
I had to stop.  Stopping because it's a holiday party, and I've had some wine and had the strangest conversation about the best way to pluck my eyebrows and this is not the place for my soapbox. I just want to reach out and shake her.  Really?  Did you just say that to me?  Look here sweet cheeks, I'm 80%, that's right 80%, I know who my people are, and I'm registered and have the card to prove it, so back the fuck up! Phewff!  Take a deep breath.  Since when did I become this self appointed better than everyone else expert.  Well I am, to white people at least, they don't know the difference.  But when I'm in a room (explain why I don't feel apart) full of Indians, I shrink like a sunflower on a cloudy day.  They walk around with their bone chokers and huge silver rings, the women oozing with turquoise, which doesn't exist in my part of Indian country, but I wear it like a membership pin to the club (explain why I bought this turquoise) and the men in their leather vests and dark braids.  I don't want to talk to the old Indian guy in the cowboy hat, irony again I know, because he'll see me for what I am.  A phone, a charlottone.  I am so busy keeping everyone else out of a club house (explain what the struggle is) I couldn't even gain access to if I tried.
drumming again
STACY
So really? I have to sign up back east?  Wow I wouldn't even know where that is?
Big Canoe
Well, the internet is an awesome too if none of your family knows tribes (explain what tribe is) will make you do your research, well some will anyway, depending on the politics of the day, you know how that goes  (Drumming gets louder)- DEEP BREATH - WALK AWAY - again I am playing the protective warrior, but really I am in an open field with no tepees around me.  My people, I can't say that!  That and it sounds so hokey "my people"...My People....Listen....there it is again, can you hear that cry, the low moan of mother earth..
Mother Earth
Big Canoe....Big Canoe....come home...we miss you...
Drums stop
SHRINK
Who is it?
Big Canoe
It's a stranger's voice to me.  I have no home...my people, right sorry, your people (explain who I am talking to).  You are a sad lot, you sit and talk about the world around you and how as first people this land is yours, but look at your people, help them move out of their trailers, their unfinished home, where has the money gone.  My treaty money (explain what treaty money is) was nothing, a drop in the bucket, and your people (explain who this is) live the life of an instant millionaire, money blown and gone in a year with nothing to show, flushed down the toilet after a tall glass of metamucil.  The 20th century has brought us nothing but more heartache if we cannot live among ourselves, how are we to live with the world around us?
War cries
Big Canoe
It wasn't until I was an adult I realized I was an Indian and what I did not know, why is it I want to regain something that was never mine to begin with?
Charlotte
I was the really tan kid in all the school photos.  My friends and classmates didn't treat me differently, everyone loved my parents.  even in college I wasn't different.  It wasn't until you become an adult, fully over your adolescent fears do you realize how different you are.  Arizona was a little more tolerant than L.A. because they are surrounded by caissons, oh, I mean reservations.  It wasn't until I moved to L.A. did I feel this need to be Indian.  So away went the smart business suits and polo shirts and khakis, out came the flowy billowy hemp made clothing.  No more 3" heels for me, I needed flat leather sandals so I could be closer to mother earth.  I needed to do this but yet here in L.A. I was still getting swept away by hippy new age freaks & that's where all the weirdness started.  I would meet people with names like Moonbeam and Starfire.  Heck my neighbors name was Little Elk.  Was this the energy of world coming back to me?  Was it spiting me for not knowing anything.  Along with these bandwagooners, I did meet people who genuinely belonged to a reservation and knew their language even and here I was no better than Moonbeam over there.
Moonbeam
Well the creator speaks to me in different ways.  I hear him most during my sweats.  Oh, my how I feel energized and refreshed.  It's like all the negative energy is oozing of my pores, then my head clears and I just hear drums and the creator's voice telling me to be more patient.  My favorite place to trek to is the vortex.  Have you been?  It's the most amazing place.  There are guides you can hire, but I've been there so much, I know the way in my sleep, or should I say visions (snort laughter)...If you go you should get the first tour out because then you can spend all today there and get the most out of it.  You know you're getting close, it's the most exhilarating feeling, the desert is so still and quiet, the only noise you hear is the rock as they crush as you move forward.  The air temperature is just starting to warm as the sun rises, then you can hear the quick scurry of the tiny lizards as they wake.  When you reach the vortex your heart starts to race an your face gets flush.  There is an electricity in the air...
Emily
Tecumseh was inciting a race war?!  "That's what some intellectual scholarly types proclaimed" (H.W. Brands - Andrew Jackson - His Life and Times.  That's why I decided to do my dissertation on exactly that.  I think it's important, that's why I am currently working on my Masters in American Indian Studies.  Terrorist attack today...Massacre of whites by Indians, no mention of the Indian casualties.  While watching the history channel's "Andrew Jackson" I noted how differently history is interpreted.  Maybe I'm just listening with a keener ear, but these older white historians aren't.  We are supposed to learn history in school so we will not repeat it, yet why is it Indian people think they are above it?  We were not a united people when this country was taken away from us and this was 100 years ago, why should/would things be different now?  Oh, I've been in college for quite a few years now, you might say I'm a professional student.  Huh? My name is Emily Montain.  For my undergrad I started out as a liberal arts major, but because that seemed so aloof, I decided on Archeology.  You see right around that time the town where I lived was excavating for a new water treatment plant and they came upon some artifacts.  You couldn't go anywhere without someone having an opinion on it.  So I volunteered and got the chance to dig for stuff.  It was the coolest.  So I switched my major, I really shouldn't say switch because honestly "Liberal Arts" is not a major, I mind as well have been undecided.  The next couple of years, my breaks from school included any dig or survey I could participate on.  My friends couldn't understand why I wasn't spending Spring Break chugging beer with them.  Instead my time was spent interning for BIA.  One summer I decided to apply to some bigger reservations across the country to their cultural department.  Since I had no clue how tribal government worked, I went into it as if it were just a regular job interview.  Culture shock hit me the moment.  I drove on the reservation I had heard talk about the poverty, but thought it was highly exaggeratted.  That one seemed dead on.  The movement of my car kicked up dust from the dirt road.  Tiny dirt devil's swirled around pedestrians and the stray dog along the grassy shoulder.  (want to create an air that I'm driving into another world thru "clouds" of dust).  I continued down the road following signs to the administration building.

Big Canoe
What I really need is people to understand me and my  people.  This is now the 21st century an we are still in buckskin and feathers.  We are much more than that.  My people suffer with terrible diseases, yet no one cares, people still see us as that stereotype.  Why can't you see past these clothes.  I no longer wear moccasins or live in a tepee.  I drive a car, and ride a horse.  Look at me.  See me for who I am today, not my ancestors who still carry a great burden.
Emily
Today we march down mail street.  Our goal is to bring holiday travel to a stand still!  Are you with me?  We are doing this because this is our land.  How can these so-called government officials just dictate what happens on our land.  According to the treaties our ancestors signed.
I don't, I can't I won't. I can't answer that question. And I don't think I should have to. Yes I am Indian. I am Indian by birth, not by some wanting to be a part of this "mystical" ethnicity. I don't walk around like I own the entire spiritual realm (do I see ppl doing this and how does this make feel, what does that look like). Being Indian to me does not entail a lifestyle, or simply a style. Sometimes I feel like I have to dress like an Indian to be the part, but that's to satisfy the outside world's perceptions of what an Indian is.
(my definition of this, can anyone take away her indianness, this is my dramatic question, or is it that she fears she's not, can she stop being Indian, is it an addiction, complusion.).
And really am I one anyway? I'm not a rez Indian, because I grew up in town and not anywhere close to my "ancestral" home. I'm not familiar with the colloquialisms, I do not share the lifestyle most have lived. I don't know my own history, or my language. I cannot recite the history of my people to you, our victories, our losses. When someone else tells me their tribal affiliation, I know it in name only, and have only a vague clue of where it is on the map.
I'm not an Urban Indian either because according to The National Urban Indian Family Coalition and Urban Indian are "individuals of American Indian ancestry who may or may not have direct and/or active ties with a particular tribe, but who identify with and are at least somewhat active in the Native community in their urban area." Ok...now define direct ties? I've never lived there, I have relatives whom I don't know who live there, does that count? I've tried to get a job there, even though I knew I would never get hired. My years of schooling and degrees weren't a match to being a relative to someone who worked there. Nepotism at its finest. I wouldn't even qualify if I were to use the definition of Urban. "Urban - relating to or concerned with a city or densely populated area." I grew up in a small town, population 5000 if you were to count all the surrounding farms that are miles out of town. The nearest city was 4 hours away. Maybe I have to come up with another word...what's smaller than urban but bigger than rez.?
But when I think of Indians, I think of them on a grander scale. An entire people that could change the world. Not in individual tribes or first nations or reservations, but as a people who have equally suffered. Who by heritage, have had their continent stolen from them and were reduced to living on a single plot of land instead of roaming freely. When I was little, I wanted to be an activist! I read books and watched programs about the militant Indians (what does a militant Indian do), the protests happening. I wanted to be there! To me that seemed like the greatest expression of being Indian. I was young, so I don't know who was right or wrong (why is this a question and who is right or wrong) on how things were handled. I felt sad that we were portrayed as crazy Indians. I felt sad that the nation, the world was once again being shown what savages we were. The photo from the cover of Macleans or Time magazine was burned into my psyche that day. The blond Canadian Armed Forces soldier, not cracking stood in a staring contest against the hostile native who face was covered with a red bandana. The Oka crisis as it was called. I think that's when my being Indian peeked out. I was mad trying to find an Oka flag so I could stand in solidarity with my captive brothers and sisters. I wanted to drive to Quebec and stand behind the barricades of tossed over cards and mounds of military and news crews. Wanda the warrior was born. I wondered if there was Black Panther like organization existed. At this time I was reading about Malcolm X, I was concerned about Nelson Mandela and how he was imprisoned as a political prisoner (how old is she). It would be only years later after Nelson was released, his ups and downs that I would find my next hero (cause would be the word but not) Leonard Pelletier. Bits of information about his story, his life formed my cheerleader force to be native. This was being Indian, ok, not necessarily the people dying part, but the guns a blazing force of nature camaraderie.
My being Indian is based on news stories on the 5-oclock news, the covers of magazines. There was no mystiscism, no ritual, it was about the blurbs in the Globe and Mail (Details about what I'm talking about, Leonard, the news, the articles, what did I read, the gun toting..). But I think my fight was of being a silent activist. I thought the guns and ammo were a bit too much, and nothing was ever accomplished or resolved. I started a letter writing campaign. I wrote to my local Minister and was so excited when he actually wrote back. (what's the letter)
In history class we were learning about Louis Real, the great Métis (explain what Metis is MORE) leader. I then started to call myself Métis since my mother was white and my dad was Indian, I didn't understand how I could be Indian otherwise. After this discovery I found OMAA, the Ontario Métis and Aboriginal Association (explain the pageant more and why I wanted to be a part of it). They had teen activist groups that would meet and learn stuff and talk about their life. They also had a pageant. You could become Miss OMAA and represent all the Métis nation. How cool was that. Once I was crowned queen, I would then be the Indian thought I should be. This was my first encounter with how political it was. I mailed in my application, I made the hotel reservations and I prepared for the pageant (How old is she now). I thought of what kind of questions they would ask..."Miss Chichimon, if crowned queen what would be the first thing I would do? How does being Métis affect your day-to-day life? ..." (what are her answers, was there beauty involved, is this the most righteous )
I also needed a talent. Ok I thought, I've seen those pageant shows (am I referring to Miss American pageant...which pageant ,what is my reference) , most played an instrument or sang, yeah, no. Not here. I could do neither. I had taken dance classes, but that was years earlier. Having just seen the High School production of fiddler on the roof, I was going to sing the matchmaker song, but in a comedic way, and incorporate my comedy act (did she have one or did she need, this sounds like I already have one). I was going to tell jokes. How's that for pageant queen?
Does it make me feel like I'm the only one. I want this to be my story and no one else) Do the whole story as improve beginning middle end )
I'm a dick. How can I call myself a writer, a journalist, when I am so judgemental of everyone else. I feel so alone in the world. It's as though I am the only true Indian left, sometimes I feel as though I am Kevin Costner's character from Dances with Wolves. I don't, I can't I won't. I can't answer that question. And I don't think I should have to. Yes I am Indian. I am Indian by birth, not by some wanting to be a part of this "mystical" ethnicity. I don't walk around like I own the entire spiritual realm (do I see ppl doing this and how does this make feel, what does that look like). Being Indian to me does not entail a lifestyle, or simply a style. Sometimes I feel like I have to dress like an Indian to be the part, but that's to satisfy the outside world's perceptions of what an Indian is.
(my definition of this, can anyone take away her indianness, this is my dramatic question, or is it that she fears she's not, can she stop being Indian, is it an addiction, complusion.).
And really am I one anyway? I'm not a rez Indian, because I grew up in town and not anywhere close to my "ancestral" home. I'm not familiar with the colloquialisms, I do not share the lifestyle most have lived. I don't know my own history, or my language. I cannot recite the history of my people to you, our victories, our losses. When someone else tells me their tribal affiliation, I know it in name only, and have only a vague clue of where it is on the map.
I'm not an Urban Indian either because according to The National Urban Indian Family Coalition and Urban Indian are "individuals of American Indian ancestry who may or may not have direct and/or active ties with a particular tribe, but who identify with and are at least somewhat active in the Native community in their urban area." Ok...now define direct ties? I've never lived there, I have relatives whom I don't know who live there, does that count? I've tried to get a job there, even though I knew I would never get hired. My years of schooling and degrees weren't a match to being a relative to someone who worked there. Nepotism at its finest.
I wouldn't even qualify if I were to use the definition of Urban. "Urban - relating to or concerned with a city or densely populated area." I grew up in a small town, population 5000 if you were to count all the surrounding farms that are miles out of town. The nearest city was 4 hours away. Maybe I have to come up with another word...what's smaller than urban but bigger than rez.?
But when I think of Indians, I think of them on a grander scale. An entire people that could change the world. Not in individual tribes or first nations or reservations, but as a people who have equally suffered. Who by heritage, have had their continent stolen from them and were reduced to living on a single plot of land instead of roaming freely. When I was little, I wanted to be an activist! I read books and watched programs about the militant Indians (what does a militant Indian do), the protests happening. I wanted to be there! To me that seemed like the greatest expression of being Indian. I was young, so I don't know who was right or wrong (why is this a question and who is right or wrong) on how things were handled. I felt sad that we were portrayed as crazy Indians. I felt sad that the nation, the world was once again being shown what savages we were. The photo from the cover of Macleans or Time magazine was burned into my psyche that day. The blond Canadian Armed Forces soldier, not cracking stood in a staring contest against the hostile native who face was covered with a red bandana. The Oka crisis as it was called. I think that's when my being Indian peeked out. I was mad trying to find an Oka flag so I could stand in solidarity with my captive brothers and sisters. I wanted to drive to Quebec and stand behind the barricades of tossed over cards and mounds of military and news crews. Wanda the warrior was born. I wondered if there was Black Panther like organization existed. At this time I was reading about Malcolm X, I was concerned about Nelson Mandela and how he was imprisoned as a political prisoner (how old is she). It would be only years later after Nelson was released, his ups and downs that I would find my next hero (cause would be the word but not) Leonard Pelletier. Bits of information about his story, his life formed my cheerleader force to be native. This was being Indian, ok, not necessarily the people dying part, but the guns a blazing force of nature camaraderie. My being Indian is based on news stories on the 5-oclock news, the covers of magazines. There was no mystiscism, no ritual, it was about the blurbs in the Globe and Mail (Details about what I'm talking about, Leonard, the news, the articles, what did I read, the gun toting). But I think my fight was of being a silent activist. I thought the guns and ammo were a bit too much, and nothing was ever accomplished or resolved. I started a letter writing campaign. I wrote to my local Minister and was so excited when he actually wrote back. (what's the letter)
In history class we were learning about Louis Real, the great Métis are an indigenous First People of Canada who trace their descent to mixed European and First Nations parentage.
(explain what Metis is MORE) leader. I then started to call myself Métis since my mother was white and my dad was Indian, I didn't understand how I could be Indian otherwise. After this discovery I found OMAA, the Ontario Métis and Aboriginal Association
(explain the pageant more and why I wanted to be a part of it). They had teen activist groups that would meet and learn stuff and talk about their life. They also had a pageant. You could become Miss OMAA and represent all the Métis nation. How cool was that. Once I was crowned queen, I would then be the Indian thought I should be. This was my first encounter with how political it was. I mailed in my application, I made the hotel reservations and I prepared for the pageant (How old is she now). I thought of what kind of questions they would ask..."Miss Chichimon, if crowned queen what would be the first thing I would do? How does being Métis affect your day-to-day life? ..." (what are her answers, was there beauty involved, is this the most righteous )
I also needed a talent. Ok I thought, I've seen those pageant shows (am I referring to Miss American pageant...which pageant ,what is my reference) , most played an instrument or sang, yeah, no. Not here. I could do neither. I had taken dance classes, but that was years earlier. Having just seen the High School production of fiddler on the roof, I was going to sing the matchmaker song, but in a comedic way, and incorporate my comedy act (did she have one or did she need, this sounds like I already have one). I was going to tell jokes. How's that for pageant queen?
Does it make me feel like I'm the only one. I want this to be my story and no one else) Do the whole story as improve beginning middle end )
I'm a dick. How can I call myself a writer, a journalist, when I am so judgmental of everyone else. I feel so alone in the world. It's as though I am the only true Indian left, kinda like Lieutenant Dunbar from Dances with Wolves but only I am not a soldier. I am alone in my outpost, just outside the Indian encampment. I watch from a safe distance, where I take notes, I observe how they interact, how the men treat the women, how old friends are greeted, how they speak to each other. I listen and try to pick up on what they are saying, what it all means.

I am a Hostess cupcake
That’s right im a hostess cupcake.  Ok maybe not that dark but the concept is the same.  I’d like to think I’m a mass of airy chocolate cake with fluffy white cream on the inside. 

It wasn’t until I moved away from home did I begin to feel like this.  I’m sure you noticed, but I’m still dealing with it.   I’m beige, in the summer I looks like a tan.  My mother never told me I was different and isn’t it weird how kids don’t see in colour, and if they do they just accept it.  I wish I could go back to simpler days like that, when all that mattered was how cool you were and you were judged on things like sports and what clubs you were on.

I am Indian.  Feather not dot.  And I will use the word Indian, because I am so sick and tired of the word changing all the time to suit the whim of political correctness.

Card carrying member of the Mississauga first Nation.  I’m not opposed to having to register with the government.  I think of it for the greater good.  Like we are animals in the zoo that “they” can keep track of.  Yet I’m ok with that.   I believe that it is a necessary evil for the propagation of the species, my species, our species.    Can’t be letting all that riff-raff in? 
Being an American indian or whatever the fuck the P.C. TERM is today reaaly truly means nothing.  I sit here in the screening of the New World, it is 7:10 and the theatre is at most a quarter full & I walked straight up to the door.  There was no line.  I usually come to these things and have to show up an hour in advance to get a good seat.  Not today.  Maybe its because the story of the discovery of the Americas has been so overdone, I mean when Disney makes a cartoon about it, you know its pretty much common knowledge. 
Maybe its because there are so many nations within the Indian community.  There are way more stories out there than the general public knows about, or even its own tribes knows of.

“A little help Wendy?!” she schreeched.  Wendy turned around to see Anoki her arms full of food, the frybread glistening in the afternoon sun.  “It’s about time, I’m starving!”  Wendy countered as she reached for the box of fried goodness.  “I love coming to pow wows, I have tried to make Indian Tacos at home and they never turn out, I can never get the fry-bread fluffy like this”.  “I know, mine always turn out like little hockey pucks” chided Anoki.  The girls sat on the bleachers watching as the dancers started to gather for grand entry.

“Don’t you wish sometimes that you knew more about who you were and where you come from?” asked Wendy.  “No, not really.”  Replied Anoki, as she continued to look out over the crowd.  She really wasn’t paying attention to Wendy.  She’d heard this story before and wasn’t in the mood of getting into this deep philosophical discussion, when she had other pressing issues to worry about.  “Where the heck is he?, she thought, I’m sure that was his truck”.
h I knew what it all meant.  As I said before it’s been 10 years and I still wonder.
One little, two little, three little Indians…four little, five little, six little…The beat of the drums rings in my ears.  My ancestors are calling to me, but I do not answer.  It’s not that I don’t, it’s that I can’t.  I yell, I scream, but nothing.  I am here, please come to me I cry, the quiet response is deafening.

“and then Nanabush turned…” said Ashley.   The children’s laughter was a relief to her.  Did they understand her?  Did they know what it all meant because she barely did?
   
No, I do not sleep in that.  My dad’s just a little strange, and I’m not really sure why he puts it up.  Yup, that’s a tee-pee, what else am I supposed to say.


4/12/05
Working title "in search of the red road and me"
What am I doing, and who am the fuck am I, I really don't know anymore.  I walk around with this huge chip on my shoulder, and I've resigned myself to just kicking back and watching people.  You know I used to be a real goofball ok maybe I still am but I have some reservations now.  I hate the fact that I actually care if people stare at me, b/c then I'm wondering "what are the thinking of me?" 
I so want to be someone other than me, anyone, and I'm not sure how this attitude ever came about


3/3/3
"What is wrong with me?"  I just don't get it.  Maybe it would be different had I grown up there.
Hi, my name is Jennifer Bobiwash, no not Running Deer or Little Elk and yes, I am Native American, American Indian, or whatever the PC word is today.  I did not grow up on the rez, so other skins, just looked at me different.  I was born shortly after my mom graduated high school.

Other version-RUBY SWIMS TOO SLOW
Hi, my name is ruby swims too slow.  That’s right, ruby swims too slow.  Growing up I’d always wanted my name to be something like, Michelle brown.  Simple, not a lot for people to make fun of, can you imagine my childhood?  I’m from northern Canada, and went to an all-French school.  You can only imagine how swims too slow came out in a thick French-Canadian accent (say name in a French access) "Mademoiselle Swims too slow"