Tuesday, April 5, 2011

who/what/why?

(read 12/10/08)
Who in the fuck do you think you are?  You call yourself Indian?  really why?  what do you need from us?  We don’t need you.  We don’t want you.  We are in search of the pureness not the wannabees of the world, what is a wannabee?  Well let me see, someone who has never lived on the reservation, burns easily, tans never, has never, has never visited the reservation, has had no clue that they were Indian until someone pointed it out them and now is now in the search of the Indian princess inside them, that has been denied them by some pooer outside themselves and they feel they’ve been cheated.  They’ve been living their lives like their normal that the world owes them nothing but now because of this new found toy they have discovered a spiritual, tree hugger in them, like they knew it was always there.  But they walk around in the world no differently every day.  While me and my brown cloud walk with looks and question at every turn.  “Oh you have long brown hair, you’re very tanned…(I’ve just resolved to calling myself brown to make it easier on me.  It wasn’t until I moved her to L.A that I had to realize how Indian I am.  I had to stand in a room of my peers and declare my tribal affiliation.  Sure, fuck yeah I’m proud, but as I listen to person after person let me know who they are, I am reduced to a mere footnote in Ojibwa history.  I luck out because I am a rare tribe in the room.  Everyone is Navajo or Cherokee, with the old Alaskan tribe the other one there.  My husband the history buff can recite to me the power my people once wielded.  Dude I’m Ojibwa, I live on the outskirts of a rez my parents never left me alone without adult supervision, I don’t do drugs, sure I drink, but that’s just to fit in, my BF Fuck yeah he’s rez!  Looking back I can see why my dad didn’t want me going out there and understand the poverty and desperation that is there.  Toby, Keith and Jason were left to their devices  most of the time.  It was now November and there was no heat in the house, parties were common place, as were the drugs, but luckily Toby thought he loved me enough to realize that that wasn’t me.  I drank.  Drugs were a way to nowhere and fuck, I was going somewhere.  I didn’t understand their poverty until now.  What kind of person has to leave their three children to provide for them.  These boys, now men are still living there mere existence perpetuation the Native myth.  Can this white person who claims to have Indian in them somewhere understand this?  WTF?  Really do you see them?  Can you feel their pain?  There mere existence, living day to day.  They are Indians, living in reservation housing and continuing on and you you sit back and want to a part of this world.  Really why?  What glamour and romance do you see in it?  the pain, the tears come from knowing these people and hearts they have.  Do you realize that my people were still roaming the great basis as “free Indians” until the early part of the 19th century?  Until of course they were massacred.  Or is it for the free house and casino or money?  What would you do with it all? 
There are (XXX) numbers of casinos here in the U.S. some even owned by the tribe, so by the outsider interests wanting to exploit this loophole in the gambling system.  But there are (XXXX) amount of reservations with (XXXXX) amount of people living there and they try.  When I think of the treatment of these people, my people, I am…

(7/15/09)
(Fuck just realized this.  I am like those wannabees, I cry for them, I feel for them, just like I’m sure the wannabee feels when he hears their plight but has not lived it.  I feel bad for having lived a good life, I feel guilt because you have to have suffered to be Indian, like the hundreds that have died in fighting for their land)

(12/27/08)
I am an angry Indian, I know it and try to move past it, but it was brought to my attention today, I am angry.  Why can’t I just be grateful and think of it as a complement that all these wannabees want to be Indian, but my response to that is “Fuck that!”  Why? Why do you want to be Indian today? Why not yesterday?  Di you just wake up and think that we would you accept you into our fold?  WTF?  Why couldn’t it be yesterday?  I don’t want you!  You don’t know the pain I cry I feel the pain, do you?  I just want to know!  because I don’t know who my people are I don’t have stories of my people, my people founding the country.  I’m a bad person.  I am a selfish Fuck!
(12/18/08)
I am at a loss of what to write anymore.  I have talked to different people, and had differing opinions shared with me and now I got the other side of the coin.  Before I  was just angry at these people wanting in, but now I think I’m still angry.  I try to recall the conversation and can’t.  After telling my story the last time, I concluded I felt guilt and it made my heart break to feel that.  I drove away from class and was upset because I felt guilt.  I needed to unburden myself and not feel this way anymore, so I called home.  It didn’t help, it just added to the confusion.  I explained to my mother my predicament and read to her my rant.  She sat quiet, I hoped I hadn’t shocked her too much, but it wasn't shock, she was contemplating trying to understand.  She explained to me the reason we didn’t live on the rez, it’s because my family never did, my father grew up in town and prior to that they lived in the bush and didn't really do business with the Indians.  My father grew up poor and didn’t want that life for his family.  I never really considered his poverty, they a family of 10, lived in a 3 bedroom house, the only times I heard of poverty were when I was sneaking in after curfew and my dad who’d been drinking met me at the door and grabbed me by the shirt and yelled in my face at how ungrateful I was, as he slurred in my face, how he didn’t want me hanging out with them because I was better than that, maybe I was just searching for an Indian connection even then, wanting into  that world by whatever means I could find. 
My mother went on to ask me what I missed out on, I replied that I wasn’t really Indian because I couldn’t feel or hadn’t felt their pain, suffered their poverty, it had nothing to do with ceremony, it had more to do with suffering.  My teen suffering consisted of being grounded for months at a time because I missed curfew, then given a reprieve half way through my sentence, I’d come in late again and get another month added to my sentence.  Looking back, there were things I didn’t get, but I never whined and cried about it, I understood our circumstances.  I had a car to drive at age 16, whenever I wanted .  I had a job, spending money, I was worldly for what that was in my tiny town (we ventured to the big city constantly, my father was an artist, so we traveled from show to show during the summer, I think he was looking for his indianness as well.
(1/9/09)
I can’t be Indian.  I don’t know anything about Indians, sure I have a card that says so, I have paperwork giving me a percentage, but in my heart of hearts I don’t think I can call myself Indian.  This only happened when I moved to L.A. because it seems that were more brown.