It Ain't Easy Being Indian: January 2015

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ricey wild.jpgMy heart is full because the wolf

hunts in the Great Lakes regions have been stopped by a federal

judge. The horrific carnage of trapping, baiting, killing and

continued disruption of the wolves’ families are no more; they are

back on the endangered list where they will stay with the love,

compassion and diligent advocacy of people who worked hard and long

for their lives. To those of you who were directly instrumental I am

deeply thankful and so much for everyone who became active on the

wolves behalf to speak for them.

An odd thing though, just a few days

before the announcement I had called the Minnesota Fish &

Wildlife office and spoke to someone who was directly involved with

the so-called ‘wolf harvest.’ “Harvest!” Aghhh. That **name for

what is actually savage, bloody slaughter upon superior sentient

beings disgusts me and I told him so.

Then I told him a short version of how

Anishinabe (First Man) and Maa’ingan (Wolf) in the beginning of

time traveled the world together naming all animals, plants and

places. Eventually they had to go their own ways and Maa’ingan knew

Anishinabe would be lonely without him so he gave him Animoosh (dog).

That part always gets to me and I

cried as I am doing now. No longer buried in my skin is my spiritual,

cellular connection with Maa’ingan, it’s out now and I honor it

as the most basic level of being that is love in the purest form. We

both benefit. Maa’ingan will live their lives as Creator intended

and I benefit by putting my vulnerability out there for all to see

and in my own eyes I become a better person for having done so.

When I was talking to the state

official I also emphasized that the wolf hunt was not only vile

cruelty but entirely unnecessary to ‘manage’ their populations. I

said their own studies verified the fact that killing wolves in fact

increases predation upon domestic animals because the pack was

destroyed; that wolves know how to control their own pack numbers in

their territories and have been doing fine managing themselves

without arrogant, entitled ill-meaning people hell bent on killing

them all for sport.

The official did listen to me and was

very polite but some comments he made were condescending like he,

“understood from some other people (Indians) that there is a deep

spiritual connection with wolves” (which I understood to mean we

are not experts on wolves like they are) and then said what seemed to

me to be an oft-repeated persuasion as to why a wolf hunt was

necessary. I’m not calling the official out though, sad as it is he

was doing his job as instructed by his superiors who were told what

to do by the legislators who were, in my opinion, bought by gun

lobbyists and wealthy trophy hunters who contributed heavily to their

campaigns.

So thank you for taking the time to

read this, I really appreciate yooz when you compliment my writing

and far from feeling too exposed I am comforted by how many of you

take the time to consider another perspective unlike your own. That’s

how I learn about life for sure and by doing so I am opening my mind

to the world. No, I don’t like all I see but I am empowered now to

make a difference and I am energized and grateful I won’t stand

alone because the people are rising! We are who we’ve been waiting

for. Let’s do this.

Well, I think that the above is my

holiday present and New Year’s wishes all wrapped up in a shiny

happy bow. Miigwech Giichi Manidoo!

I announce with a trembling, happy

voice that I will become a grandmother this year. Because of course

it’s all about me! Just kidding jeez! I am thrilled and so happy

that my son and his fiancé Christine are expecting a child around

July this year; thank you both for making my Gramma dreams come true.

My peers have already become grandparents but I am relieved my son

Steve took his time to find the right woman.

Recently however my heartstrings began

to twang and I began to become anxious when I saw my friend’s

pictures of chubby brown baby cheeks, crazy black hair and soft

dribbling baby mouths smiling just big. I remembered what it felt

like holding my son as an infant, his sturdy breast-fed body, every

new smile and accomplishments and I wanted that again. So, I will

become a happy member of that most esteemed group and in the meantime

I have become an “Insta-Gram” to Christine’s wonderful 4

year-old daughter Indannis.

I’m so very grateful for all my

gifts.