It Ain’t Easy Being Indian – February 2019

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By Ricey Wild

There has been so much going on in this pseudo-bizarro world we exist in that now I don’t know where to begin my rant. Seriously. What I know for sure is that for we Indigenous Peoples it began in 1492 when a serial killer and his murderous crew set their nasty feet on sacred lands. Then things began to get really bad. Since then 100 million plus Indigenous people have died of genocide, and the European colonial program is continuing successfully in many ways, but they have never been able to wipe us out.

That is what I saw videoed in Reno, Nevada. On the Woman’s March, on January 19th there were jingle dress dancers leading – with some little dress dancers, too. I cried because I felt so good, proud of and inspired by those women. Despite centuries of the immigrants making a policy of genocide upon Indigenous people WE ARE STILL HERE! In a previous column I wrote about my initial reaction to women whose jingle dresses are not Anishinabekwe (Ojibwe, Chippewa) – represented at the Gathering of Nations some years back.

The jingle dress itself represents healing and I’m so grateful it spread around Indian County because every jingle on the dress is a prayer. A healing, loving and warrior prayer. The illegal European immigrants did not successfully eliminate us; this Turtle Island produced people who don’t play. Up to 1890 the U.S. congress was still trying to kill our ancestors, but it was considered too expensive, like $1,000,000 per Indian. That’s a lot more than the scalps they used to collect for bounty. For me, the sweet sound of jingles is proof of life, love and spirit.

Ya’ll European colonist descendants really need to go to a powwow or Indigenous event and stuff yourselves with frybread and lots of culture you know nothing of. We have been forcibly made to participate in your capitalist BS to survive on commodities and capitalism that was never a part of our lives.

On the West Coast they had ‘Potlaches’ where the family gave everything away in ceremony and the greedy white people could not grasp the concept so they outlawed them. That giving spirit among us has never been more important than right now.

Ay! I’m not being all preachy or anything, really. I’m just repeating what I’ve experienced myself and giving those people love. Grateful, appreciative and humble am I. We need each other. Creator has given us all special gifts, we just have to acknowledge them.

Sigh. I really didn’t want to address the MAGA hat slime-ball immigrant descendant but his expression haunts me. There have been a lot of opinions and articles that have stated the obvious better than I can write, but that encounter is beyond foul and disgusting. I and a lot of people had a visceral response to the vile disrespect and deliberate intimidation by the red hat turdling toward an Omaha elder and veteran who was trying to diffuse a worse confrontation. Yooz know the story timeline…it was everywhere and I shared it on FB.

To say I’ve seen that mocking expression every day of my life. That wasn’t always the case when I was a young girl. I wanted yellow locks and light eyes so more people would like and accept me. Thing is, I’m brown with golden skin, dark hair and eyes and now and before this I celebrate in my Indigenous blood. I am the dream of and result of my ancestors resilience and purpose. I honor and accept their request.

Sorry, back to that unholy Catholic school that produced such a monster like who ‘they’ are now calling a child. Whatever. He marched in a parade that is violently against women’s right to choose what we do with our own bodies. What a joke. Like he would ever become pregnant…. That said he CHOSE to be a racist, hateful crusty jerk. His mother hired a PR Firm to twist the narrative and sadly the mainstream media sunk their fangs into that rather than reporting on the obvious.

The entire sickening spectacle is representative of not just what we Indigenous people have gone through every day of our lives but all non-white people in this nation. They protect white supremacy by any means, especially the men – even if they are sociopathic murderers. JS.

My Gramma Rose is 100 years old. She’s not doing well and is going into palliative care soon. I’m her first-born grandchild so we have a special relationship. I cannot conceive of a world without her in it. I told her not to be afraid to leave us, the family, and she told me to “be brave”. She’s taught me about compassion and so much more.
Yooz be brave, too. Be like Rose Theresa LaPrairie Shotley.