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It Ain't Easy Being Indian
November It Ain't Easy
Monday, November 07 2016
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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Iíve had a difficult time beginning this column but I feel I have to address what is so disgusting to me and draining on my spirit. The rape culture commentary in Trump and Billy Bushís tape from 2005 has brought all my raw emotions to the fore of having been raped myself, and my immediate family members having been raped and victimized by close friends.

People who were trusted by our small family circle were the perpetrators of heinous crimes and have never had to answer for it. In fact, it is their closeness to the victims that make it much more likely they will commit rape.

Rape is rape no matter how old you are or what gender. I trusted and loved a person for 26 years and they preyed upon someone close to me who was very vulnerable. And that is beyond unforgivable no matter what protestations or reasons are given. That betrayal still causes me to retch when I think about it.

I have seen the damage up close and would turn back time if I could because itís done irreparable damage to my family. Remember there are enablers who are every bit as responsible for the rapists themselves. One person made the devastation of anotherís rape about themselves and sought to garner sympathy.† In addition, they blasted the victimís heinous experience to anyone who would listen without their permission. Despicable.

Another person brought in a sexual predator to our circle and was well aware of that personís disgusting actions, yet chose to stand with them. Sadly, these scenarios are not by any means unique to my family alone. This happens all the time and I believe itís time to open up, being the victim carries no shame so letís end it forever. This is not our collective Native American Indian culture. I ask you all to look out for the innocents and believe the victim when they tell you the truth.

I am going to keep on speaking up for the victims and I will not allow myself to become blasť or ignore it any longer. Iím angry and plan to write more about it. For more information please check the link below to learn more about Rape Culture.
http://www.vox.com/2014/12/15/7371737/rape-culture-definition

A sample: ďAnd although rape culture has its roots in long-standing patriarchal power structures that were designed to benefit men, todayís rape culture burdens men too Ė for instance, by ignoring the fact that men can be victims of rape and sexual assault, and women can be perpetrators of it. That means that male victims are also left without legal protection and social support.Ē

On another rant, I am very concerned about the Water Protectors in Standing Rock, No. Dak. who are being constantly harassed by local, State and other police forces using armored vehicles and tactical equipment on innocent people. I know of many, many people, Native and non-Native, who have been to the encampments and have come away changed forever and whom plan to return there. To all of you I say chii miigwech and Iím grateful for your phenomenal loving stance in protecting our precious water for all to enjoy.

FYI: To all the money-grubbing, land grabbers Ė your people tried to kill us Natives off via gruesome massacres, intimidation, legislation and blood quantum quotas. That hasnít worked in the 500+ years in the past and will not work now, and not ever.
I donít know of any more tenacious people than Natives, and now we have allies that really get what our true message is. For me, itís take care of our Mother and Her gifts to us in every way. We are responsible. We are strong and indefatigable. We are here to stay.

I can happily say that as of this month Iíve been writing my column for 18 years! It has been a wonderful time and some terrible times, like when I literally could not write because of depression and other illnesses. But here I am now. I wonder now what great future I have to create because I ainít done yet by any means.

Of course, I will write about my experiences and trials in life and my hope is that all of you will do so tooÖbegin by keeping a journal, submit story ideas, (note to self) and be present in your life. Easy to say, I know, but doing so is therapeutic and can be uplifting. If you donít tell your own stories, who will?

WellÖIím preparing for another freezing, snowy winter season but hey, what else can I do? Rezberry is soon to become ďFreezeberryĒ in a short time. †

Happy Native American Heritage Month!

Moosie and Trump
Tuesday, October 11 2016
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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Moosie checked in recently and was all morose about the upcoming presidential election. Heís voting for Hillary because he likes women, a lot, but is in personal distress about the Cheeto-colored guy. What if? What if that guy wins? He will abolish all Native American Indian rights as we have them now. The orange-peanut-guy is on record testifying against Indians building casinos and succeeding where he did not.

I just know that our ancestors were over-run by what white people call ďprogressĒ that actually were land-grabs and genocide against the original inhabitants of Turtle Island. I have rights now that my ancestors fought and died for and I have to do the right thing to honor their sacrifice.

That means I will vote even though there are cynics who ask if I really believe my vote counts. I will vote even though I was a ĎBernerí and loved that old white guy. I vote for my granddaughterís future so they have an opportunity to grow in a world where a woman holds the most important office in the entire world. I vote because if they want to become president they can.

Our world is changing quickly and Iím voting to make it a better place to live. I have to mention that I really considered becoming an expatriate, but instead of moving north to my cousins I decided Belize is the place to be. Or I could move deeper into the bush than I already am but that wonít save me from nuclear fallout if the Tangerine Playboy gets into the oval office.

People, Iím making an impassioned plea for yooz to get out and vote. Just vote. It used to be that I immediately lost respect for any man I dated who never used his right to vote. I have voted since I was eighteen and donít understand the apathy and ignorance of people who donít or have never voted, like it doesnít apply to them or have an effect on their lives.

I was not at all confused or bedazzled by the first presidential debate the other night. I am very sure about whom I will vote for and it is not a third party candidate: we are collectively on the precipice of the worst possible outcome for this country if the racist, misogynistic, sociopath Republican candidate wins. I could add more descriptions here but yooz get the message. I simply say if yooz donít vote at all, or if you vote for a candidate with no absolutely no chance of winning the election, then you have only yourself to blame for the critical outcome that affects us all.

This is what I told Moosie and he gets it. He does not agree with the crusty, snot-covered sniffling toddler even though he also has many children from many women. Can you imagine the republican righteousness if Hillary brought up a brood of children onstage with three different fathers?

There is rampant misogyny in this election and I myself have been a victim of it, like not getting a well-deserved raise from male bosses because I would not be their girlfriend, to put it nicely. Hillary is experiencing this on a global scale even though there are other countries that have elected women as their leader. Why is this when the United States has always touted itself as the worldís most progressive country?

I want a person in the Oval Office who supports Colin Kaepernickís right to protest. I want that person to be compassionate for refugees who had no inclination to flee their countries but had to because of war. I am sickened by the photographs of babies who† washed up on foreign shores in a desperate attempt to simply live. The sniffling Cheeto guy would ban all those of the Islamic faith from entering this country. Not those who practice Christianity no, yet the Christians who came here 500+ years ago raped, burned, and murdered our own Native American Indian ancestors.

I stand with Standing Rock and the Water Protectors. Should Mini-Carrot Creature become (ish! Ack!) president our collective future is over.

I remain astonished that the Orange Skittle has gotten this far. Are the American people so jaded that they donít care about the presidency? Go on youtube.com and see for yourself if you really donít believe me.
There are orange cones around dangerous areas and construction sites. There is your first sign.

This column is my opinion alone. I write because I have many things to say. Yooz have your own opinions and I respect that. I only ask that you weigh your vote carefully and with all the facts. Moosie is now a Clinton supporter because it has never been more clear whom to vote for.

Just vote.

Sept Ricey Wild
Friday, September 09 2016
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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An amazing man passed on recently. You all know him too, Jim Northrup from Sawyer, Minn. He was a raconteur, author, poet and playwright and he was my friend. I will always miss him but before he left he was at peace and I believe that was a monumental gift from the Creator. I saw Jim weeks before at the Rez clinic and I said ďThis is not goodbye, I will see you againĒ and I believed it.

I didnít actuallyÖthat will have to wait until I go too, and then Jim and I can have laughs like we did in this life. I can still hear in his deep voice saying, ďRicey Wild!Ē We are enrolled in the same reservation, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, but what ties us together is we both got our columns started with The Circle newspaper.

He had his own unique voice and I have mine. In no way was I ever in competition with Jim. We each have our own life experiences and were happy to share them with one another. I miss Jimís smile, his way of finding the funny in people who take themselves too seriously. We knew a lot of people in common and our wit ran deep. Hehe. Iíll never tell Jim, that was our time.

No one who ever met Jim Northrup will ever forget him. His amazing legacy will last forever. Giigawaabamin Minaawa Niijii.

********************

Iím so proud of the Protectors, the Water Warriors who are currently at Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. Some family and friends of mine have traveled there to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Tribe. Dakota Access Pipeline construction has been halted pending a ruling on whether the Tribe was consulted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers properly. People! That is huge news, wonderful news. 85+ tribes from across the U.S. and non-Indians are camped out there and staying despite the North Dakota Department of Health cutting their water supply and arresting non-violent protectors.

I read that the FBI is getting involved in getting rid of the protectors and all I have to say about that is if genocide, assimilation and systemic oppression didnít work over the past 500 years it sure wonít now. My heart is with the Water Protectors and my prayers are for their continued safety and well-being. Now Iíve read that they are going to begin pumping water out of the Great Lakes but that wonít happen either when we all stand together.
Much love and respect to the Water Protectors. NO D.A.P.L!!!!!

********************

Exciting times have come to my home in Rezberry. My old friend and co-worker Mark Anthony Rolo has come to visit and design my website and help write a compilation of my almost 18 years of columns. In the book I intend to write about just how I came to be this way and my adventures and misadventures, which are many. The website will include a monthly horoscope column and some videos of my absurd reality. Iím finally in a place where I can focus on my writing and new ideas.

No one will be spared my razor tongue just so yooz know. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahhaahahahaha!!!!! (Laughing maniacally while rubbing my palms together.) Believe me, some people have it coming. My purpose is not exposing the dastardly deeds of hypocritical people that literally cause me nausea but simply to write the truths of my life. There will be a lot of hilarity too, because thatís what sustains me and how I get through this crazy life.

When the projects are completed I will post it on Facebook and in my column. I hope you all check it out and share widely. Iím having fun with this and want you to do so too.

Purrince is sitting on the desk next to me and itís a fall-like shadow that lights him. I like September but not so much what followsÖWinter. Brrrrr!!! Until then Iím gonna be outside as much as I can and get browner n browner. Ay!!!

If you have a favorite column I wrote please contact me at the email address at the bottom of my column. I need your input and suggestions about what made you laugh, think, become aware or just generally enjoyed. As I said before Iím finally in a space where I can do what I want to do and I intend not to waste it. It has been such a privilege to be able to write, and gratifying that so many people appreciates what I have to say.

See yooz all next month when Moosie may make an appearance as he likes to do on an odd frequency. Take care, stay well and laugh a whole lot. Mwah!!

Not a Teddy Bear Indian
Friday, August 05 2016
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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Itís weird how things work out. Or donít. First off, I didnít think I would still be around to write the above so in my case itís cool. Iíve had a spectacular life and not all of it has been good, but most def spectacular. For so long Iíve been threatening all of yooz that Iím gonna write a book and that is going to happen. I will also be working with author, journalist and playwright Mark Anthony Rolo on a play about my crazy life.

Some of you may have your sparse Indian hairs standing up after reading about this incredible (insert your reaction here gr and kb) collaboration, but let me assure yooz the time has come so just be ready. Iím now able to focus for the first time in my life on what Iíve been writing about for almost 18 years. All my life, really!!! I know some of you have read my column for years now and you must know how much I appreciate yooz. Big love yaíll.

The best part of all my personal experiences has been that Iím not alone. Probably 99.9% of real brown Indians have been through what I have and more, which is sad. When I say Ďbest partí I mean itís not us personally, it is the color of our skin and our culture we have never left after 500 years. That is strength, resilience, courage and the refusal to give up in the face of unrelenting racism and colonization. Iím so proud of us.

Iím so not a ďTeddy Bear IndianĒ. Never have I written or said anything to make non-Indians feel comfortable or that Iím not a threat. Let me be clear: I am a threat and you may not like or agree with what I say but it is my life experience and no one can dismiss it or marginalize me. I AM and I matter. Bring it, I got you.

The reason I bring that up is that so many Indian writers bow down to what white people think will sell and I call that selling out. Not all of us are mystical beings who are in tune with the Earth. Deep in our DNA we are but not all of us listen.

A character I named Moosie is just that; a cultural caricature I invented when I saw paperback books of a bronze Indian man holding a white woman who succumbed to his savage love albeit unwillingly, at first. I laughed just hard. I said to myself I can do better than that and did so. The response was hilarious. I had women asking who Moosie really is and men who made their ponytails float like Moosieís in the wind even when there was no wind.

Point is a lot of people liked my fictional character and wanted more of it but my column has been about an Indian woman living in this crazy space and writing about my life trying to survive. Apart from my own problems Iíve addressed many life issues that affect us all as Indian Nations. I cry and rage a lot wondering how I can help and make a difference for the better and continuation of our People. That is and will be my main purpose, for the love of us as a distinct and sovereign people.

I share now that Iíve been betrayed and deliberately hurt by close family and friends. It sickens me most of all because of the time and trust I wasted on them. They have serious character flaws and thanks to my therapist I donít carry any trauma they inflicted on me. He said, ďItís not your faultĒ after I told him how my former best friend hurt me. That statement saved me and I now say it to yooz.

So much of what you have suffered is not your fault. Itís the fault of the racist, colonial, oppressive culture being inflicted upon us. The good news is a great many people are awakening and making their voices heard. Those people are also walking the talk in life and politics (Plz go register to vote!) who will be recognized as a serious power.

It is so easy to acquiesce to the mundane machine and think that no matter what you do or not itís already been rigged so your vote doesnít count. I say it does and that if you choose not to vote you then have no right to complain about anything. I know that our political system sucks but itís all we have right now so make your voice heard, please.

Not everyone has the platform I have to speak out but you still can. Love to my granddaughter, Love to All.

A Perfect Earth
Friday, August 05 2016
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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I dream often of a perfect Earth... one that is simply itself, a supreme being that pulses and embodies all animals, plants, rock, and waters the entire surface above and below. The dreams led me to this conclusion: this entity was a lot better off without human interference and modern capitalism toward eventual destruction.

Personally, I donít believe thatís a bad thing. The demise of humanity I mean. The truth is the damage has been done by the industrial nations beyond any last minute repair and we are all going to suffer for it. There will be pockets of humans who survive the cataclysms as they have learned and have always done living in...the first word that comes to mind is Ďharmonyí but itís much deeper than that. My ancestorís got it Ė they lived with Earth and her gifts and were generous with it as it all came from our mutual Mother.

The major trouble began when some people felt more entitled to natural resources than others were and many wars began that used the people under their fiefdoms to fight battles for them and called it nationalism. ďUs vs themĒ became the call to arms. If you actually read and disseminate European history itís all about wars, beheadings, treachery, extermination and greed for more land. I used to wonder at how the European invaders of Turtle Island could ever treat any human being the way they treated the Indigenous People. Then reading history it hit me: they massacred their own kind just as they did to us, only we were propagandized as less than human and were living on lands they wanted.

Tthe invaders wanted gold, silver, slaves and whatever else was considered tradable. In this 21st century we are all still suffering from and invested in this sickness inflicted upon us whether we wanted it or not. Indigenous civilizations and their nations are under constant assault by representatives of Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Big Greedy Monsters whose agendas† are the continuing assassination of our leaders, who righteously object to any further incursion.

FWI: As proud of and grateful for I am for those Warriors in Defense of Our Homelands they have proud people who will never let their legacy die. Iím one of them. I am ill, sad, disgusted by the collective apathy of 98% of us but I have to fight on for my granddaughtersí sake and the sake of this world.

Yes, I said what I said before yet I refuse to give up altogether because thatís what Ďtheyí want us to do while Ďtheyí jet off to Mars, Planet X or wherever, leaving us to deal with the nuclear mess left to us. We are that character on ďLostĒ who punches the button every 38 minutes so as not to blow up the rest of the place.

Iím sickened to read how even backyard chicken coops, Bee hives and many other small family agriculture is being outlawed. We are supposed to become drones in the service of Monsanto, GMO products and never question where our food really comes from.

I have gastrointestinal illness (Ya, I know you think itís TMI but itís not just me) which causes me extreme pain and not wanting to leave my house. I now peruse grocery store ads like I used to do fashion magazines salivating over foods I used to eat and dinners I could make. The only time I do take time to cook is when I visit my Gramma Rose and we get to eat good food together, which is how itís supposed to be. We all deserve to eat well and not only the government cheese (hey thanks, I guess) they feed us.

Now, after a generous repast of home cooked comfort food look at your children and theirs. Ask yourself if they are worth working for, fighting for, living for their kids and grandkids to consume a healthy meal. Itís a start. Now listen here. Iím not preaching in any way. I recently bought a bag of cheez ballz and I ainít no judge of anyone. I simply encourage others to open their eyes to alternative methods of preserving our environment because itís the right thing to do for all of us. Still, I recycle because I believe itís the least I can do. The fact is I have to eat more natural foods. Yaíll take care, know I love you and Ima go make me some manoomin.

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