It Ain't Easy Being Indian


ricey wild.jpgIt has been 15 years since my column

has been published and I’m smiling all big! My humble thanks go out

to Sue who was editor of The Circle News in 1998 and to Paul

De Main, editor of News From Indian Country who picked up my

column soon thereafter. The column began as “It ain’t easy

being Indian…but someone’s got to do it” by Kristine

Shotley. Cat Whipple shortened the title to what it is today but my

picture has stayed the same in The Circle so here I am in


One of my meany aunts said that “…”Kris

doesn’t look like that anymore” and I said ‘well who does after

12 years?’ or whenever it was she said that. I’ve met people who

said I look a lot better in person than my picture so of course it’s

been on my mind to update it. I kind of liked the original photo-I

felt it gave me anonymity in person which is ironic since I have been

putting my life out there for everyone to read about. Ah but life

itself makes no concrete sense which is fine by me; if life was

predictable I would be driven insane. Insaner?

I remember my first column was a

pretend ‘singles ad’, I wrote that I have green fingernails, was

vegetarian and very sassy and some other stuff that probably scared

some men off but that was the point. I have written many times that I

enjoy my single life, that I have never felt I had to have a partner

to define me. Plus my mother drilled into me these words,”Krissy,

don’t ever get married” which my little girl’s heart took

seriously. (Note to self: bring this up at next therapy session. Mom

still has a lot to answer for). JK!!!

My vegetarianism didn’t last long

after I moved to Rezberry; my Unk gave me some moose meat which I

cooked up for my son Steve in olive oil and fresh garlic. I remember

watching him eat every mouthful like I was starving, then he said,

“Ma! Come back to the dark side!” and that was it. He held my

hand while I took the first bite of flesh and I haven’t gone back.

What meat I eat and where it comes from is another thing but that’s

for another column.

I still love having neon lime green

fingernails and dressing up even if no one sees me. You young women

need to put real clothes on even if it’s just to the Rez store; I

think flannel pajama pants with the butt worn out and drooping looks

just awful. I have an entire wardrobe that I only wear at home and my

furry family could care less. You young men also need to wake up to

2013 and that only losers “sag” and wear their pants around their

knees. Go ahead and write me! I will be only too happy to discuss how

sagging is directly connected to mental slavery.

Whoa! That is my opinion my dear

readers and is the most important reason for my writing this column.

I am an American Indian woman who is still very sassy and I am very

grateful that I get to do this … writing a column from a very

different point of view than mainstream media puts out. One special

thing for me is that readers are like, “hey! That happened to me

too!” so we have a shared experience we can laugh about. And that,

my friends, the act of laughing is what has kept me out of permanent

residence at the loony bin. Weird things have happened in my life

that are so absurdly comical that I have said “Did that really just

happen?” and I have put my struggle with depression out there too.

My message is from my heart; you whom suffer pain from

mental/emotional/physical issues I LOVE YOU!!!

I love you and there is help when you

need it. You may not realize there are many people who are willing

and trained to help yooz in your darkest hour. Stick around with me

and see what happens in the next chapter which will be totally worth

it. This much I know. ;D

 Well next month I will get back to my

usual format of ranting and raving, sharing stories and struggles and

hopefully giving you a laugh. I just had to be sure yooz know I think

of yooz, and even if I don’t write back right away it’s always on

my mind. It’s just that I’m a serial procrastinator and never

ever dismissive of the letters and emails I receive. I am on

permanent “Indian Time” which my inner clock is in tune with and

not the unnatural hours I am forced to comply with. Oh well. See