It ain't easy being Indian


“…it looks like a handful of poop is rewriting American prehistory”.

Archaeology, July/August 2008, p. 45.

Now, I don’t usually dwell on the subject of pooping because to me it’s a matter of ‘so what, everybody does it’. Of course, I have giggled about stories of what my people call a “boogit” or more crassly, a fart. Think of it though, in the actual physical performance it sounds just like that phonetically “Boo-gitt”. I dunno. That’s what I think anyways. Maybe your tribe’s boogit’s sound different. I can only testify that my own are near nonexistent but when they do appear, they are sweet, musical toots, like a Mozart melody.

Ho-Lay! Carried away, ennit? Never mind boogits for now, my main subject was poops, or more specifically, 15,000 year old Native coprolites. Coprolites that are the beginning of the real truth about our ancient existence here in Turtle Island, how very ironic! “Our ancestors have been crapping here longer than your ancestors, you gosh darn boat people! So there!” (I mentally hurl a turd in their direction).

Some scientists in Oregon excavated a cave in which was found animal

bones, camel and horse with scrapes on them, the dinner of which of

course resulted in the poops. Now I don’t wanna get all scientifical on

yooz. The point I am trying to make here is that (as I said many years

ago and I quote me) “the white mans’ technology would eventually prove

them wrong.” I add now on every count.

Take that you Bering Strait theorists! Yay! I just love this, and I

will sleep better tonight and for many nights to come, in the sure

knowledge that our Native history, our tribal stories and our family

legacies will be validated, not terminated. And if anyone ever asks me

again ‘where I come from’ I will cheerfully enlighten them. Actually,

I’m gonna tell anyone who will listen.

The Rezberry Enrollee Appreciation days were at the end of June. There

was a carnival, feast and cash prizes. At this time of year,

Rezberrians from all corners of the county (just kidding!) gather for a

rollicking good fight.. I mean “time”. There are the relatives who live

far away you hug so hard and almost cry you miss them so bad – Amanda.

And then there are the ones who if you see them once a year. that’s one

time too much. Them ones only probably live down the way a bit. Some

friends of mine have this corny sign in their luxe condo: Friends

Welcome Anytime, Relatives by Appointment Only.

I worked most of the weekend of celebrations, but I did manage to buy

some mini-frybread from the carnival, coated in sugar and cinnamon, you

know, real traditional Indian chow. The mini-frybread cost $4 bucks!

OMG! But that’s not why I bring that up. While in line behind a woman

and her two kids, I noticed that they were white. What? This is

supposed to be for Rezberrians only! I could not help myself, I said,

“Are you guys supposed to be Indians?” The mom looked at me all

offended, and we both looked at her two kids, both pale, freckled cute

little things. The mom, who had blonde hair, growled back at me, “are


There’s me, all big and brown with snapping black eyes, and we both

knew I didn’t have to answer that question. The mom then said something

like, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, and I replied, “I never do, I

was just curious”. I am! Having brown skin, dark hair and eyes is not

required any longer to qualify as “Indian”, but it used to. At least it

makes it easier for us to identify each other in public. Ah yes, the

current painfully relevant question. What makes an Indian an Indian?


At the carnival, besides the usual silly carny games, there were some

that seemed a bit sketchy even for them. You just handed them your

money and they said “Oh, too bad! Want to try again?” Just like at the

casino. There was Rez rep dunkings, archery contests, and an Indian

mime. He didn’t get boxed in by an imaginary box, he got boxed into a

tiny reservation.

Elvis in da’ house!!! My cousins Faye and Chuck have a party every year

the same weekend as Enrollee Day. The food, the fun, the laughing,

dancing and visiting! They really know how to throw a party. A surprise

guest showed up. In case you were wondering if Elvis lives, he does! He

currently works at the Risky Raccoon Resort in housekeeping, and every

now and then the King deigns to perform for private parties. I, along

with other pantie-throwing, screaming fans got a silky, sweaty Elvis

neckerchief. I hope his manly odor lasts until I see him again!


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