It Aint Easy Being Indian – August 2022

photo of ricey wild

By Ricey Wild

It is now August, FYI for people like me who were not paying attention. I can see full foliage outside from my windows, oh ya! It was last year that I sat outside to enjoy my familiar outside kin, to hear their love and whispers that sound like Si-Si-Gwad when they communicate with one another. I am so pale now, appearing like my French ancestors. I wail and rage against my skin, betraying my ancestry.

On the white man’s papers, I am a half-n-half of my parent’s DNA. It’s been interesting for me to say the least. Both were listed as ‘half-bloods’, and my birth mother did not put my father’s name on my birth certificate. Apparently, I was a virgin birth. I was still enrolled, but my son could not be enrolled because of the blood quantum imposed upon us by the invaders. He is now, thanks to my brother Michael Wynde, whom I share the same father with.

I have often complained, disgusted by the colonists’ dictums and my own peoples’ constitutions, leaving so many out who deserve recognition as tribal and community members. Oh, but wait, it was not so easy being Indian before there were tribal casinos, ennit? Then the closet Indians came out of their insulated white comas and demanded their share of profits if any at all. I label them “Insta-Indians.”

Most who have assimilated themselves out to cultural extinction all of a sudden, with their pale pink visages and colonist ways, tried to come back into a pack they had no knowledge of. Kinda like a teacup poodle trying to ride with the Rez Dawgs. Ya, and don’t think you fooled us, no, we don’t even need to smell your grungy, greedy, and hypocritical crusty behinds. We see you.

Well, I did not initially intend to vent like this. If you were never called a dirty Indian, been refused service and housing, or followed in a store, than whatever you name yourselves you are de facto white, with all the attendant privilege that comes with it. LiLiLiLiLi!!! Take that you imposters.

To add insult to injury. I have often (wayyy to often) been called many other races that have dark-eyes, dark-hair and olive skin. The ones who asked were mostly Pinks, all of them immigrants or descendants. Ya, I never thought I had to wear beaded earrings or feathers in my hair at all, I just went about being me in a very special insular club, never thinking I would have to explain myself. (On a side note maybe I should have explained what I yam, maybe woulda sent them all scurrying back to their European homelands, which is not here.) Like: Nice hair! D’ya need a trim today or is it the usual scalping?

In Rezberry it is a gorgeous, breezy warm day, and not too hot. As I write this column, I am wearing the minimals: rings, bracelets and a stainless steel necklace that I’m wearing backward. It feels good on my bare back. The malti-mutts are chillaxin, the cats are doing extra time in the open windows, which feature lush, open greenery and lots of bugs for the kitties to bat at.

Everything except me is doing great. I’m not one to whine…choke choke…but on the outside my well-being is going great and I need not worry or have stress about anything. Yet we are humans and can find the most absurd happenings suddenly worth a good fight. I have no vignettes, yooz already know. “Now how did this fly/mosquito get into the house!” Yanno, the real stuff.

As serene as my current existence seems to another, I am not okay. I am a prisoner of my own house, it does not like it when I leave and has taken drastic measures to keep me in place. Ya, I understand how that sounds, I do. There are many people who have said that, “You are where you are supposed to be” like in Christian terms. I don’t know that!

It is true I have a nice little Kwe (woman) cave but being afraid of going out of it is new. There are a lot of factors I blame it on: Disability, pandemic, emotional abuse, and mental assault and injuries to my body. I used to be this club Qween, a Magic Mami and now? I’m the old lady who shouts at the JTPA crew who mow my lawn when they bumped one of the milkweed plants.

Know that I pray for all of yooz. As absent in physical life, I am here in Spirit holding and hugging yooz.