It Aint Easy Being Indian – December 2023

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By Wild Ricey

Ah…Buffy Sainte Marie was not the first ‘Pretendian.’ When she was outed by The Fifth Estate in Canada, I was disappointed and sorrowful even though I only remember one song of hers; He’s an Indian Cowboy in the rodeo/and I’m just a little girl who loves him so…! As a child I never questioned her ethnicity because Buffy was a trailblazer and brought Indigenous causes to light using her platform.

So Ima bring some thoughts I have about this bombshell. Now who would want to have the identity of a historically and currently oppressed and suppressed civilization of The Original People of Turtle Island??? We were not supposed to even be here but our ancestors just kept snagging and fighting. The Man was unable to wipe us Indigenous People out by genocide alone so they adopted other measures such as, “Kill the Indian-save the man”. A-hem! Boarding schools. I leave that for another time
Attention. Basically, in my view, Buffy who is allegedly of entirely European descent, had big cheek bones and spent many moons in a tanning bed so as to be taken seriously. Allegedly.

I was smoking in a hotel room with others when Buffy busted in and then busted out. There were a few other famous ne’er do wells there too. She’s a tiny female; when she locked eyes with me, she left.

That is just one Buffy story thus far. Very much like when people actually meet me, and I laugh about me being put on a pedestal. In no way am I that great, but I do worry about yooz and love yooz, too. That is my purpose.

When I was born my Gramma Rose and family came to see me in the newborn ward. Rose said this over and over, “When you were born you were ours.” I still am. It is a lot to carry on my weak and fragile bones but I will go on nevertheless. I am a warrior. Can’t nobody take that away from me and my kin. No threats whatsoever, just letting yooz know. I believe we have indomitable souls and have been here before and only come back to help and look after our progeny, relatives, snags, etc….

Yanno? My guardians came through for me so much that they are probably exhausted and so approve of my current lifestyle, if one could call it that.

Whoops! I forgot to put on my Witchy-Poo hat while writing. It’s purple, of course. *Puts hat on* Done. So now I have to come up with some witty and sideways out-my-mouth observations. It’s a lot of pressure my people! I spend the next month after submitting a column, tell myself to write down my thoughts, whisk it all and then I don’t write it down, so I’m at a loss when I go to write the next month’s piece.

Ya, ya I know, poor pitiful me who has to pull stuff out of her hiney so I can get my column in on time, mostly. The thing is, I am now soooo boring and can only whine about my physical disabilities and my mental and emotional well-being.

I remember sitting on the bus behind old women whose entire conversations were about their current health problems. Thirteen year old me did not know I would live this long, especially not knowing what was in store for me; to crumble, to die and that has not happened.

When I say I was a mark, believe me. I was born into a loving family but as I got older their protection was minimized as I went about my clueless way and adulthood crept up on me.
It turns out there are people in your sphere who do not want you to succeed. So I say g’wan den and do it for yourself and the generations to come behind you. The others mean nothing, except to stay away from their toxicity. I have.

Ya. I went on a tangent I didn’t know was inside me so thank you reading and I pray you are healing from unwanted trauma. I so want to hug yooz! Group hug, y’all. I love yooz!

I have been writing this column forever, it’s been 25 years yo!!! My mind cannot wrap around that. Just so yooz know this has been the privilege of my lifetime and the best I get out of it. My Gramma Rose was proud of me.