It Ain’t Easy Being Indian – May 2021

photo of ricey wild

By Ricey Wild

“Well…we made it this far”, said my nephew, Jerone at intervals heading out of the Cities. He was seven years old and we were on the way to a cabin vacay on Lake Winnibigosh in northern Minnesota and the car did not break down while getting there. Clearly not a lot of confidence about his Gami’s pony, a brown Volvo. For the record it got us all home too, but that’s not my point.

“Well… we made it this far” is my mantra for 2021 while still pondering how I personally made it this far, what with all the traumatic and physical danger I’ve been in throughout my life. I now include all BIPOC who experience daily racist hate and still walk proud. See now? Collectively WE have made it this far and no matter the blood trauma and resilience it can still cause spiritual exhaustion.

I’m tired of telling pink people they suck in maple-sugary terms.

I feel like I am gently patting some pinks on their back for not being as racist as they used to be. That’s not far enough to say we made it. Last year did wake a lot of pinks up and they marched in solidarity with us. Now own it.

This rabbit hole is deep. I want to cuss, jump up and down with smoke coming out of my ears to make my point clear: as a nation, vile and racist as it is, we cannot continue the violent cycle that has been set since the first European immigrants showed up on Turtle Island’s eastern shores. Immigrants who were allegedly seeking religious freedom, which included genocide upon the Indigenous people of this land. The enti­­re “founding of” myth of the United States is ludicrous at best and soul-wrenchingly tragic at the same time.

At this juncture I must call upon Little Ricey who has very strong opinions about poopy people and things. She grew up in a loving home and was first exposed to hate in a kindergarten room full of toys and pasty-skinned children. After she stopped crying that her unfeeling mother left her in such an abhorrent place she played with the other kids, not getting that she was brown and at first, they did not either.

Little Ricey was puzzled when in 1st grade she no longer had the same friends, if any at all, so she kept to herself but wondered why? Well, while being indoctrinated in 2nd grade the class watched a b/w movie in which savage, heathen Red Indians took out some pink land-grabbers and squatters. Little Ricey, as the sole Indian kid in the room saw her classmates literally turn around in their chairs to openly gape and glare at her. It was a social death sentence.

She did have a few friends who invited her over to play, but usually only once after the parents saw her golden brown skin and dark eyes. Little Ricey was a good child even if unconsciously accepting of her demeaned role in society because she, at the time, did not know of the powerful ancestors who made it possible for her to be here at all. That is, until she wasn’t.

Then she went to powwows where most of the people looked like family. Little Ricey even went into the circle, careful to dance to the drum’s beat. She belonged. Later in her education she learned the true and factual history of Turtle Island and at the time cried and began to understand it as such. It really hurt and she was shaken to the core. Little Ricey did become older and walked around with a silent shriek at the attempted annihilation or her own people, the ones who sacrificed everything and themselves so their descendents would still live upon our sacred Mother and dance to ancient songs.

That is power. Power beyond our scope of comprehension, but it is there.

I feel them, my ancestral forebears a lot more now as I am, or feel really alone. It is a comfort to me that they are here to help me when I need it and they always, always come through. Am I special? Yes, we all are and when the time comes call upon your guides, angels, spirits, whomever you pray to. Do it with your soul. It’s really all you have, ennit?
It is my friend Mark Anthony Rolo’s death day on the 30th of this month. I loved him. I fought with Mark and traded barbs but he saw me, one of the few who have. Mark is the one who got me first published in The Circle. He made me laugh and yell, so yes, I do miss him. I feel his love and affection for his pupil.

See you next lifetime.