It ain’t easy being Indian… (January 2014)

By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country

Well…. This is the month for New Year’s resolutions, which I don’t like making but if I’m gonna get anything for next Christmas I better start being good. Oh wait! I don’t ‘do’ that holiday anymore! Not for any Grinchy reasons though; mostly because the first family Christmas gathering I had in my Rez house ten years ago began fantastically but ended in angry shouts, fists being shaken and dark vows of never dampening my doorstep again. Good times, good times…. Not!

Eh. I did continue to put up a fake tree for a few more years just because for my son until my realization I’m celebrating a Christian holiday and I’m not even Christian! That poor old tree is in the basement looking all broken and sad because I find it emotionally exhausting to un-decorate it. I am happy when other people are happy for that day sharing and giving with their loved ones especially the children. To me, kids make the day joyful; they grow up so fast and deserve Santa presents. I did become tearful when I thought of past Christmases when my son and nephew were kids, now I’m happy I have those memories.

This past Christmas morning I woke and went to see if Santa Claus left me anything. Nope. Not even a lump of coal. I let Mitzi my dog outside, sat for a minute watching snowflakes gently fall, let Mitzi back in. She began doing that weird doggy ‘boot scoot’ all over the carpet and a chair and I just thought she needed to have her behind squeegeed by her groomer. Well I prepared breakfast for my six cats and the Mitz; when I called for her she came but wouldn’t eat. What? Then I lifted her tail and it was a smelly nest of soft mushy poop and long hair.

I know, right? Well I bathed her, sat down again and heard retching sounds. It wasn’t me. Tupac the cat had found the one still unsullied spot on the carpet and yakked up a chunky pool of puke. Sigh. I waited until it was room temperature before I could bring myself to clean that mess up cuz I would throw up too if it was too warm or cold. I know…ick! But I signed up for their care knowing they come with undesirable body functions so I turned my attention to making chicken soup for myself. I even turned up the heat as a present to me; usually I keep it as low as possible.

It was a good day. I have everything I need including and especially love.

Now as for my New Year’s vows; I will not sit back and let other people do all the heavy work to change our world for the better. I will speak out and act out for causes that are near and dear to my heart like eliminating the vile team name of Washington “Redskins”. I am calling out Black Americans on this too-why do they paint up their faces and don ‘Indian’ headdresses especially since they most of all the other minorities know what it’s like to be disrespected and marginalized? It sickens me to see that. In no way would anyone in the U.S. tolerate any team to be called the “N” word. Would Asian, Hispanic, Jewish, Gay or Redneck Americans allow their culture or ethnicity to be abused in this way and then see it justified it as ‘a tradition’ and say they are honoring ______ Americans?

Don’t tell me your children wouldn’t be hurt and confused by the racist images that popular culture insists is just a game fer cripe’s sake, get over it. Our parents and theirs had to deal with it but our children don’t have to…not anymore at all. They deserve our outrage and activism so their kids don’t have to grow up in that evil shadow of hateful dismissal.

This is also about wolves being demonized in European culture. I think of the Story of the Wolf, Maaii’gan in Ojibwe, that the Creator said that when first man and his wolf brother were separated that what happens to one will happen to the other. This is happening now. I vow to speak for my wolf family and refuse to let the sickness in this society allow open season on my People.

I officially announce my intent to sing, dance, write, rally, protest any and all further genocidal attacks upon the Original Occupants of our beloved Turtle Island. Nyah! So there, take that to town. I will be waiting for yooz.

Whew! I’m so glad to get that out there! Yeah, despite my mostly absurd, karmically ironic existence I’m just fine. For now anywayz. Happy New Year ya’ll, write me or email your resolutions, mmmmkay?