Carry your tribal ID with your Nikes

by Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country

Wow. Check this out! Recently there was an article in the Big City newspaper about the company Nike making shoes designed specifically for and only for Native Nations. My son and my Mom and I speculated on the design, Steve thought there would be some kind of four directions wheel, my Mom Omi thought they might be modeled after moccasins, and I privately thought the shoes would be named after famous Indians, like ‘Geronimo’ (good for jumping), the ‘Sacajawaya’ (for walking to the west coast), or maybe have names like ‘renegade,’ ‘The Sav’ or a four seasons version, like you wear them till they fall off.

Well, Nike, being the huge conglomerate Nike, did an extensive survey of 70 tribes involving hundreds and hundreds of Indians. They measured, they weighed and they smelled and what they came up with is this: Native people have really wide feet, three times the ‘normal’ width, and that our feet are ‘higher’ as I can attest to my own lovely high-arched feet. Ay!

The ‘toe box’ is also wider so our fat brown piggies can wiggle. I think they look quite run of the mill, really, with the quintessential Nike ‘swoosh’ except that they looked gargantuan, enormous in the photo like they were made for Shaq and not our average Wilmer and Wilma Indian.

I for one am impressed that Nike is finally targeting Native nations to sell overpriced products made by malnourished and impoverished 5 & 6 year olds overseas. At last we have equality!

Now the cultural majority will have another thing on their grievance list that we Indians get for ‘free’ like oh ‘of stuff like sovereignty, treaty rights, hunting, fishing, gathering, education etc’ all of it paid for with blood money. Yep. Add our own exclusive shoes to that list now and we are really going to experience some backlash, I betcha! Nike is selling the sport shoes wholesale only to Native Nations, for about $48 or so a pop.

Only enrolled or recognized tribal member’s can purchase and apply these special shoes to their feet. The word is that we are also going to have to make sure to carry our tribal I.D.s at all times while wearing these kicks or the authorities, as if they already didn’t have enough to do what with catching dog-nappers and other heinous criminals, they now have to police who is qualified to wear these Indian-Only shoes! You Wannabees better watch out, I’m telling ya, we don’t take kindly to anyone taking whatever it is we have left. I hear that in Rezberry you will have to appear before the Tribal Court and pay a stiff fine. Word.

Nike claims to have done it in the name of altruism, that they think we Indians are carrying way too much frybread on our frames for our own good, and that the shoes will encourage us to get up and start exercising cause our feet won’t hurt so bad. Okay, fine! That is a good thing. So far anyways, I worry about the long-term ramifications about this product. What will be next I ask you? Once we are all fit and in shape are other companies going to come and pander to us for business? Like the major clothing manufacturers may begin to market stuff we didn’t wear before, like skimpy thong ‘underwear’ and spare us please, Speedos for the men. Yark!

My imagination falters at this vision. Ahem!

‘Mi Vida Loca’ is still in full effect. You would think that after a certain age, (like mine) one would prefer to settle down, become quiet, contemplative and respectable. You’d think. Well, my name ain’t Ricey Wild for nothing, yanno? I could share a couple of recent episodes with yooz, but I am going to save it for my book because if I told yooz, yooz would think I made it up. Hai! But the reason I do bring up anything of my naughty behavior is this: I learned that I am blessed, I have much to be thankful for and dang it! I have people who love me. You know who you are, and I love yooz back. Thank you for being there for me, and I will get you back someday. Only a matter of time, heh heh heh!

One more thing I been thinking about. A person does not have to be loud, brash or outspoken like me to make a difference in the world. I am extremely lucky to have the exposure to rant and rave as I please, at times I like to think that I make a difference in this crazy world, at least to make people think of another point of view even if they disagree. I also know that it is our people who are calm, kind and compassionate that make the most lasting impact in our lives. That being said, goodbye sweet Norma, thank you for being you and sharing your love with so many.