Better start repenting right now

It aint easy being Indian... but nobody does it better

by Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country

Some fifteen years ago when I was still in school, I brought this really cool whiteman who worked in the college’s media department to Rezberry’s Powwow so we could film it. It was his first time ever and he, geez I wish I remembered his name, said something I have never forgotten. “I’ve never seen any people step so lightly upon the Earth.”

His statement struck me for several reasons, one, that it was a first impression and that the words he spoke implied more than the dancers and their respectful and deliberate steps. I saw it as an observation of a unique way of life, of being, and that we, the original inhabitants of this country have always known how to step lightly upon the earth.

I treasure those words.

Yeah. I watched Montel Williams show the other day and psychic Sylvia Browne was on. She said something to the effect that we, humanity, are in “The End of Days.” (Cue ominous music). To paraphrase Sylvia, she said that we are directly responsible for our own certain doom. Our true elected president Al Gore has been researching and lecturing about global warming and its effects for decades; and only now are some people ready to listen. But is it too late?

I don’t mean to depress anyone here, but it’s something one cannot help but think about. So I shared my deep concerns with my Mom, who after a brief silence said, “Well, we may as well party up then!” I laughed and thought, hey, what the heck? If we’re all going we should just go out happy. No worries anymore. Especially since this Earth did very well without us and may heal once we’re out of the picture. I’m totally all right with that.

As for the rest of you, I suggest you get started on your repenting right now just to get a head start on the rest of the world’s population. Me? I’m planning my next trip; I’m going to Florida before it’s submerged under water. I bet you that there’s gonna be a big demand for houseboats in the coming years.

On Thanksgiving morning I watched the Macy’s parade, more because there was nothing else on and that I don’t have satellite. Imagine my surprise when a float of Indians showed up! Real ones too, actual real brown Cherokees! Their float was a cornucopia with Native foods symbolized and the Indians were a Cherokee Choir, who sang “Jingle Bells” in the Cherokee language, translated just for the occasion. It totally made my day.

Finally, after all this time and culturally ingrained racism, some Indian people are represented on a holiday which Americans would not have it not for our Indian ancestors helping out some pore ole starving pilgrims by inviting them to a feast. Do they ever thank those old time Indians for a paid day off to devour mass quantities of turkey and fixin’s and then on the next day participate in the de facto American religion, the Church of All Mighty Consumerism?

Nah. Probably not. One of my hopes is that in elementary schools, they will at least put an end to kids dressing up as Indians and Pilgrims for this holiday. To me, that would be real progress. Reminds me of this one time I was asked to speak to some middle-school kids in Blueberry about Thanksgiving.

After much nagging and persuasion I eventually consented to do it. I tell you now I don’t like being put on stage and exhibited like I was a cute little pole-dancing teddy bear. There are some Indians who lap up all the attention from white folks they can get, whatever, its just not who I am.

So there I am in front of about 30 or so young minds, staring at me wondering I suppose where I parked my horse. I began to speak of the first Thanksgiving, don’t think they called it that yet, and then I detailed the horror of the Pilgrims massacre of the very Indians who had fed them and helped them survive the winter. Shocked? Oh you bet they were! I left with a warm feeling of having shared something with the kids that they would otherwise have not known from textbooks alone.

It is odd though, now that I think about it, why I have never been invited back?

Back to the Macy’s parade, I have to mention this one dance group of young people who did an interpretation (adaption?) of an African/Scotch/ Cherokee step dance. Huh? What? Yeah, that’s what I thought too, sorta blew my mind. I never knew that Scottish people danced.

I am just going to reiterate for the record that it sure ain’t easy being Indian, but like my dear ole Unk Gene used to say, no one else does it better.

Warmth and love and hugs to you all!