Monday, January 6, 2014

ᎤᏅᏥᎭ

Ꭷ ᏥᏨᏂᏤᎢ

Snow covers us like a protective blanket. It gives us splice and reminds us there is a time for rest. Some things can only be learned when there is ᎤᏅᏥᎭ. 

ᏅᏬᏘᎭᏃ that ᏗᎧᏃᏩᏛᏍᏓ tells used all things are sacred. It says it most assuredly ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᏕᎦᏓᏰᎸᏎᏍᏓ and it applies to all things. We also know that some things are more ᎦᎸᏉᏗ than others. Specifically people are sacred. We are to liken ourselves to that in each other. ᏕᎦᏓᎸᏉᏕᏍᏗ 

ᎠᏂᏴᏫ are spiritual things. Our people know that. It must guide us like a sense, a sense that isn't desperate from the other four. It is tied to our knowledge through personal and group experience ᎢᎦᏅᏔ and ᎢᎦᏓᏅᏔ our feelings. 

We know that those things can go awry. We can loose focus. That is why we must ᏕᎦᏓᎢᏤᎲᏍᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ periodically renew ourselves. We must always challenge ourselves to grow. ᏕᎦᏓᏅᎾᎦᎳᏬᏍᎨᏍᏗ. But without our ᏅᏬᏘ we will not be let where we need to be. ᏍᏆᏘᏂᏎᏍᏗ ᏍᎩᏯᏁᎳᏅᎯ
Help one another in that. ᏕᎦᏓᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᎢᎨᎮᏍᏗ and we will be providers for one another ᎢᎦᏓᏁᎳᏅᎯ ᏱᎩᏍᏕᎳ 

ᎣᏏᏳ

ᎠᏯ ᏩᏕ ᏥᎪᏪᎸᎦ


Thursday, September 26, 2013

ᎠᎹ ᎡᏓᏍᏗᏱ

go to the running water before the birds start to sing in the morning. approaching singing an ancient song I don't understand four times. standing by the water in meditation until the sun shines on the tips of the trees. My meditation uses tobacco. 

One pinch for my mind
One pinch for yours
One for the union of the two and 
One for the power of that union. 

One pinch for the air all around us we breath, a living air, the breath of life. 
One for the water below my feet that connects me to all that came before, the ancient ones. 
One for the ancient white fire, the sacred red coals, behind the sun and within our hearts. 
And One for the earth, the soil and to our mothers. United. 

One pinch to the color blue, the blue veined one intelligent and resourceful as you stand in the north
One for the golden skinned one, the one of wisdom to understand as you stand in the west. 
One to the black skinned one, compassionate and impassioned by life, as you stand in the south. 
One to the rust skinned one, guardian and watcher, as you stand in the east. 

As for myself and you as well we have just become united with all and anything. 

wading into the spring fed stream and facing upstream to the east. mumbling a prayer as the sun peak her crown above the horizon and droning out an invocation to the four corners of the world and to the provider, we have spoken to you and you have spoken. Starting in the east and circling to the north crying out in the four directions. 

When returning to the east singing of the uniting of the heavens and the earth as we have found what we have been searching for. We have become one with the one most up above. 

I am the sun I wash over all below.... Nothing will overcome..... I am washing. I raise the water above my head four times and sing the same song again and again and again raising the water above my heart and crown four times each time. 

Another thanksgiving salutation and saying from the four couriers of the earth they are carrying their very souls, we are lifting them to the first heaven.... Then the second.... Then the third.... Then the fourth, my hands trace the path to the seventh heaven. My words follow and the water is lifted up again and again. When my left hand is at its zenith crying out long and hard till my fingers are numb and my toes hurt and my head spins then in a deep breath whooping. Plunge seven times to the east. 

When walking away, I don't look back. leaving it all behind.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fleas Biting: The "Baby Veronica" Case and the Abuse of Adoption

Fleas Biting: The "Baby Veronica" Case and the Abuse of Adoption

ᏚᏳᎪᏛ ᏍᏓᏳ ᎢᏯᏛᏁᏗ ᎠᏎᏛ ᎾᏂᏯ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᏕᎦᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᏗᏍᎪᎢ

ᏃᏊᎴ ᎯᎠᎾ ᎠᎨᏳᏣ ᏣᎳᎩᎭ ᎡᎶᎯ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎬᏗ ᏚᏙᎠ ᎠᏂᎧᏫ ᏧᏴᏫ ᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᎨᏳᏣ ᎤᏙᏓ ᎤᏤᎵ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏂᏯ ᎢᏗᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᎦᏤᎵᎦ ᎠᏎᏃ ᏂᎦᎥ ᎡᎶᎯ ᎢᎦᏤᎵᎦ I pray that as a human race we become worthy of her and precious children like her. Right now, I am saddened ᎠᎴ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᏓᏤᏝᎢ ᎤᏚᎩ ᎠᏋᏎᏍᏗ ᏙᎯᏳᎢ ᏫᏓᏤᏝᎢ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᎠᏉᎯᏳᎢ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᏗᎩᏴᏫ ᏗᎩᏝᏅᎩᏓ ᎣᏏᏳ

ᎠᏯ ᏩᏕ ᏥᎪᏪᎸᎦ


Saturday, July 6, 2013

ᏓᏤᏝ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ

Ꭷ I believe the future must be our focus. ᎠᏉᎯᏳᎢ It certainly is mine. The goals of my community and loved ones guide my hands, feet, mind and heart. However I'm afraid the "past vs the future" is a false dichotomy. 

The heritage, histories and oral traditions of our people ᎢᏯᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ have laid the foundation and framed our world views. What makes me who I am are my individual choices within the context of my community and tribal society. ᎦᏚᏩ ᏫᏥᎦᏘ I freely choose from the mainstream and flow with the modern world but I do my best to follow in the footsteps of my people. To do that, the past is my guide. ᏗᎧᏃᏩᏛᏍᏗ Not just the history books but the oral traditions and personal experiences of my loved ones and community members are what guide my hopes and dreams for the future, and I am ecstatic about what we will do. ᏓᏤᏝ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ

ᎢᏨᏯᎴᎵᏤᎭ I appreciate the support of all of you that posted or liked my thoughts above. I will focus on the future and move forward but I'm afraid our toughest battles are ahead but even if we loose a few we will not give up. Our greatest victories are ahead of us as well. 

I'm not talking about ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ vs ᎠᏂᏲᏁᎦ or any sort of insurrection, our battles will be to maintain the foundations of our tribal identities, and they will be in the hearts and minds of our loved ones and in the power and money of politics. We must ensure that our ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᏕᎦᏚᎯ ᎤᏂᏃᎮᏓ ᏧᏂᏴᏫ are strengthened and revitalized to a greater extent with each passing generation. In the past this has not happened and it is not happening now but in the future it must and it will because we do not give up. ᎾᏑᎳᎪᎬᎾ ᏂᏧᎳᎭ ᎢᏓᎢᏎᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᏆᏗᏍᎬᎾ ᏂᎦᏯᎢᏐ ᏂᎪᎯᎳ ᎡᎭ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ

ᎣᏏᏳ 
ᎠᏯ ᏩᏕ ᎦᎵᏍᎨᏫ ᏥᎪᏪᎸᎦ

Monday, April 22, 2013

ᏔᎵ ᏱᎩ ᎢᏯᏓᏅᏖᏘ

CDIB Cards were created by the BIA. Most ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ (ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ were one of the exceptions) did not have a membership role until recently. They already knew who was or was not in their tribe. There were no "benefits" outside ᏧᏂᏴᏫ or ᏍᎦᏚᎩ given "benefits".

When ᏗᎧᎸᎬ ᎠᏁᎲᎢ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ made treaties with the colonial powers, we exchanged land for various things including trade goods, supplies or military assistance. Community leaders needed a running count of their populations because that's how the colonial powers kept tabs for paperwork.

For ᎣᏥᏣᎳᎩ, one of our last treaties (but not the last by any means) was the treaty of ᎠᏤ ᎢᏦᏛ. It was that paperwork that enabled the ᏕᎨᏥᎢᎸᏍᏔᏂ in 1838. Those Eastern immigrants to Indian Territory were slated to receive annuities and provisions both on the trip and after ᏗᎨᏥᎢᎸᏎᎢ. Head counts were necessary, and so that system was maintained to receive the governmental annuities and other "benefits" as promised. We didn't want to share that with outsiders and the government did not want to pay us any more than necessary, so both sides clung to the lists of members.

Even at the time of allotment, when our land was split up among our ᎠᏂᎨᎳ, we needed a list if people to receive land. The ᎠᏂᏒᏃᏱ knew that and tried (but largely failed) to avoid enrollment. Tribal citizens reviewed individual allotments and that was the last roll for ᎣᏥᏣᎳᎩ (the Dawes roll).

Simultaneously, ᏭᏕᎵᎬ ᎠᏁᎲᎢ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ were forced on reservations and received annuities as well; so they needed head counts but the Feds realized that they also needed a way out of their fiduciary responsibility - so they decided, those of less than 1/4 Degree of Indian Blood would not be legally ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ. They thought that we would all either breed out or develop genetically poor populations through inbreeding. In the long term, the Blood Quantum system would take care of the "Indian problem".

ᎣᏥᏣᎳᎩ don't have the blood quantum issue legally because our system superseded the government's plans, but the roll numbers themselves are jealously guarded by the penny pinchers and bean counters. The Feds still give us money but not by head count alone, there are other parts to the equation. The number of citizens is a factor but the number of citizens that are eligible (via income guidelines) within a tribes jurisdictional boundaries are what determines most federal monies. So, even without blood quantum limits, the Feds have found a way to limit us. We are one step closer to mainstream status every day.

If we cannot justify our differences with ᎢᏯᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ (ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ, ᏗᎧᏃᏩᏛᏍᏗ, ᎢᏯᏛᏁᏗ, ᏧᏬᎯᏳᎢ) then how can we claim to be ᎣᏥᏴᏫᏯ? The blood quantum system is a weak (and non scientific) leg to stand on but we don't really have that anyways - not among ᏂᎦᏓ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ. So they have us fighting loosing battles on all sides.

Their goal is to escape the "Indian problem" but we are actively aiding in our demise. However, if we maintain (regain?) our ᎢᏯᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ - this includes our ᏗᎧᏃᏩᏛᏍᏗ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏗᎦᏚᎯᏃ, then we will always be ᎣᏥᎦᏚᏩᎩ even if the Feds disappear. We can recognize our own and it has no thing to do with cards or blood quantum. - 2 ᎢᏯᏓᏅᏖᏘ

Thursday, March 7, 2013

ᎠᏯᏊ

Ꭷ ᎠᏯ is me but it is internal. ᎠᏯᏊ is the me I know. ᏂᎯ is you, but that is the me I don't know. ᏂᎯᎾ is the you I am curious about; it is also the me that I know about, but I don't know it. That is the me that interacts with you and the you that interacts with me.

I also have a body - ᎠᎩᏰᎸ, but it is just an image ᏥᏰᎸ. I only know it through my mind ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏙᎩ, but that is just a feeling ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏔ in my heart ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏙ. It is the same part I "kind" of know ᎠᏆᏅᏔ you through - ᏂᎯᎾ but not really directly. I believe something ᎪᎱᏍᏗ is out there but ᎠᏯᏊ doesn't really interact with it so it is just ᏂᎯᎾ and those are just ideas, so not something ᏝᎪᎱᏍᏗ but ᏄᏍᏓ which is defiantly not nothing.

I can't even know myself with certainty but ᎠᏯᏊ is all I have so I use it to know ᎪᎱᏍᏗ about ᏂᎯ.

ᏍᎩᏯᏁᎳᏅᎯ ᎠᏯᏊ ᏂᎯᎾ ᎩᎾᎵᎪᏒᎢ
ᎠᏯ ᏩᏕ ᏥᎪᏪᎸᎦ

Friday, December 7, 2012

ᎠᏕᏲᎯ

Ꭷ ᎭᏛᏓᏍᏓ

whispers whisper in hissing sibilant syllables. A lilted tone, confusing, quiet cacophony too quiet to discern, to soft to know. An itching, breathlessness squirms inside seeking to understand. Her voice is hypnotic, unsettling and numbing, with caressing secrets that don't translate.

ᎠᏓᏪᎳᎩᏍᎦ

focused concentration snapped and popped, the dancing figure, swaying and twirling tears your mind from musing mutters, vision muting the elusive meanings you almost heard. You can't catch the eye, it flickers and flashes. A sharp connection twists into a glance away. Her face is luminescent. Drawn in you realize your too close and must turn away. Just to breath.

A spinning motion too swift to the eyes and throbbing, elusive to the thoughts and heart ᏧᎦᏒᏍᏗ ᎠᏥᏅᏍᏗ silently, subtly directs and commands, velvet wrapped steel. Ephemeral in nature but exponentially it consumes and drowns out all else, but just for a moment. Just a long heartbeat second.

ᎪᏛ ᏥᏳᎪᏛ

Comfort and warmth, in your chest, on your face and caressing your hands, her hands. The soothing scent of something close to the soul, slowly curling. It reaches out to you and you reach back with you heart, your spirit, she leads you, you lead them. One body, one mind, we, ᎢᎦᎵᎪᏒ