I have met a number of people wanting to be native, Indian or claim to
be some tribe, and I think it is a sound all Indians, Natives or
tribal members hear all the time and you know how it is. I find those
people wanting to know more about a way of life that is diminishing. I
look at myself and see that what I knew is not all that I remember.
I have seen some who are not Native who know more than the Natives
about the Indian culture. I have also seen our youth not wanting to
know these things anymore and with the passing of the elders of our
tribes and peoples we lose ourselves more so into the melting pot of
America. I have seen some both Indians and non-Indians profess to know
more about culture, Indian ways, sings, sweats, pipe ceremonies than
other Indian people and who will and share these practices at a price,
for a buck and I wonder about them.
I had a friend of mine who died not too long ago, he was a Zuni, we
were like brothers. We figured one day we would hit the road when we
reached the age of 55 and become preachers and tell people they were
going to hell and get paid for it, more or less becoming charlatans,
flea bags and deceivers. It was a joke to us as we could see there are
some preachers who go out like this, not all, but there are some that
are that way.
In many ways Indian culture has gone down a similar path and there is
exploitation from every angle. I am not an expert in this field but I
have seen some of what I am talking about.
I have met some fake Indians and at times feel sorry for them and yet
they look on me with pity, maybe they know something I don't. Anyway I
am sitting at a computer and my children are scattered like sand in a
heavy wind. I am a survivor of sorts for my family as many of the
problems of reservation life have taken my aunts, uncles, cousins,
brothers and many other people I knew that were good and kind. I can
see that there is nothing to mark their time, other than they were
Natives just trying to get by and in the way of life did not find a
place to rest and call home.
I think this restlessness is the same with non-Indians looking for
some identity, they will continue to come to us, and to other
indigenouse peoples, it is the way of the world. I don't have any
answers, I still have a lot of questions about life just the same as
you I guess. There are no secrets to life here, just alot of people
trying to find their own way and by no means do native have the corner
on the right way to live your life, I am just trying to by the best I
can with what I have, and by chance was enrolled at birth.
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