“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Native Observations

This one will probably hit some buttons, or annoy others, but it's been sitting in my mind... So - I'm half Native-American (or, American Indian for those of my generation, or First Nations, or other names/labels for those who may care. Whatever. You get the point). In particular, from a Western mountain/high desert tribe, with our own particular cultural outlooks. BUT, I didn't grow up on the Rez (early exposure yes, but that wasn't "my" life), and the choices of my career and such have me living far from regions where there's a large Native presence. And - for most of the US, that's life - "Indians" are something in history books, not a day-to-day group you interact with, or people with their own history and culture. Doesn't mean I don't miss it... Anyway, what brought this on was travel over the past year, to a few different spots each having a much larger Native presence. And, in each, I felt a different "vibe" as it were towards my people. NOTE - THIS IS NOT DENIGRATING ANY GROUP OR PLACE, JUST MY PERSONAL IMPRESSION AND KINSHIP FEELINGS. For the one, I ended up in Alaska (first visit) - where, as soon as I was walking out through the airport I was mentally thinking "Wow, those are native, but they aren't *my* people..." It's hard to describe in a post, but it was distinct. While the people and the vibe were certainly indiginous, they weren't a group I felt kinship with, or that immediate connection. As in, they were certainly an integral part of the local community - *I* was the outsider, despite my background. The second? Upper midwest plains, near several large reservations. On the one hand, there were plenty of stores, a national park, and other things celebrating 'America's Native Heritage'; on the other? Drunk workers panhandling at 8am... a distinct "us vs. them" distance when groups co-mingled... a visible poverty-line difference in just a hundred yards of roadside travel between reservation and town land. It wasn't segregation, but there was absolutely a boundary between the groups. Third, I was in the southwest - milage wise closest to my home tribe, though culturally and ecosystem wise not as much. But? It was the only of the three I saw natives as "just there." People in Walmart. A few stores or shops. Someone with a sticker on a truck. While one part of me noticed the increased Indian presence compared to where I currently lived, the other part distinctly saw it as "not a big deal" as far as the local community was concerned. I'm not looking at any "assimilation/integration" questions on this, or trying to push any sort of agenda. Just more the fact I wanted to get my thoughts down on seeing the cultural mix in each area, rather than simply looking at proportions and demographics. And, if I wanted to, I could probably deep dive a number of thoughts regarding the makeup and history of each region. But... in the simplest answer. I think I'd rather end up where I'm "just another person" than one of the other options.

Happy New Year - 2023 Entry

A happy New Year to everyone out there. 

I, for one, am ending it better than I started. 

Challenges along the way, but great things too. 

Resolution? I need to not just write more, but *share* what I write. . . 

May this be the start. . .