Thursday, April 16, 2009

Searching for Hiawatha

Native American, Indian, American Indian. I want to be Indian. I am. I have papers to prove it.

I am a card carrying of the Missisaugi First Nation. 80% Indian in fact. But what does that mean? To mean it means everything and nothing at all. I didn't grow up on the rez. I really didn't grow up with all the traditions then eigher. I knew a few words in Ojibew, enough for me to say "Hello pig!" but what do you want, I was only 5.
Growing up I didn't think I was different. My parent were young when I was born and my grandmother raised me. She was french Canadian so I went to french school. Looking backing at my school picutres I am the little brown one in the back. But never was I considered different.

As a child I would go to the pow wows, because with my father being a new artist, he took advantage of any venue he could to display his wares. Ths was the only exposure to my culutre I had. Now I walk around with a self-rightchious chip on my shoulder at anyone proclaiming their indianess to me. "Reaaly I say" as I wait for the typical answer. Everyone in California is Cherokee. Since I don't know much about American History, it just makes sense that most are, but most don't know their history except that they are.

I feel like a hypocrite though most days. Walking around passing judgement flashing my card to all those wannabees. But then when they ask me about my people, I nothing to say but "Hello Pig".

I want to know who I am and where my people are.

Things to explore:
  • Everyone is more indian than me
  • describe pow-wows
  • describe my father's art, describe use visual his art
  • describe what the difference is between being indian and not white people don't get it
  • find the question that I missed, is it my pride? or my search?
  • How do you choose your identity and what makes you do it?
  • Incorporate the song "one little, two little, three little indians...."