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"You Dirty indian”
~ Ozaway Pinesse/Gerald McIvor
I did not know I was "a dirty Indian" until I
left the Sandy Bay Indian Reservation I grew
up on. My first encounter as a five year old
child with racism was in Winnipeg with a
white women who bumped into me as she
was coming around the corner in Winnipeg.
She dropped some things she was carrying
and yelled at me to watch where the hell I was
going and when she looked up and saw I was an Indigenous child, she told me I should stay out of the white people’s way and go back to the slop I lived in on the reserve.
She told me "You dirty Indians are always in the way causing problems and that is the reason why we keep you animals on reserves because you are dirty and are worse than pigs. You steal and kill people for no reason and you should not be allowed to even leave the reserves. Your people should feel lucky we let you live in our country."
She then walked away from me and I kept going to the corner store to buy candy. I got back to my sister's residence and told my Mom what this white woman said to me and she told me that I will see more of that and it will be worse and one day, I will learn how to respond correctly to racists because one day I will know the true history of this country. Boy was Mom ever right.
The more I read, the more I needed to know...now I have the true truth behind me and I respond to the hatred and racism with facts and common sense which makes them all slither away in shame.
I did not know I was viewed as "a dirty Indian" until that fateful day as a small child. I knew then and still know in my heart today that I can help make change to the "slop" my people are "lucky to be allowed to live in" by the benevolent white society which controls our lives for at least five years after our deaths.
We all feel pain the same way. We bleed the same color blood, we express the same emotions, yet we are all different. Some are allegedly superior, some allegedly inferior, some right, some wrong, some good, some bad, except for the white and corporate societies which control the psyche of the dominant societies presently.
The individuals who invoke identity politics to cling to some position of power, control and financial lucrativity have and continue to keep their ulterior agendas in full force which is in fact, ruining it for all life on Mother Earth. They do this without shame, guilt or culpability for their ruinous actions.
We can do so much better than this as a global society but we will fail to attain that desired utopian level until the addictions to power and profit are addressed and eliminated.