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Wisdom from Granddad
~ Fox Northstar
When I was first asked if I would like to
have a space in WnT, I was
honoured but also taken aback. As I
pondered it, I was guided to ask
family and elders. Family members
said I was most like Granddad, and
remembered him best (being the oldest), and elders let me know it was
a good forum to share teachings, so I joined up.
OK, that was easier than I had expected, now a quandary--what to call
it. That came from the family, “Wisdom from Granddad.” It made
sense, an homage to my Granddad and all he taught me. It has stuck
even when it was suggested to change it. I put the kibosh on that
right away. When I ran it my elders, they liked it and added that I
also carry many teachings from other grandfathers that I had picked up
over the years. High fives all the way around.
While I have managed to share some of those teachings, many times I
have fallen into to rant and rave mode. Part of that is because I see
all too many who do not walk their talk. I am not perfect, and there
have been times I failed at that myself…all too many. But I like to
think I have gotten better with practice, but I am on the inside
looking out, and I am hoping practice is making me closer to perfect,
even though I know I will never get there.
Lately, it has become clear to me WHY I fall into rant and rave mode.
First, Granddad would hate politically correct. He would see it as a
frontal assault on free speech. I agree, as long as it is not hate
speech. But as I watch the world spiral to hell in a hand basket, I
have to wonder why. I am not sure, but think I may be on to
something….and many of you will understand it…at least, I hope so.
As many know, so this is public information, I have been entrusted to
carry an eagle staff. Think about it….other than grand entry at
gatherings (who carry the staff for the event), how many do you see?
After all, pipe carriers have gotten so prolific, you cannot swing a
dead cat and not hit at least a half dozen. So goes the sacredness of
that! But back to point, one of the responsibilities of a staff
carrier is to seek the truth, and speak the truth as YOU understand it
at a particular point in time. As we all know (or should), more
information causes a shift in things and how we perceive them.
One of the basic teachings from many nations is that we are just
borrowing this world from our children, and trying to prepare it for
the next seven generations. Part of what bothers me is I am now
seeing that abandoned in practice by so many individuals in many
nations. It seem the Anglos have finally found the way to destroy our
culture after we have been able to resist for so long. MAGA is not
what it seems….my spin: Make Americans Greed Advocates. That applies
across ALL colour boundaries.
I suppose I should get back to the source of this particular tirade.
Not long ago, I was at committee meeting for a powwow, one I am
usually not able to attend as it conflicts with my Canadian
commitments, but am honoured to be a part of as I am quite often their
“go to” person as I have learned so much from my trips to the Great
White North. As traditions, for the most part, have been less
affected up there, and I share that knowledge, apparently I am one of
the keys to pulling it off.
At any rate, after the feast of the meeting, I was outside having a
smoke with another member when he said something political. It's not
secret I do not support politics other than voting (or I cannot
rightfully bitch), but when an opinion supporting “what can I put in
my own pocket” that also supports a racist regime (even more so
lately), you can imagine how I responded. I did my best to be
respectful and posit an opposing opinion keeping the generations to
come in mind, but attitude in my face will get it doubled back to
yours. I will admit I was surprised, not at the huffy attitude, but
the fact he stormed off and REFUSED to discuss it. Considering WHO he
is supporting, I should not have been surprised. But that leads me to
the question, why is he on the powwow committee?
Now for another vent. I understand the need to use abbreviations
where possible when texting or tweeting as we are limited to the
number of letters per message, but it bothers me to see it in everyday
writing. I have a tendency to avoid contractions, as I am sure many
of you have noticed. When we use text speak in our other writing, we
are being lazy. Just what our culture needs when you remember the
invaders consider us a lazy race. NDN drives me buggy for a number of
reason, first being lazy and not honoring our heritage by taking that
little extra time to actually spell it out.
Another thing that bugs me is we are NOT Indians….we have absolutely
nothing to do with, or connections to, India. Neither are we
Americans (even though many of us are US or Crown citizens), that is
another Anglo construct. We were here before the word “America” was
coined. So, it is just an “add-on.” As to native Americans, once
again the Anglos took care of that. The US Constitution says ANYONE
born here is a native American….do we really want to include them? So
that also goes out the window. Up north, the term has become “First
Nations.” I like that, it has the ring of truth to it without bias.
I should like to suggest we shift our self-image in that direction.
It leaves no doubt how we recognize our place on Turtle Island, and it
leaves the anglos no way to invade our terminology.
By the time you are reading this, I will be on my way to the Yukon. I
am sure in the future there will be teachings from it that I will
share. But, as next year is an election year here in the south, I
hope to dissect the Declaration and the Constitution with their
eloquent words, and intent(?) and practice. I am hoping to get you out
to vote. While one voice may not make much difference, millions of
voices cannot help but to be heard. Will you contribute your one to
the millions and make a difference? Do you want change, or are you
happy getting it again?