indigenous thought

Personal Goals

I was born on the afternoon of Tuesday May 5 and it has dawned on me that I am going to be 25 in less than a month. Having the thought in my head that I have been on this Earth for a quarter of a century has been boggling my mind as of late. Questions such as, who am I? What have I done thus far? Have I created a positive impact? Have I lived and performed to my full potential? This has resulted in a personal project that I’d like to call “Project 25”. This project I am going to attempt is basically trying to do the small goals that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. These are goals that I’ve had in the back of my mind, the goals that when the time would come I’d tell myself “ahh maybe next year”. Yet, time zooms by too fast; I still feel like 2010 was like, three years ago. With my procrastination and with time going by way too fast, I probably missed out on so many opportunities. So in doing this project, I hope to learn as much as I can about myself, my culture, my history, social issues, communication, and many many more.

Deep down inside, writing has always been my passion. Learning, processing the information, then interpreting it in my own way so others can understand is what I enjoy doing. I believe this has greatly impacted me in my career as a newspaper reporter and as a radio show host in my community. Being so involved with my community, the Siksika Nation & Blackfoot Tribe, has inspired me in so many positive ways. We still have so many knowledge keepers and there is still so much to learn. Also there are so many current events in First Nations communities, the good and the bad, where we have the opportunity to learn from these, support one another, and encourage one another. That is the basis of my project: First Nations empowerment and preserving cultural knowledge.

Of course I’m not going to share all my goals, but hopefully listing some and why I want to do them will generate support whilst conquer my procrastination once and for all.

So first of all I want to excel in my career. I know that I am very blessed to wake up and go to work every morning. However, sometimes I may get too comfy and take it for granted, which is the last thing I want to do in my life. I want to count my blessings everyday and be thankful for what I have, work is one of them. I have the opportunity to tackle any project at work and be as creative as possible, as I am a newspaper reporter and a radio show host. With that as the basis, I want merchandise, an app, a podcast, a magazine, prizes for our listeners, and so much more based on my community. My Reserve is the second largest in Canada and has a rich and strong history, so I feel that I need to work to my full potential to honour that.
Also, I want to make a positive impact for First Nations in this modern digital era. I’m hoping to bring more native content to my tumblr and potentially/hopefully start my own website. With my website, I want to have a book club, blog entries, photography, podcasts, playlists, videos, learning resources, interviews, etc. based solely on First Nations content. I strongly believe that we as Natives have so much to celebrate, learn, and remember.

Those are the two big goals, the rest are little things. I can get quite intimidated and underestimate myself, so hopefully I can be more courageous this year. Just by brainstorming, here are some of the things I can hopefully do:
Volunteer and give a helping hand wherever I can
Join more committees
Act in a short film
Make a short film and/or documentary
Model more: So far I’ve modelled in Banff and Calgary and even was on the cover of a magazine
Start a photography business
Make a clothing, accessory, and lifestyle line: This one has been on my mind forever. I want to make hoodies, tshirts, tank tops, bags, mugs, candles, beauty products, coffee, and much, much more
Write and publish a novel
Give a keynote speech because I was asked to. Twice.
Host something, perhaps a fundraiser or workshop, to help First Nations youth
Try out for another pageant, maybe the one on my reserve if I’m not too old lol
Exercise to become a better dancer

This project of mine is very dear to me and has been on my mind for a long time. Sharing this with you is another step in fulfilling these goals, as I want to be more outspoken and open. If you read all of this, thank you so much. If you have any advice, please feel free to share with me! Also, what are your goals? Lets be bffs and encourage one another <3

At first they’ll ask you why you’re doing it, but later they’ll ask you how you did it.

For the greater percentage of people living in the modern monetized world of today, there is no village, no tribe, no body of humans that constitute a person’s “people”. What is there instead is the “public”.
Their world is populated , that’s for sure, but not with people who know one another, but with a vast “public” of unknown individuals, competing on every level to get above wherever they have gotten to, to get away from the rest of the “public”!
—  Martin Prechtel

So damn near everything in this society tells Women that they’re only good for being consumed by Men. This society teaches Women that it’s more important to get chose than it is to build. (I know hella Women who build for themselves anyway and they still sexy while doing it. )

But we live in a society where Women are constantly told that their value is mostly(if not solely) based on how consumable they are to Men.
Then we chastise Women in pictures like this for this “being all they have to offer”
When we don’t even know if it’s all they got to offer.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, Women are taught that this is where their value is then we constantly turn around and attack them for it?

There are so many contradictions within this patriarchy and those contradictions fall on the heads of Women who aren’t allowed to win because they’re too sexy or too plain, too flirty or too boring, too pushy or not determined enough.

We live within multiple oppressive power structures and most of them have situations where people just aren’t allowed to win.

This patriarchy is one of them and must be dismantled.

Although the landscape of dreams may seem different than the landscape of the awake world, it is actually the balanced opposite, reversed version, where our souls live out our bodies’ lives reenacted as if in a complex kind of mirror. Like the two opposing wings of a butterfly, the dream world is one wing and the awake world is the other wing. The butterfly must have both wings connected at the Heart in order to fly and function.
—  Martin Prechtel: Secrets of the Talking Jaguar

anonymous asked:

I'm quite a dark Native American and every time I say I'm Indian people always look at me weirdly and make it hard for me to be proud as I feel like I just shouldn't say my ethnicity/race anymore.

Never let someone else tell you who you are.

I really struggle/d with identity issues growing up. I never felt “Indian” enough. I even went through a phase of never saying I was Native because I was so tired of having to explain to people why I didn’t look like Disney’s Pocahontas. Or that we still exist. Why was I so tall/light/dark/big/small? People would ask me my tribe and scoff when I answered saying they ‘never heard of it, must not be real’. Then they would turn around and inform me that they were descendants of Cherokee Chiefs and Princesses. Or else people would ask me “how much” not understanding how hurtful that is and that my answer would never satisfy people. I saw interviews on TV where people like Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Bill Clinton, etc would casually say they were Native American like it was a hobby. Native today. Greek tomorrow. I would look at their faces and then my own in the mirror wondering ‘Why don’t I look like them?’ I wondered what was wrong with me. 

Yet I didn’t get to blend in seamlessly with mainstream society either. In Farmington, NM I was assaulted by a random guy because I was a “dirty Native”. I had a person ask me on an interview, out of the blue, if I liked to drink because they “know how [we] are”. I had a bottle thrown at my head in Albuquerque while someone shouted at me to “Go back to Mexico”. I’ve been mistaken for Filipino, India Indian, Hispanic, Samoan, Pacific Islander, Mongolian repeatedly. 

I felt alone. Sometimes I still do. 

I feel like I disappoint people when they meet me. “You speak really well.” “Wow you are smart.” “You have really nice hair.” “I never met a real Native!” But why do people sound so surprised? These aren’t compliments to me. These make me curl up at night, wondering if I am pandering or if I am a traitor. They cause me to question myself. Then they make me upset because ‘Why wouldn’t I speak well? Why wouldn’t I be smart? Why shouldn’t I exist.’

I was invited to the White House a few weeks ago as a ‘representative’. I felt uncomfortable with that title. Also perhaps, deep inside, I didn’t feel Native enough. I can name 20 Native Women off the top of my head more deserving. I ended up speaking at a local Urban Indian health center instead that day and (hopefully) gave my spot to someone I felt was more deserving. She is Black American, Oneida, Caucasian and grew up on army bases around the world - never living on a reservation. But she knows her cultures. She is proud of her cultures. She is what I aspire to be. Confident. Proud. Constantly finding out new knowledge about her cultures. 

I wish I could give you a hug. You are not alone. You deserve to be proud. You deserve to be magnificent. You deserve to be loved. You deserve to be accepted. You deserve to define who you are.

Be proud of who you are. Your race is a social construct, but your culture and your knowledge defines you. There is no such thing as an ‘Ideal Indian’. You just being the best you is what is ideal. Embrace that.

lunam-texentium  asked:

Any thoughts on indigenous children and youth in care?

Canada treats indigenous children like they’re less than human.

Canada underfunds indigenous children compared to children of every other background:

First Nations group urges Ottawa to ‘end this racial discrimination’

Canada continues to fight indigenous children’s rights to health care:

First Nations family takes Ottawa to court over denied dental coverage

Canada rips indigenous children from indigenous families at astronomical rates:

Canada’s indigenous children have the worst child poverty of any demographic in Canada by a wide margin:
Canada To Launch Nationwide Investigation Into Murdered, Missing Aboriginal Women
A study by Canada's police found that nearly 1,200 Aboriginal women were murdered or went missing between 1980 and 2012. But two Canadian government ministers say that number could be far higher.

Canada’s government is preparing to launch a major inquiry on murdered or missing aboriginal women.

A 2014 study by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police found that nearly 1,200 aboriginal women were murdered or went missing between 1980 and 2012. But two government ministers involved in planning the investigation say they believe the numbers are actually far higher.

“When you look at the real depth and breadth of this tragedy, it’s way bigger than we had thought,” Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said at a news conference with Minister for the Status of Women Patty Hajdu this week in Ottawa.

An indigenous Xavante man attends the World Indigenous Games in Palmas, Brazil on October 22nd 2015. Of the estimated 2,000 indigenous languages thought to have been spoken in pre-Columbian times in what is now Brazil, only around 160 survive today. Experts warn that as many as 40 percent of those remaining could be lost in the next few decades, as elders die off and young people get more access to television, internet and mobile phones. Credit: AP/ Eraldo Peres


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