native trap

Cree Language

Hello again! This is going to take a REALLY long time to explain, but I’m writing a fanfiction for a horror game called Until Dawn, which is built heavily around an aspect of one of the legends of the First Nations, specifically the Algonquin; the legend is one of the Wendigo. In this case, for the game, the Wendigo is a spirit that has possessed a human who has indulged in cannibalism and made them turn into a monster. Part of my fanfiction is based around the main characters grappling with and trying to destroy the monsters so the souls of the people they possessed can rest. The Wendigoes in the game have an Alpha called the Makkapitew who, due to its accessories, I’m reasonably certain possessed a First Nations person. I want for one of the final scenes of the story to be where, after the monster has been killed, the soul of the person possessed leaves the body and speaks to the characters in his native tongue, Plains Cree (keep in mind that according to the story, the person was possessed some centuries ago, so he doesn’t know English), thanking them for freeing his soul from the monster (if this seems a little too White Man’s Burden/White Saviour, I’m sorry, but most of the characters in the original game are white and I can’t change that). I understand none of the mods are members of the First Nations themselves, but I was wondering if you might be able to point me in the right direction for where I could find a good place to translate English into the proper Plains Cree. If anything about this seems remotely iffy, please do tell me; I don’t want to stumble into unfortunate implications territory. Thank you!

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Hi.

First Nations mod here to answer your question. You can find me on the part time mods list. I list one of my tribes instead of which broader Native American ethnic group I’m a part of for various reasons, but that does not make me any less First Nations.

I have written about the Wendigo before. You’ll note I specify that, because it is a primarily Eastern Canada Algonquin belief, it should be kept within the Eastern Canada Algonquin peoples. While Natives are in a position to exchange what beliefs they want, I am very leery of an outsider taking such liberties without lots and lots of research.

I am aware Until Dawn takes place in BC, and the Plains Cree are the closest possible Algonquin speaking peoples to have a potential tie to the Wendigo myth. However, unless you take great care to understand how and why it has spread among Natives, you’ll come across as off colour. We have shared what words we have in order to understand the world around us, cultural needs of a few becoming the cultural needs of many. Pow-Wows spread as we became scattered and needed to reconnect with others like us. The Wendigo spread through a mix of appropriation and a need to describe the unsatisfiable greed that destroys the environment.

We can do this because we share an understanding of what the Wendigo means. It is not just some scary monster, but a deep-seated cultural belief that greed is the root of all destruction. The very source you linked in an attempt to “explain” the Wendigo to us described this, yet I see minimal reference to this in your question. I am aware that it’s how the game mechanics work, but more on approaching canon in fanfiction later. There is also an underlying assumption that because the Plains Cree are, well, Cree, they must obviously have it, but that is not necessarily guaranteed.

The fact you are dealing with a centuries-old possession means you must be aware of the cultural nuance of the area at the time, and the Plains Cree did not necessarily have it then. I could be very wrong (Plains Cree followers, feel free to correct me), but at the very least there would be cultural variation among tribes. Knowledge and concepts traveled, but they were adapted based off the environment.

I am also more than a little weary of a Native “attacking” outsiders. There is a very racist narrative that says Natives preyed on settlers without reproach, just wanting to exterminate them, when in reality Natives often acted in retaliation against what the had already endured. By having a Native person person attack white individuals, you continue feeding into that narrative. By having it be because of “indulgence” (which I feel is an oversimplification of what the Wendigo is, and I hope you have a deeper understanding than you implied), you make it appear that Natives are greedy who simply want more than what they have, when that is a narrative that keeps Native issues from getting looked at seriously to this day.

Your claim that you cannot change which ethnicity “saves” the Native character rings extremely false to me. You are aware of the negative impact of the trope and of some of the trappings of Native/White issues, yet you refuse to do anything about it. There is this concept known as “original characters” in fanfiction, and these characters can fix a whole bunch of problems that exist in an original work’s representation.

There is also this concept known as “white passing” which means even if a person looks white, they can still be Native. There is no “Native look,” therefore you can imagine any character in the fanfiction as Native, simply white passing.

Because yeah. The fact you have it be white characters is a problem, but your attitude of refusing to change canon— which is a completely fictional thing— feels like a bigger one, to me. While I am guilty of my fanfiction using some… honestly, pretty racist tropes, it happens because the original characters inserted into the work are self inserts. I am also 100% aware it’s hurtful, would listen to any Asian who told me it was, and try very hard to minimize the impact of the original trope. If this were a more serious work, I would change as much as needed to remove the trope and I know how to remove it, hence the minimization.

The attitude you perpetuate, “there’s nothing I can do about it”, is honestly more harmful than the use of the trope. Because there are ways you can not use the trope. There is adding original characters, there is making the original characters white passing Algonquin, there is a whole lot you can do. By being aware of the trope’s possibility and just shrugging your shoulders, treating a work of fiction (which is already inherently appropriative, using the Wendigo— barring them having Algonquin input on the production) as an immutable, unchangeable thing, you are falling into the trap that there is nothing you can do about racism and you are powerless to stop it.

You are a content creator. You are not powerless to stop it. The very fact you are engaging with a medium via fanfiction means you are modifying it, and the fact you do not think that the modification could and should include making the work less racist, is worrying to me.

I have written rather extensively on how to approach tribes, how to research tribes, and how to use Native mythos respectfully. Your question indicates you have not read those guides, because if you had, you would know the answer is to ask the tribe in question.

The fact you have a Wendigo prey on an outsider of the tribe feeds into some incredibly racist attitudes about how Natives were “warring” and often preyed on other tribes just for kicks or because of the smallest slight. Even the Mohawk, whose responsibility within the Iroquois nation was to defend the Confederacy from Eastern tribes, were renowned for their trade. Constant war destroys groups, and trade is often much more beneficial.

While your question attempts to be sweet, it reflects a deep, inherent bias against Natives and refusal to work past the most surface things. You assume society is just the way it is, and that you do not have any ability to change anything. It is not, and you do. You have not checked yourself, you have not even tried, and as a result, I will not answer your question past pointing you to already existing guides.

~ Mod Lesya

6

Bevington, Iowa
Population: 63

“In Crawford Township, at different periods up to 1845, there were Indian villages and favorite camping places. One was in Bevington, near the west line of section 36, near where Hiram Hurst, the first permanent settler in Madison County, took his claim. There was a band of Indians located there as late as 1845. This vicinity was a favorite place for them both in summer and winter. At the junction of Cedar and North River, occasionally small bands of Indians made their winter quarters, but this did not seem to be a favorite point with them for some reason. However, trapping was good in its season.“

buriitanii  asked:

Oh wait! I got it. I talked to my friend, who knows way more about archaeology than I could ever hope to and she explained to me that a lot of individuals use artifacts without even trying to contact the group who has ownership of them. Wow. This seems like a major problem. :( I guess when I think of a lot of things that I've seen in museums, I never really considered how many of the items were stolen by archaeologists and historians. :( I'm sorry if I bothered you with my stupidity.

No, you didn’t bother us with your ask! :]

What I would ask is that non-Indigenous PoC think about what they reblog critically, and to avoid using Indigenous cultures as “inspiration” or reblogging historical artefacts for solely aesthetic purposes. A lot of times this makes aspects of Indigenous cultures accessible to appropriation by whites. Our aesthetics have specific histories, contexts, and meanings, some of which are deeply religious.

On the other hand, whites should not be reblogging anything about Indigenous peoples that isn’t about education or their historical and ongoing struggles worldwide. It’s really gross to see white folks reblogging stuff like random B&W photos of old Native chiefs, just because it’s seen as magical, or exotic or whatever. This stuff leads directly to white folks appropriating culture. And then when Indigenous folks want to take part in their culture, they’re forbidden.

“…[S]ettlers continuously seek to capitalize on what they understand as their country’s own ‘native’ resources, which include Indigenous cultures and peoples themselves.”

Decolonizing Feminism: Challenging Connections between Settler Colonialism and Heteropatriarchy. Maile Arvin, Eve Tuck, and Angie Morrill

“…[T]he logics of Western philosophy … are premised on the self-determined subject’s aspirations to achieve universality. Consequently, Native studies often rests on a Native subject awaiting humanity. In other words, if people simply understood Native peoples better, Natives would then become fully human-they would be free and self-determining … Native studies thus becomes trapped in ethnographic multiculturalism, what Silva describes as a ‘neoliberal multicultural’ representation that ‘includes never-before-known consciousness’. This representation which attempts to demonstrate Native peoples’ worthiness of being universal subjects, actually rests on the logic that Native peoples are equivalent to nature itself, things to be discovered that have an essential truth or essence. In other words, the very quest for full subjecthood implicit in the ethnographic project to tell our ‘truth’ is already premised on a logic that requires us to be objects to be discovered. Furthermore, within this colonial logic, Native particularity cannot achieve universal humanity without becoming ‘inauthentic’ because Nativeness is already fundamentally constructed as the ‘other’ of Western subjectivity.”

Queer Theory and Native Studies: the heteronormativity of settler colonialism.

Tomb Raider III: Adventures of Lara Croft Overview
Due to Rise of the Tomb Raider releasing in mid November (later on PS4), I thought it would be a good idea to replay all of the Tomb Raider games before it, but in order of which games in the series I played my first time through. I’m going to write an overview of each game in the main series. I was going to include the ‘Lara Croft’ series, but I currently do not have my copy of The Guardian of Light, so I figured that writing about the main series main be easier. Enjoy! :-)

 History:

I was first introduced to Tomb Raider III when I was just five years old. My Dad had bought a PlayStationOne for us all to play, and one of the game he bought for it was indeed Tomb Raider III. When I first picked up the controller to play as Lara and explore her home, I fell in love. There weren’t many female protagonists around that were the main star of a game, and Lara was in full charge. She did not have men assisting her or rescuing her, like in other 90s titles at the time. If anyone was to do the rescuing it was Lara. Even though there was a lot of sexualised marketing at the time of Tomb Raider III’s release, being a five year old, it felt weird seeing this intelligent, intellectual character being portrayed in the media by posing in bikinis and barley wearing any clothing whatsoever in the promotional images. As a five year old, I could barley understand it and was totally oblivious to the marketing, but now being older, I realise how cringe worthy some of the marketing for Tomb Raider III was. If I had of been older at the time, I wouldn’t have played Tomb Raider III at all. But, I’m glad I was young as dodgy marketing aside, Tomb Raider III is my favourite of the series. It was my first love and step into gaming, and that’s probably why is without a doubt one of my favourite video games of all time. Okay, let’s talk about the game shall we?

One of the many cringe worthy marketing advertisements for Tomb Raider III.

 India (Jungle, Temple Ruins, River Ganges & Caves of Kailya)

The game starts off in India, with Lara searching the Indian Jungle for the Infada stone. Jungle is quite a straight forward level, but it can be a long level if you’re new to the game. There are traps about the level (boulder traps galore!).Plus the monkeys in the Jungle are little shits and love to take all of Lara’s small medi-packs and numerous keys for themselves. Overall it’s a good introduction to the game, as it nicely introduce all of the new mechanics of the game.  Temple Ruins is a beast of a level, filled with traversal, a tonne of traps and nasty monkeys that like to chew at Lara. Take that for stealing my medi packs you little shits! River Ganges introduces one of the few vehicles in the game, the Quad Bike, which is a ton of fun to control Lara in! This is one of the fun levels in Tomb Raider III, and I had a blast driving the quad bike around the jungle. (And blowing Lara and the Quad Bike up when missing numerous jumps). The last India level is made up of a maze puzzle, which still confuses me to this day when replaying the game. The last boss battle with Crazy Tony is fun, with you having to make Lara dodge his constant fireball attacks and the firey water. Lara pretty much finds out that the Infada Stone has power (like what sort of stone allows a man to set water on fire??) and meets Doctor Willard outside the jungle temple in his travelling boat. Lara learns that there are three more of the stones around the world (Nevada, South Pacific & London), and Doctor Willard asks her to find them. Lara of course accepts. My main reaction to this scene is always: “Lara, don’t accept contracts from people ya don’t know! *ahem* Natla). But she does it anyway.

This is to be Lara’s reaction when she find out Dr Willard is a fraud. (Source: Katie’s Tomb Raider Site).

 Nevada: Desert, High Security Compound.

In my latest playthrough, I sent Lara straight to Nevada. As I had played the game numerous times before I knew that Lara would have all of her weapons taken from her in High Security Compound, and since the next locations in the game are quite tricky, I figured I get the Nevada no weapon section of the way. The first Nevada level "Desert” is quite straight forward, and I always find myself passing it without any difficulty. For me, it’s one of those levels that have quite a straight forward and non-cryptic approach. The enemies in the level are quite easy to beat, but the jumps in this level are very, very tricky! The jumps are my favourite thing about this level, even though they can be so infuriating at times! And the Quad Bike makes another short but fun appearance, where Lara jumps the fence with it to gain access to Area 51 in order to get the artefact. But, knowing Lara and her misfortune with vehicles, things take a very unfortunate turn, with her getting knocked out on her quad bike, and getting caught and carried away by some Military Police. High Security Compound starts with Lara waking up in a prison cell, with absolutely no weapons, except for a single small medi-pack. The most fun part about this level is releasing and setting all of the other prisoners against the Military Police. I think this is fantastic level design, and I applaud Core Design for putting it in this level. It makes it so much more challenging, and is quite rewarding with Lara gets a bunch of prisoners to take out a guard. The rest of the level is pretty straight forward, with Lara having to find her weapons. Once you find Lara’s weapons, you can blow all of the enemies away, and Lara sneaks her way into Area 51, through yes, a food truck. I bet the guards felt stupid after discovering that she got through Area 51 that way. Now, onto Area 51, which is no doubt my absolute favourite level in this game! I love the whole sci-fi element to it, and the constant nods to the X-Files and no doubt the challenges that face Lara with the technology in the base. Plus, you get to launch a freaking rocket, just to gain entrance to a door!! What other video game has ever had that put in it? When Lara gets the artifact inside the UFO, it makes me wonder, did she fly that UFO to another location? Because if she did that would be pretty damn cool, even though she probably would have crashed it in true Lara Croft style :P.

Stealth +1. Food Truck! (Source: Katie’s Tomb Raider site).

 South Pacific Islands: Costal Village, Crash Site, Madubu Gorge & Temple of Puna.

I must admit, the South Pacific Island levels are very pretty, but under that beautiful tropic surface they are deadly, filled with a native cult, dinosaurs, dart traps and crazy canoe rides through the rapids. The first level, Coastal Village, is great, as it gives you a chance to pick multiple paths in the level, which I think is a really cool level design addition. The first route is deadly and full of traps and enemies and the second route takes you on a more linear path. I, of course, always go for the first route through the hut. I think it’s cool that both paths used in this level are catered to different styles of play. The second level, Crash Site, is freaking awesome. There’s velociraptors, soldiers that assist you (unless you accidentally shoot at the like I do all the time) and a T-Rex, a freaking T-Rex! Near the end of the level, you’re able to blow up a crap load of dinosaurs and blow up a path in order to finish the stage! It’s probably one of the most epic things I’ve done in a videogame! The next level, Madubu Gorge, is one of the most frustrating but fun levels in the whole game. You’re able to control the canoe to progress through the level, and let me say, it looks light, but it sort of controls like a tank. There are also two routes used in this level, one linear one, and one non-linear route, which as I mentioned before is one of my favourite level design features in Tomb Raider III. After making your way through the rapids, you progress through to the next level, Temple of Puna. Temple of Puna is a short level, but is filed with blade traps, spike traps and a couple of freaking massive boulder traps. The boss fight with the Tribal Leader is easy (if you have to Dessert Eagle like I did) and after defeating him after he blows himself up, Lara is able to retrieve the next Meteorite Stone.

Run Lara, Run!!! (Source: Katie’s Tomb Raider Site)

 London: Thames Warf, Aldywch, Lud’s Gate & City.

After retrieving the second stone, Lara travels to London. The London levels are tricky beasts to get through, and are not linear at all. I found myself getting lost on numerous occasions. Lara starts off in Thames Warf, where in order to get to the next level, she has to make tricky rooftop jumps, kill some well payed guards and drain some water drains. After doing all of this and completing the level, one of my favourite cutsecenes plays, where Lara completely sasses a guard out by letting the bell behind him shove him off the rooftops and fall to his timely demise. The line “Happy Retirement” that Lara mutters to the guard after he’s knocked off the roof kills me with laughter every single time. The next level, Aldywch, is set in the abandoned train station, that is actually in real London. Lara has to find her way through the train tracks whilst dodging numerous trains and make her way through to Sophia Leigh. Sophia is a beautician 'genius’; until Lara discovers that the henchmen hanging out in Aldwych are failed experiments. They’re mutated and immortal. Lara discovers that Sophia is attempting to make an immortality elixir and her experiments are obviously failing in the beauty department. Lud’s Gate is one of those levels that I love to hate. It does get easier every time I replay TR: III but boy that Underwater Vehicle drives me up the wall! It’s probably one of the most difficult level in the games for me, but I must say, I did love exploring the Natural History Museum. After Lud’s Gate, we move onto the next level to fight Sophia Leigh. Lara confronts her about her “experiments” and her selfish intention for the use of the meteorite artefact. This boss battle is not a simple shoot and jump like usual TR bosses. You have to get Lara to shoot an electronic fuse box to electrocute Sophia. It took me ages to figure this boss battle out when first playing the game and I just shot Sophia and died over and over again. Needless to say, I did need a walkthrough for this level ;). After the level ends, the final section starts, and we find Lara in Antarctica!

My favourite moment in the game: “Happy retirement”. (Source: Katie’s Tomb Raider Site).

 Antarctica: (Antarctica, RX-Tech Mines, Lost City of Tinnos & Metorite Cavern).

The Antarctica levels are by no doubt the most difficult levels in Tomb Raider III. I still get stuck on them from this day, and that’s probably why I love these level so darn much. There’s an eerie creepiness, as Lara discovers what Dr Willard really wants the artefacts for, especially in the latter levels. The first level, Antarctica, is quite straightforward for me. It is, however, really difficult if you are collecting secrets. One secret require you to swim through water to obtain a key, and as Lara has a water temperature level on her in these levels, it is very, very difficult. Needless to say, it took me numerous tries to collect that key. The level overall is quite fun. Lara can drive a boat through the level, which I thought was pretty cool. If you do some exploring through the level, you will find out what Willard wants the artefacts for. It’s pretty damn creepy when you discover one of his experiments, and it scared the absolute crap out of me! At the end level cutscene, Lara confronts Willard, and he surprise her by knocking her out and taking the artifacts out of her possession. Lara follows him but ends up missing him, as he jumps into a lift down into a mine. In the classic Lara spirit, she jumps on top of the lift to follow him. This leads up to the next level, RX Tech Mines. RX Tech Mines is a very difficult level if you do not know what you’re doing. I found the level straightforward when you figure out where to go, but the swim at the end of the level is very difficult with Lara’s temperature bar. I do love this aspect of the level, but it can be a little frustrating at times. There are many of Willard’s experiments throughout the levels, with some of the being more bigger and deadly. There is a part in this level when you’re guiding Lara through a dark mine shaft, and two of them jump out of nowhere around the corner. It scares me everytime. This level is so atmospheric, and I just love it. After completing RX Tech mines, we go onto Lost City of Tinnos, which is, in my opinion, the hardest level in the whole game. There are bug enemies which annoy the absolute crap out of me, and more of Willard’s creepy experiments. On top of that there’s deadly trap rooms and puzzles galore. Like Lud’s Gate, everytime I replay the game, I warm up to this level more. The level design for the traps and puzzles are well thought out, and I applaud Core for their work in this level. Everything is so complex, and it left me scratching my head on more than one occasion! After Lost City of Tinnos, we arrive in the Meteorite Cavern, were Lara fights Dr Willard. He turns himself into some sort of spider, all in the name of evolution (???) and the fight begins. This fight is difficult. If Lara treads outside of certain tiles, she is instantly killed by one of Willard’s powers. I always save ammo for the Dessert Eagle in this level. It makes defeating him a bit more easier. After defeating Willard and collecting all of the artifacts, we escape the cavern, and have to fight Willard’s goons. This part of the level is good fun, and I feel Core balanced it well after the difficulty of the boss fight. Lara soon escapes (by killing a helicopter piolet. Nice one Lara). After being chased by more of Willard’s goons in helicopters, she escapes, and the game ends! Next up, Tomb Raider (1996)!

Who knew that driving mine carts could be so much fun? (Source: Katie’s Tomb Raider Site).

 

Note: I was going to discuss Lud’s Gate, but I feel that it is a short level, so there wouldn’t be much to talk about. If you want to be to discuss it, I can edit this post and add it in.