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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

America's Throw Away Indian: Colonization and Decolonization

#ATIP





The task of writing my history is filled with fear.  I have sat at my computer for years trying to find a way to describe my feelings.  The feelings I remember from childhood through my young adulthood to now.  This fear makes finding the most polite voice I have, impossible.  My every attempt over decades of contemplation, to complete the task of describing my life to the multiple racial audiences, I have been in a frozen capsule of time.  I have attempted to write my story and have failed because of this fear.  So I will begin with describing the fear to you.  This is important to note as I have decided this documenting of my story will have to become a document for psychologist and sociologist to decipher in the future.  There is significance to the academic world.  I foresee this as an opportunity for a student, sometime in the future, who is curious of the ramifications the adoptee program the U.S. and Canadian governments exacted on my race.  There is much interest in the residential schools and the impact that has had on my race.  Well, I wasn't sent to a residential school. I was adopted into a foreign country.

My primary audiences consist of the white family and the red family.  I understand my blog may be read by my white family and possibly my Native family.  So be it.  I am half white and I am half Lake Cowichan First Nation.  This is important to note from the beginning of my story as it is these two families I will most likely offend in many ways by describing my life as an adoptee Native woman.  My life is not pleasant It isn't a tale of sugar and spice and everything nice.  I have many happy childhood memories.  I have memories of my adopted father taking me home to Canada and finding my blood family and then whisking me away, back into the white world. The white world that I never quite felt a part of or at least that part of me did not feel good to me.  My story is to describe my experience, it is to tell the tale of my heart, to describe my life without stepping on some one's toes.
My adoptive father, My first love April 9, 1942-April 11, 2015
My father George is the man I knew as Dad.  He drove me
to Canada in 1980, I distinctly remember this as this was
the year Mt. St. Helens erupted. 
George and me in Vitoria B.C. Canada 1980 I was 13 yrs old.

I have come to the conclusion, I will hurt someone.  There is no way around this possibility.  Telling my truth about my life and what it feels like to live as an adoptee and being an Indigenous woman definitely will include two distinct audiences.  The white audience and the Native audience.  I will not slow my storytelling down with politically correct terms.  I will write in black and white terms.
MY BLOOD FAMILY

I have two families.  I have my blood family.  The Lake Cowichan First Nation family.  This family is the family I am a member of simply by blood.  There is no special relationship with anyone from my tribe anymore.  The one person I had a true connection with passed away last year.  He was my biological mother's younger brother.  He was chief of my people.  His name was Cyril Livingstone.


LAURA LIVINGSTONE-RHYNES
MY BIOLOGICAL MOTHER
R.I.P. DIED DECEMBER 21ST, 1967
MY BELOVED MOTHER, I WISH I COULD'VE KNOWN 
YOU. I WISH YOU COULD'VE BEEN MY 
MOTHER.  I WONDER WHAT YOU WERE LIKE?
I WONDER WHAT IT WAS LIKE THE TEN MONTHS
WE HAD TOGETHER BEFORE YOU DIED?
DID YOU KISS ME?  DID YOU HOLD ME?
DID I SLEEP WITH YOU OR IN A CRIB? DID YOU
SING TO ME?  WAS I BREASTFED?  WAS I BAPTIZED?
DID MY FATHER EVER LAY EYES ON ME?  I WISH
I COULD HAVE AT THE VERY LEAST HAVE KNOWN YOU
OR HAVE A MEMORY OF HOW YOU SMELL OR HOW YOUR 
VOICE SOUNDS LIKE.  SO MANY MYSTERIES.  I LOVE
YOU MOTHER. THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME LIFE.
FOREVER, 

Julie, your Julie



MY UNCLE: CHIEF CYRIL LIVINGSTONE
R.I.P. MY BELOVED UNCLE
I WISH YOU COULD'VE
BEEN MY
FATHER



STOP

TO BE CONTINUED.... I must rest now.  It is so much, to write only these few words.  It is so much.






1 comment:

  1. I am posting this comment as a test and as an example. If you read my #ATIP blog posts and want to leave a comment, this is the section to leave your comment. I have signed in with my Google account in order to leave this comment. I believe you do have choices as to what account you can use to sign in to leave a comment. I also believe you have the option to leave your comment anonymously.

    Julue

    ReplyDelete

Please refrain from derogatory comments. Try to maintain comments as to inspire polite dialog.