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Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Legend of White Raven Spirit, from The Creator






At the beginning, when the Earth was fresh and new, the Great Spirit, Creator sent down His Raven to enjoy this new creation. As Raven soared down from cloud to cloud he began to take the color of the snow crystals that touched his wings, each crystal being different, like the creation on the earth. The Creator told him, you will be like the snow flakes you have gathered on your wings, a part of everything new, everything that I have created. You will be for all people. As White Raven soared in the clouds the cool air rushed under his wings, he was singing and shouting songs of praise to his Creator.

One day he wanted to touch and feel the ground and taste the earth below. He wanted someone to keep him company, but he knew when he landed he would soil his feathers having to settle on the ground below. So the Creator, wishing to please this special one, created a special spirit mate for White Raven, a White Buffalo where he could land and rest. Now there were many of these new Buffalo but only one as white as the snow. They moved about and covered many lands. White Raven found his spirit mate, the White Buffalo below and would ride on his back, resting and smelling the sweetness of earth, making many pleasant sounds in thanks for his new home. Now he could help White Buffalo and his brothers and sisters find good places to roam for food.

Every day White Raven would fly high into the air soaring around, spotting fine places of grass for his brother. When he would look down, he could see White Buffalo as bright as the mornings sun among the others earth colored ones. White Buffalo could be found easily and then led to the good eating places. He would sing to the White Buffalo, "Come here, come here, come here, the grass is good, good, good, then laugh". They would fly, and run, and play, and eat, and enjoy all that was given to them.

Then came a time when the Creator put new creatures on the Earth. They were called humans and walked on two legs. The humans were the color of the earth, the place where they came from, and were very smart. They would sing and make fires to The Creator in thanks for their life and the beauty He had given them. But the human became very hungry and asked the Creator what they should do. The Creator pointed them to the White Raven and told them, "I gave to the White Raven the White Buffalo, so he could guide him to places where his brothers and sisters could eat the good grasses. Now I will give you any buffalo except the White one, to fill your lodges and stomachs and keep you warm so you and your families will never go hungry and never be cold. But remember without the White Buffalo it will be hard to see the others and hunt because they are like you, the color of the Earth.
The humans did what they were told, and after a hunt would first thank the Great Spirit, then the buffalo for his spirit, food and skin for warmth and protection. All things were very happy and gave thanks every day.





One morning, White Raven woke up from a good sleep on the soft back of White Buffalo, and stretched his wings. Flying high into the air looked for a nice place for his brother to eat for the day. While high above the hills he saw a different kind of human, although they looked the same he could feel their hearts were not the same as the others he had known. The new humans were thoughtless caring only for themselves and killed many animals that they could not eat or use for their families. White Raven talked to the Great Spirit asking what are these humans doing, they do not thank You or the ones whose spirit they send to You. They gather up much that they cannot take or use and it goes to waste. The Great Spirit said He was unhappy with these ones.





On that very day, one of the new humans saw the beautiful White Buffalo who was not paying attention to the ground, but looking up in the air to follow White Raven to a new area to eat and play. The new human crept up on White Buffalo and took his life and spirit, not following the command of the Creator. Then the new human did not thank The Creator or the White Buffalo for this spirit, food or skin, leaving much of the body there to rot in the sun.





This made The Creator very sad and angry. He began to cry from the clouds and sent sharp streaks of bright anger to the ground.. White Raven was very sad, his spirit mate had been taken from him and he had no place to stand or sleep any longer. White Buffalo's brothers and sisters ran off causing a great rumbling that went to the heavens and began to shake the earth and the clouds. The Creator let His tears begin to fall from the clouds showing His sorrow. White Raven cried and yelled as he circled his spirit mates lifeless body from high above.

As the days past and the tears continued, White Raven began to tire since he no longer had his place to rest. The streams began to overflow and the seas and the lakes rose to a point where there was very little dirt left. After many days, exhausted and soaked with rain, White Raven landed on a small piece of muddy ground. The dirt splashed up on his body and wings. He tried to move about but he got more and more discolored with the mud . He began to change color to black as the mud spread all over his body, flopping around trying to get back into the air. A day or two passed and White Raven now was completely black and covered with mud. The water had risen to a point where the only piece of ground left was being covered with the rising flood. Far away White Raven saw an old man and his family floating towards him in a large canoe and he cried out "here, here, come, here, come here!"






The Elder noticed him and came over to him and picked him up.. The elder was very kind and wise, he fed him and dried him off. Now by this time the entire earth was covered with water and the tears had stopped. The Creator now would mourn silently.

White Raven told the elder of his journey and what had happened to him and his friend, White Buffalo. Elder told him that The Great Spirit had spared him from the great rains to look for anything good, but there was much evil in the world and there was not much to save. The elder explained that again, along time in the future not only will there be good on the earth but evil also. When this time comes the Creator will have to again cleanse the earth of this evil.

White Raven was now strong enough to fly back into the heavens. As he left the elder and his family he thanked him for his kindness and began to soar back to The Creator. The Creator told the elder he would He would create only black Ravens, to remind all peoples of the evil that man can create. The Creator at a the time in the future when the earth is filled with evil will again send His White Raven. This time he will not turn to black or be soiled, but remain forever the color The Creator had given him in the beginning.  One will see White Raven and he will give this message to many Nations and to all who will listen to him and what he says about The Creator. This one will be giving a warning to all, of bad times that are coming. White Raven will again have the soft white back of his spirit mate to rest on, and everyone should listen to his warning;" Return to the Creator, give Him songs of praise. Burn fires that will let their smokes rise up to Him as a pleasing smell. Put away your evil ways and desires, putting The Creator as the Way to follow, so He will be pleased with us."

White Raven then soared up towards the Great Spirit, into the clouds. The snow crystals began to cleanse the feathers of White Raven as he flew through the clouds going ever higher until he again became as he was in the beginning, The Way, The Creator had meant him to be.  So we must all be waiting and looking for this time that is in the future. For the return of the White Raven. 





This time will come to turn to the Great Spirit again. We will still try our evil ways, destroying what He has done for us. Will we do the things that we were meant to do in the beginning. Love The Creator, live in peace with all, love The Way The Creator loves us, and treat everyone as He treats us. This is what is written, this is The Way it must be.




RAVEN

This version of the legend comes from J.R. Swanton's 1909 collection Tlingit Myths and Texts.






No one knows just how the story of Raven really begins, so each starts from the point where he does know it. Here it was always begun in this way...
When Raven was born, his father tried to instruct him and train him in every way and after he grew up, told him he would give him strength to make a world. After trying in all sorts of ways, Raven finally succeeded. Then there was no light in this world, but it was told him that far up the Nass was a large house in which someone kept light just for himself.
Raven thought over all kinds of plans for getting this light into the world and finally he hit on a good one. The rich man living there had a daughter, and he thought, "I will make myself very small and drop into the water in the form of a small piece of dirt." The girl swallowed this dirt and became pregnant. When her time was completed, they made a hole for her, as was customary, in which she was to give birth, and lined it with rich furs of all sorts. But the child did not wish to be born on those fine things. Then its grandfather felt sad and said, "What do you think it would be best to put into that hole? Shall we put in moss?" So they put moss inside and the baby was born on it. Its eyes were very bright and moved around rapidly.
Round bundles of varying shapes and sizes hung about on the walls of the lodge. When the child became a little larger, it crawled around back of the people weeping continually, and as it cried it pointed to the bundles. This lasted many days. Then its grandfather said: "Give my grandchild what he is crying for. Give him that one hanging on the end. That is the bag of stars." So the child played with this, rolling it about on the floor back of the people, until suddenly he let it go up through the smoke hole. It went straight up into the sky and the stars scattered out of it, arranging themselves as you now see them. That was what he went there for.
Some time after this he began crying again, and he cried so much that it was thought he would die. Then his grandfather said, "Untie the next one and give it to him." He played and played with it around behind his mother. After a while he let that go up through the smoke hole also, and there was the big moon.
Now just one thing more remained, the box that held the daylight, and he cried for that. His eyes turned around and showed different colors, and the people began thinking that he must be something other than an ordinary baby. But it always happens that a grandfather loves his grandchild just as he does his own daughter, so the grandfather said, "Untie the last thing and give it to him." His grandfather felt very sad when he gave this to him. When the child had this in his hands, he uttered the raven cry, "Ga", and flew out with it through the smoke hole. Then the person from whom he had stolen it said, "That old raven has gotten all of my things."
Journeying on, Raven was told of another place where a man had an everlasting spring of water. This man was named Petrel (GanĂ¹'k). Raven wanted this water because there was none to drink in this world, but Petrel always slept by his spring, and he had a cover over it so as to keep it all to himself. Then Raven came in and said to him, "My brother-in-law, I have just come to see you. How are you?" He told Petrel of all kinds of things that were happening outside, trying to induce him to go out and look at them, but Petrel was too smart for him and refused.
When night came, Raven said, "I am going to sleep with you, brother-in-law." So they went to bed, and toward morning Raven heard Petrel sleeping very soundly. Then he went outside, took some dog manure and put it around Petrel's buttocks. When it was beginning to grow light, he said "Wake up, wake up, wake up, brother-in-law, you have defecated all over your clothes." Petrel got up, looked at himself, and thought it was true, so he took his blankets and went outside. Then Raven went over to Petrel's spring, took off the cover and began drinking. After he had drunk up almost all of the water, Petrel came in and saw him. Then Raven flew straight up, crying "Ga".
Before he got through the smoke hole, however, Petrel said, "My spirits up the smoke hole, catch him." So Raven stuck there, and Petrel put pitch wood on the fire under him so as to make a quantity of smoke. Raven was white before that time, but the smoke made him of the color you find him today. Still he did not drop the water. When the smoke-hole spirits let him go, he flew around the nearest point and rubbed himself all over so as to clear off as much of the soot as possible.
This happened somewhere around the Nass, and afterwards he started up this way. First he let some water fall from his mouth and made the Nass. By and by he spit more out and made the Stikine. Next he spit out Taku river, then Chilkat, then Alsek, and all the other large rivers. The small drops that came out of his mouth made the small salmon creeks.
After this Raven went on again and came to a large town where were people who had never seen daylight. They were out catching eulachon in the darkness when he came to the bank opposite, and he asked them to take him across but they would not. Then he said to them, "If you don't come over I will have daylight break on you." But they answered, "Where are you from? Do you come from far up the Nass where lives the man who has the daylight?" At this Raven opened his box just a little and shed so great a light on them that they were nearly thrown down. He shut it quickly, but they quarreled with him so much across the creek that he became angry and opened the box completely, when the sun flew up into the sky. Then those people who had sea-otter or fur-seal skins, or the skins of any other sea animals, went into the ocean, while those who had land-otter, bear, or marten skins, or the skins of any other land animals, went into the woods becoming the animals whose skins they wore.
Artist: Michael Kemp




Monday, August 7, 2017

America's Throw Away Indian Project: My Battles


I choose my battles carefully.  Each day, I embrace the good fight.  I challenge my natural tendencies and strive to be the best person I can be.  In this daily struggle, I obligate myself and aspire to BECOME THE VERY BEST VERSION OF ME I CAN BE TODAY.  Fighting the battle of me vs. me, this is a fight to which I desire to be a participant.

What I consider triumph, in this exclusive internal crusade, is my insides matching my outsides.  For me, this is a daily feud I find worthy, and it occupies a sense of silent dignity.  Does this have any meaning to you?  Can any part of you identify with what I am striving to describe?  I hope to make sense.  It certainly makes sense in my head.   I hope it translates to others.  My desire is never to feel alone in this journey of life.

I want to look squarely at myself and face myself as I am, all of me.  Facing the "Me" that is less than desirable and the "Me" that is fiercely determined to be an honorable person.  The person, my parents, worked their lives to teach me to be, a woman they could be proud of.  Wish me luck as I am a formidable opponent.  Wish me luck as I attempt to infuse and integrate and find a balance where peace becomes my bedfellow.



Traditionally, my people, meaning my tribe, Lake Cowichan First Nation, they lived in long houses.  My people lived in a communal lifestyle.  I believe I am genetically set up for this style of living.  Creator had different plans for me.  I have ceased trying to understand why Creator made a life for me where I am alone without a large family and accept my place, my station, and I do the very best I can do.

I count myself as blessed as this life journey of being a wolf without a pack has made me incredibly strong.  So tenacious that my presence makes others feel nervous and sometimes scared of me.  I am no one to be trifled with for sure.  I am very loving and very nurturing.  Many times, I do not understand why people are scared of me.  It is a mystery to me.  It is another mystery I spend no time trying to figure out.  I am diligent at monitoring my presence to put others at ease.

I am now fifty years old.  For the most part, I am finally at peace with who I have matured into.  I find peace with who I am and what I do.  I do not live my life for others.  I did live my life for others for many, many years and found I was a constant disappointment.  Now THAT was a hard way to live.  It wasn't even me who was the disappointment.  I was a reflection to others their own failure of self-actualization and integration of the design Creator intended.

I am adopted.  I have my biological family and my adopted family.  I speak to neither family.  Maybe it is they do not talk to me.  This is another mystery I gave up trying to understand.  I created this page to publicly discuss how it feels to be an Aboriginal woman from Canada.  Born a female without honor or reverence Native Americans and First Nation people boast so frequently in public.  Nope.  I am a Lake Cowichan First Nation woman without an identity aside from the identity I carved for myself along my life's journey.  Sometimes the woman you will see is angry, sad, resentful, confused, lost, lonely, longing for my biological family just to want me.  Longing for my biological family to even say hello.  Longing for my biological family to be curious about me and reach out to me.  But I have accepted this will NEVER happen.  I am a ghost to them.



My adopted family, they do not speak to me either.  My adoptive parents are dead now.  My brother who was their biological son hates me and has since they day they brought me home in 1969.  I have occasional contact with a couple cousins in my adopted family.  For the most part, though, I am not accepted in my adopted family's life.  I do not fit in.  They do not like me.  They certainly do not like me talking about my feelings of being taken and the feelings I have of being stripped of my culture and heritage.  To them, speaking of this, is a slap in their face, as if I am ungrateful for their love and ungrateful to the family in general.

So I live in a small world.  I married a man who accepts me and all of my sadness.  I have a daughter that LOVES me so much, it is what saves me.  She understands the grief I carry isn't either one of my families fault.  She is fifteen now, and she completely understands that what I feel is the result of the assimilation laws of the U.S. and Canadian governments.  The sadness will never leave me.  I have diligently made it clear to my daughter not to allow my sadness to infect her.  The sadness I carry is mine and mine alone.



The sadness I carry, it is assimilation and not hers.  I have raised my daughter to identify as white.  I have consciously and very much designed her life to be "WHITE" & not Lake Cowichan First Nation.  My daughter, she will bear none of the pain I carry.  I am the first generation of the reserve.  In American, the government calls Indian land reservations.  In Canada, the Aboriginal land is called reserves.  I am the bridge to the HORRENDOUS PAST OF ASSIMILATION AND GENOCIDE.  I WILL CARRY ALL OF THAT FOR MY CHILDREN.  MY KIDS WILL BE FREE OF THIS PAIN.

THE GOVERNMENT WINS.

I WILL TELL MY STORY BEFORE I DIE.  I WILL TELL THE WORLD HOW PAINFUL IT IS TO BE AN ABORIGINAL ADOPTEE.  I WILL EXPLAIN HOW IF FEELS TO HAVE LIVED,  BUT THIS "LIVING" IS A WHAT I CALL A WALKING DEATH.  EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE IS ANOTHER DAY OF LIVING-GENOCIDE.  AND THIS MY FAIR READERS, IS MORE PAINFUL THAN BROKEN BONES, CHILDBIRTH, TORTURE, IT IS A DAILY LIFE LIVED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF HOW I AM THE GENOCIDE BOTH THE U.S. AND CANADIAN GOVERNMENTS SET OUT TO ACCOMPLISH WITH MY RACE.  IT IS A PRISON.  THIS IS HOW I CAN DESCRIBE IT TO THOSE WITH LITTLE KNOWLEDGE OR FALSE KNOWLEDGE:  I AM TOO RED FOR THE WHITE WORLD AND TOO WHITE FOR THE RED WORLD.  I WILL NEVER FIT INTO EITHER WORLD.

WHY CREATOR DIDN'T LET ME DIE IN THE CAR ACCIDENT MY MOTHER DIED IN ON DECEMBER 21ST, 1967, WHY CREATOR HAS MADE ME LIVE THIS LIFE ALONE AND REJECTED, WELL THIS IS A MYSTERY I WILL NEVER COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND.

SO I SAY THIS, MY STORY WILL NOT ONLYCONSIT OF DESCRIBING MY LIFE AS AN ADOPTED PERSON ROBBED OF HERITAGE, LANGUAGE, CULTURE, LARGE FAMILY, FAMILY TIES, BUT I AM GOING TO WRITE DOWN ALL OF THE UGLIES PERSONAL THINGS THAT HAPPENED TOME ALONG THE WAY.

I HAVE SURVIVED PHYSICAL ABUSE, SEX ABUSE, DRUG ABUSE, ATTEMPTED SUICIDES, PROMESCRUITY, ABORTIONS, VIOLENCE, ALCOHOL BINGE DRINKING, DROPPING OUT OF COLLEGE IN MY SENIOR YEAR.  MY STORY WILL SHOW I CHOSE A MARRIAGE THAT FOR THE MOST PART, MY HUSBAND IS GOOD TO ME, BUT HE TOO HAS A DARKNESS INSIDE HIM.  HE IS NOT ABSENT OF A NASTY TEMPER.  HE HAS OUTBURSTS, AND HE HAS A MEANNESS THAT NO ONE SEES OUTSIDE OF CLOSED DOORS.  I HAVE NOWHERE TO GO.  I HAVE NO MONEY TO GET ME THERE IF I HAD SOMEWHERE TO GO.

I USED TO BELIEVE THERE WAS PHILANTHTOPISTS EXISTED THAT WOULD HEAR MY STORY AND WOULD WANT TO HELPME CONNECT WITH MY FAMILY.  A PHILANTHROPIST THAT WOULD HELP ME BUY A CAR, ELECTRONICS TO RECORD MY JOURNEY AND PRODUCE A FILM OF THAT JOURNEY TO USE AS A PRODUCTION TO ENCOURAGE THE GROWTH OF HURH.RUP.org.  A PHILANTHROPIST WITH ENOUGH MONEY TO ASSIST ME IN KEEPING MY HOME HERE IN THE U.S. SO MY CHILDREN AND I HAVE A HOME TO RETURN TO AFTER OUR JOURNEY TO CANADA.



A PHILANTHROPIST THAT WOULD PROVIDE ME WITH MONEY FOR A PASSPORT, FAIRY MONEY, LODGING, FOOD, GIFTS TO GIVE MY BIOLOGICAL FAMILY SO I DIDN'T GO HOME EMPTY HANDED, MONEY TO BY MYSELF AND MY CHILDREN FOOD WHILE IN CANADA.  A PHILANTHROPIST THAT HAD SO MUCH MONEY, THEY COULD MAKE MY DREAMS COME TRUE AND THAT THEY WOULD HELP ME TRAVEL THE 10 HOURS IT TAKES TO GET TO MY HOMELANDS.  YES, YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY.  THE FAMILY I WAS STOLEN FROM, THE HERITAGE, CULTURE, AND MY BLOODLANDS ARE A MEASLY TEN HOURS FROM WHERE I LIVE NOW.  I HAVE GIVEN UP THIS DREAM OF RETURNING HOME.  I HAVE FINALLY COME TO TERMS WITH THE FACT THAT THERE ARE ZERO PHIOLANTHROPIST IN THIS WORLD WITH ANY INTEREST IN SEEING INDIGENOUS PEOPLE BEING REUNITED WITH THEIR PAST, THEIR OWN MYSTERIES.  IF THERE IS A PHILANTHROPIST OUT THERE IN THE WORLD, I HAVEN'T THE FIRST IDEA HOW TO FIND THEM.  

I HAVE GIVEN UP THE DREAM OF EVER BEING ABLE TO MAKE THAT TEN HOUR DRIVE.  I HAVE GIVEN THAT DREAM UP, I HAVE GIVEN UP HOPE.  THE REALITY IS, I WILL DIE RIGHT WHERE I AM.  I WILL DIE IN A LITTLE TOWN, AND WITH ME ONE MORE PIECE OF MY TRIBE WILL DIE.  IT IS MY WALKING DEATH.  THIS STORY TURNED DARK.  WHEN I WRITE ABOUT MY STORY AND HOW IT FEELS IT ALWAYS TURNS DARK.    I HAVE GIVEN UP ON HAVING A HUMOROUS, BUBBLY STORY TO WRITE.

I  LIVE MY LIFE IN SERVICE TO OTHERS.  IT SOFTENS THE SADNESS, AND SOMETIMES THE ANGER RESIDING  INSIDE ME.  I FINALLY HAVE COME TO TERMS I CAN ONLY PUT THOSE FEELINGS TO BED.  I HAVE COME TO TERMS THAT I AM UNABLE TO EXTINGUISH ENTIRELY THE SADNESS THAT SATURATES MY SOUL.  AS SOON AS I BEGIN TO WRITE DOWN WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME, MY STORY BECOMES DARK.

I WILL BE SHOCKED IF PEOPLE WHO FIND THEIR WAY TO #ATAIP WILL BE ABLE TO FOLLOW THE DARKNESS AND HANG IN THERE WITH ME UNTIL I AM ABLE TO LEAD THEM TO THE LIGHT I FOUND AFTER FORTY YEARS OF LEARNING HOW TO LIVE WITH THE LIVING DEATH.  WHAT IS #ATAIP, YOU ASK?

AMERICA'S THROW AWAY INDIAN PROJECT #ATAIP...MORE LATER, I FIND MYSELF EMPTY NOW.  I MUST RECHARGE.  IT TAKES A LOT OUT OF A PERSON TO WRITE THIS STUFF DOWN.  A LOT OF FEAR ACCOMPANIES THIS JOURNEY.  IT HAS ALSO BEEN MY EXPERIENCE THAT EXPLAINING OR TELLING MY STORY IS LIKE HUMAN REPELLANT.  PEOPLE FLEE WHEN THEY BEGIN TO HEAR THIS STUFF.

~BigMamaBlaze





P.S.
All caps was purposeful.  It is my anger that jumps out of me when I begin to open myself up about my darkness.  It is my shock and disappointment in myself for feeling the way I do when I write about my darkness.  Finally, it is the awakening of pain inside me that I have put to bed.  It is that duality inside me of being a matured woman who has learned to cope and keep quiet, and when speaking about my experience I have an explosion of feelings, and it's embarrassing.  I feel humiliated.  I make no promises of how telling my story is going to sound.  I do promise I will continue to define what  #ATAIP  means to me.

I ALSO PRAY THAT OTHER ADOPTED FIRST NATION AND NATIVE AMERICAN MEAN AND WOMEN WHO FIND THIS, I PRAY THEY WILL SUBMIT THEIR STORIES TOO, SO I DO NOT SOUND LIKE A MENTAL PATIENT.  I HOPE OTHERS WILL SHRE THEIR STORIES.  (THIS ONE IS FEAR)

I once had a dream of an organization I created and called it HURH.RUP.org.  This organization was a sustainable, green company, filled with teams of people dedicated to assisting adoptees reuniting with their biological families.  I designed it as a non-profit company that uses footage of journey of those who made it home and their experience to train others to build more offices built with recycled products to help more adoptees to find their way to their blood lands.
Each group would train more people, constructing more HURH.RUP.org centers, eventually erected in every state.  All of these would be designed for the sole purpose of assisting others like me to be reunified.  The films would launch into a television series or a movie series and eventually become self-sustainable.  The money had to come from my "fantasized" philanthropist that I now know doesn't exist.  The HURH.RUP.org is "Help Us Return Home Re - Unification Project.  Like #ATAIP #HURH.RUP is just that, dreams of an Indian that America threw away and buried in the graveyard of red tape.