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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.





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