OPINION | It ain’t easy being Indian


Way back in the olden days when I was but a wee girl I watched a Dracula movie starring Bela Lugosi. I was traumatized, totally. That night and many years of nights thereafter I bunched my blankets up around my neck before being able to sleep so a vampire would have a pretty tough time trying to suck up my blood. It must have worked since I haven’t melted in direct sunlight …yet.

The reason I bring that story up is at a recent Rezberry Open Meeting people were calling for blood, and lots of it. A whole lot of enrolled Rezberrians’ blood was illegally drained from them and they want it back.

At issue now is that American Native Nations are in danger of going extinct. Not by blatant genocide this century, but by subversive and intentional legal means by the United States of Vampires to deliberately exterminate Indians so we have nothing left, not a drop, thereby completing the conclusive theft of our world.

The blood quantum dilemma has always been a critical issue, and will worsen sooner rather than later because we’re gonna literally run out of federally recognized enrolled Indians. We will cease to exist as a sovereign, distinct people who can practice the rights our ancestors fought and died for. Blood.

I have addressed this subject many times. I pissed off many “Insta-Indians” when I offered my personal definition of who qualifies as “Indian.” Just so you know; it’s growing up Indian, knowing you’re Indian and participating in your culture, even if you don’t know you are. I’m saying it is the experience. So there.

To add insult to injury, it turns out Rezberry is going to disenroll some Indians. The ironic thing is that they are not “real Indians” at all! There are white kids who were adopted by enrolled Rezberrians and they enrolled their non-Indian kids?! The kids have no linear descent even… not no nothing! Not even one fractional drop of Indian blood that the U.S.A. requires for one to be considered Indian.

I should mention here that Rezberry enrollees are one of the few Tribes who receive a modest monthly per capita payment, not to mention “free”college, (blood money) health care (also blood money) and we also get a few cents off every gallon of gas purchased at the Rezberry Rest Stop & Mac Supply. I was told this is mandatory because theres a bunch of non-Rezberrians who be frontin’ to get our discount. The sad thing is unless you do have your Rezberry I.D. no one can be totally sure if you are Indian, like the people who are hyper-pink, and the ones who are very dark brown. Very.

The bottom line is the blood; Indian blood. How much we have of it typed on official stamped government-certified paper, no matter if you have straight dark brown hair, golden skin and a flat ass. Who are you on paper?

I am still angry that we, American Indians, are the sole existing people on the entire planet who have papers like dogs do; AKC-breed certified papers.

However, one of my personal amusements is when non-Indian people quantify their own peculiar breeds, i.e. “I’m two parts Irish on St. Patricks Day, straight up, I must be part English because I know the language, and I’m part Swedish too as you can observe; my skin is transparent all year long. I think there’s a little German in me too because I sure am nimble at cracking beers.”

Then there’s my favorite of all time: “I’m part Indian.” Hundreds of people have shared that information with me after they ask me what race I am. My reply to them? “Which part?” I dissolve with laughter at the puzzled look on their face and pat myself on my back for being oh-so witty! Gotta laugh sometimes, ennit?

All right then. My grandbabies, if I should be ever so fortunate as to have some, will not be counted in any census or roll books as “Indian.” I procreated outside my race, as Indians have occasionally done ever since the first immigrants showed up. My son Steve danced his first dance in an urban park nicknamed Cockroach Park. He grew up Indian and has way more than enough blood in him from me to be enrolled. But he’s not. I am listed as half my mother’s blood quantum, and she is listed as less than her brother, same parents!

My father, who is Indian, same tribe, is dead now. A couple years ago we went to Cornberry County Courthouse so he could be added to my birth certificate and my son could be enrolled. A court hearing, a lot of money and an act of God had to happen to accomplish that. Didn’t happen.

Where do we go from here? I guess we all gotta bunch up the bed covers up around our necks so no one can steal any more Indian blood.

It’s like my friend Ferdinand said at the meeting: “Either you’re an Indian or you’re not.” My opinion is that we need to be the ones to determine that special status.