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Elsipogtog: What the H is Going On There?

As a Native I feel it pertinent to keep tabs on current events that are related to me and my people. The past few days it has come to my knowledge about what is happening at the Elsipogtog First Nation of Mi’kmaq in Canada.

Poster created from an image from the protesting.

From what I understand the people are protesting against the exploration of shale gas in the area. Apparently the natural gas is in high demand over the next few decades. Wikipedia (I know, calm down it’s not all lies) says that the extraction of the gas may lead to contamination of the local water supply. This alone could cause distress for a community where this is to take place.

I know that fracking has been continually brought up in debates, especially with reservation land and other Native land. I, however, am not a geologist or hydrologist or scientist in any fashion so I am unaware about what really happens. Please read this article from Popular Mechanics about fracking myths.

I understand why the Mi’kmaq are upset and why they protested, as water and land are both sacred entities to Native people. It is unfortunate that the focus of their struggles are on the burning of police vehicles. I just hope that people are not making snap judgments (on either side) about the main issues here. Reading articles it is apparent that our First Nation brothers and sisters face the same discrimination and stereotyping as we do here.

I just ask for people to be informed on topics such as these. It is more than an indigenous issue.

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FINISHED: The Color of Magic

I finished reading The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett a few days ago.  I have long heard that Terry Pratchett writes some good books and that I should read his books. I purchased this book on one of my many book binges at the bookstore but never read it. Finding myself with no money for new books I had to go look on my bookshelf to see what I hadn’t read. This was one of the books.

My book cover

 

I highly enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone. It sucks because this is the first book of the Discworld series and there are many of those books. Like lots. So now what I am supposed to do? Finish reading A Storm of Swords? Nah.

I liked this book for various reasons but I would like to highlight a few so that you can see how awesome it is. Like many books the main characters go on an adventure and they find themselves in troubling predicaments, but thankfully they find a way out. No need to spoil everything with specific details. Just read it. The book is just over 200 pages. That is an easy read if you ask me.

First thing I liked: the entire Discworld is situated on a turtle’s back. The turtle’s name is A’Tuin and he swims across the galaxies. How cool is that? It reminded me of two things 1) how the panda island from World of Warcraft is on top of a big giant turtle and 2) the Anishinaabe creation story. Our creation story tells about the great flood (which had to have happened) and how the animals and Waynaboozhoo (spelling varies) tried to get dirt from the bottom. Well our homey muskrat did, and once they got the dirt they placed in on turtle’s back who grew and grew and became turtle island AKA North America. So for all the people living in this region of the world, we are indeed on top of a turtle. That is how Pratchett’s world is, so I am already liking the place and able to relate okay.

I ❤ Tree Trunks

Second thing: the character of Twoflower. He is some crazy tourist who wants to see heroes and people beating each other up and gods and all kinds of craziness. He has strange luggage and a weird camera. But the whole time he has a sweet innocence (or naivety) that bothers our other main character, the wizard Rincewind. I don’t know about you but when I read a book I often try to relate the character to someone I’ve seen before (in real life or not). In this case I associated Twoflower with Tree Trunks, my most favorite random character on Adventure Time. You see much like Twoflower, Tree Trunks is not an adventurer but she tries her best and it is hard for others to stay mad at her. And that is how I feel about Twoflower. He just wants to see and experience everything. No reason to get upset with him.

Third thing: Death is creepy but in a good way. I appreciate Pratchett’s writing since it is so crazy random with a whole lot going on in such a short period of time. My favorite part about Death is that Pratchett has him speaking without quotes and in ALL CAPS. That is just cool and incredibly fitting. Makes a character stand out if you ask me. If Death is a character.

So anyway thus started my Discworld reading which I cannot continue because of lack of funds. What shall I read next? Maybe I will continue A Storm of Swords. Or I have The City of Ember which I can read. Hmmmmmm.

Knowledge for all your Columbus Day Needs

Today is Columbus Day and I’m not celebrating. Frankly since it is a rubbish holiday made up for no reason. He didn’t even “discover” the country that we celebrate this in. Does that make sense? No but moving on. Please enjoy these links below to understand the ridiculousness of the ridiculousness and see my blog post from the other day.

First a comic

 

First we need to wear this shirt from Beyond Buckskin Boutique.

8 Myths and atrocities about CC from Indian Country Today.

Native Appropriation’s post from last year about how we need to celebrate indigenous people instead.

And here is Native News Network’s great suggestion to get rid of the “holiday” altogether.

Thankfully most people view the “holiday” as a joke because that is what it really is. I would like to know who is in charge of putting these holiday’s on our calendar. Because I would like that job.

Have a great regular Monday and I’ll be watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets after I watch Adventures in Babysitting.

Hey I’m in a YouTube Video!

I honestly am not really sure why I am so excited about this but I am. It is the 7pm Grand Entry at Mille Lacs 2013 Powwow.

The video is not that good of quality but oh well. I’m around the 1:45 part.

This makes me sad that outdoor powwow season is over. But I have to get ready for next year by getting my accessories done.

Do they have Columbus Day cards?

I sure hope not. But I haven’t visited the Hallmark Store in awhile so I can’t be sure.

Columbus Day is on Monday and it’s a good day to be Italian. I remember watching The Soprano’s with my mother and how Tony and crew were offended that Native Americans were protesting the ridiculousness of such a holiday. Since Columbus was such a stand up Italian. I wouldn’t know since I never met the guy.

Below is a snippet from the episode of The Soprano’s where they sit and discuss the holiday. It is NSFW because of their choice in vocabulary. I honestly think that this is probably how most conversations go about this subject. Well maybe not most but they pretty much cover the main arguments about the holiday:

I really don’t know a whole lot about Columbus. I know that he is Italian. I know that the royals of Spain sent him on his journey. I know he ended up in the Caribbean when he was trying to get to India (fire that cartographer!). I know that he was not the nicest guy in the world. I know that because of him many indigenous people were enslaved and more were killed. But I don’t really know enough to make him be the ONE guy that ruined the Americas. It was not just him but he had a BIG influence on it.

Today during my Redditing, I came across this comic on the Oatmeal regarding all the bad things that Columbus did and how some other dude should be celebrated instead. I enjoy the information regarding Columbus but I don’t know enough about this other dude either to have a day for him. Why do we need to celebrate some white dude from another country? This is America and we should celebrate Americans. Maybe.

This leads me to how I will be spending my Monday October 14th, Columbus day: by watching movies directed by Chris Columbus. These would include (but not limited to): Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire and Adventures in Babysitting. Let alone he has acted as producer on many more wonderous films. Please join me on Monday by celebrating this Chris Columbus and not that other dude.

Wolves are my Homies

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I highly enjoy wolves. They are pretty and interesting creatures. I have only seen them in person at zoos which is very conflicting but I don’t need to see them out and about while I go to Starbucks.

Look how pretty I am in the foliage of the great north.

From what I understand this is the second season where there are licenses available for sportspeople to hunt wolves (in awhile I believe they had them before but I’m unsure bc I am not the DNR). The licenses are a lottery, meaning everyone who applied does not necessarily receive one. Also, the MN DNR is permitting less licenses than last year. However, this does not make me feel better.

I do NOT understand the point of hunting wolves (or bears for that matter but I talked to my dad about that more and people eat bear meat). What is the function of hunting wolves? I guess you could eat their meat but I don’t believe that it is anywhere near the taste of venison or any of the fowl foodstuffs. So then their fur? This isn’t the fur trade where people are making bank back in Europe with furs. Sport then? There are deer to hunt and ducks and pheasant and other things that make much more sense to hunt.

I am certainly not against hunting. I would go hunting in a heartbeat (except for sitting in the woods all day I’d prob fall asleep). But I would hunt deer or ducks. No bear. No wolves. I think part of my mentality is that wolves are predators, just like us (so are bears!). Deer, not so much. Birds– yeah no. Except maybe ostriches because those mofos can attack.

Also this: many moons ago when I was Little Rita I had a poster from the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) that showed man (Anishinaabe) and wolf (ma’iingan) together. Man asked Creator for a companion and Creator sent wolf. They walked the land together but at some point it became time to go their separate ways. Even though they are separate there is still respect for the wolf. And I will never forget that.

Here is a nice article from the White Earth Land Recovery Project about what I’m trying to say:

http://welrp.org/maiingan-the-wolf-our-brother

So what can we do? I thought about purchasing a license so that if I win the lottery that it could prevent another hunter from getting a wolf. But how far can that go? I noticed that Jessica Lange has asked Gov. Dayton to change the hunt but that is not going to get far either. However, I heard she is a witch now so he better watch out.

Well Howling for Wolves has many resources about the wolf hunt and how one can help to suspend it. I recommend just checking it out.

Wolves are our friends, not food.

Geocaching is the Bomb Diggity

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Okay so this does not have anything specifically to do with Native Americans but since I’m doing it, it technically does. But I’d like to think that the tracking skills of my ancestors has been bequeathed unto me and I must use it thusly.

I started geocaching last year because, I don’t remember why, but it was a good distraction from what was going on at the time and I still enjoy doing so. But I don’t like going  by myself because I want someone else to see that I did good and found something hidden in the wilds of today.

So I take my nephew where we can do something nice outdoors and have fun looking for something strange.

Posing with a geocache we found in his neighborhood.

Posing with a geocache we found in his neighborhood.

 

I am by no means a hard core geocacher, I usually wait until there are days I spend with my nephew and then figure out where we can go. There are many in local parks and even in random parking lots so it is a fun activity to do together. To bond and stuff.

I always forget to check for them in unique places since it would be cool to have that a smiley face on the geocaching map on my geocaching app.

I suppose I should mention what geocaching is. To me it is essentially a treasure hunt, except you don’t get treasure unless you leave treasure. I never bring treasure but it is nice to find things that are hidden.

Here is an example of a cache hidden midst the trunks of a tree.

Here is an example of a cache hidden midst the trunks of a tree.

I have not hidden any caches since I have not felt that ambitious yet. Then I would think of where to hide it and that might be too tricky. But maybe maybe.

Basically I like geocaching and most people I talk to don’t know what it is so I kindly try to explain and they usually don’t understand anyway.

So go to geocaching.com to learn more. Also there are some free apps that allow you to look for them from your phone. I have the official geocache app which was $10 but it has all the geocaches available everywhere and keeps a nice log of what I’ve found.

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