Since my family is very traditional and walks the path they do I am obliged to walk with them as well. There is no other path nor are there compromises within our customs and traditions. My family are my teachers not some lofty book, advisory board, the whimsy from some passers by or casual aquaintances. For traditional people everything is black and white within our belief system. There are no short cuts, substitutes or gray areas when it comes to our beliefs, teachings and what we honor.
Hmm, what is a traditional Native? Well I can only speak for my people but a traditional person is ones who knows ancient stories to tell the Dancer during our highest holy days. A traditional is a person who knows the difference between eagle bone flutes and the purpose of a deer’s tail. A traditional is the last vanguard in protecting our history, lore, spirituality and our people. A traditional has no use for terms like status quo, contemporary wisdom, bottom line or the greater good. A traditional is immersed in a wealth of knowledge and wisdom from the old ones who share their observations in life. I am honored to have such a family and will not compromise the tenants of my people for any sum of money, goods or a pat on the back. And I stand with my people in the face of all adversity and the foolishness of this contemporary era as we prepare for the Change.
We are living in a world of compromise and false dreams. Everything has a price tag within this material world we live. Our culture is on the auction block as corporate America targets us and our cultures simply for the bottom line. The Sacred Sneaker by Nike unto itself is not a major hit but cumulatively we’ve suffered a nuclear strike from this picking at the pile. We’ve been constantly under assault since conquest. Absolutely everything we had was taken, desecrated, destroyed or made a folly. Treaties since time immemorial have not been honored and our people murdered simply for the land they live on. Our religions, traditions, customs and our lore are fodder for multi-billion dollar corporations. There is nothing sacred in the eyes of the conquering people, only profits and stock index’s.
From the perspective of my elders, many people have not only crossed the cornmeal line they’ve obscured its very location and have long since lost their way. Ask my elders about all the false claims, hopes, dreams and all them feel good propositions offered by corporate America AND politicians over the last 90 years. And they will tell you that these so called donations and give aways never seem to make it to most reservations including ours. And there is a vast majority of Natives who’ve not seen any of this poppy cock corporate America spouts with their feel good ads patting themselves on the back. Sometimes we actually hear about some philanthropist giving out candy, trinkets and beads to the Natives, but as usual Na Da. Like the others we never seem to make the loop. So before you wave the flag of corporate love and generosity just look at how many people will actually be helped by Nike’s “ACT” of kindness. For all the pomp and ceremony these corporations use to tell the world about their “Good Deed” their words fall short for the vast majority of us. And of course, the media will tell the world how lucky we are to have such generous capitalists sharing their wealth with us unfortunate souls, the poor Indian. It’s all a lie for those who never see all the feel good crappola and it’s the vast majority of us period.
They should call it the “Ghost Dance Sneaker” since it offers false hope to a desperate people who are suffering the effects of diabetes. We did not have sneakers back in the day and we did not have diabetes either. Science knew the world was flat, science knew Natives were subhuman and science could cure diabetes with a sneaker. Timing is everything or is it just coincidence that this miraculous discovery came on the heels of the “Longest Walk 2008”. What a publicity coup that will be and you better believe Madison Avenue will be watching. Maybe they will come up with a shoe that cures cirrhosis or PTSD’s. Its sort of exciting in a way, I look forward to “Boxers cut for the Native Man in mind”. But if they come up with a sneaker that returns the buffalo to the Great Plains, that will be something eh.
PT Barnum coined a phrase that has become the axiom of corporate America, “A sucker is born every minute” and sadly the public at large are the suckers. But happily according to our tradition we are living in the time of great change and soon the facades and false store fronts of this so called civilized society will come crumbling down as Ma Earth cleanses herself of all that causes her discomfort. And those who chose to live in the world of false store fronts and material consequence will find them selves with nothing except green paper that does not burn well.
All the rhetoric, foolish lists and banter promoting corporate America are meaningless to me and the others who see through this and other elaborate scams targeting us. It’s the same ole same ole, another shell game and ultimately we will loose, again. It’s all about the money it’s as simple as that.
So go back to your corporate chums and tell them about the bad Injun who just would not buy into another great lie. Point the finger at the big bad Injun who would not play nice to liars and thieves from the corporate empire of this so called land of the free. But most important of all, let the world know who you are so they can thank you later fore they are watching.
Your Devil’s Advocate