Guest Writings do not necessarily reflect my own opinions. I am trying to create an open forum. I reserve the right to include any submitted article or not, with or without saying why. If you wish to reproduce any of these writings you must ask permission of the author. At the bottom of each article will be contact information for the author when it is available. 


OPALMOON-September 2002

    Many have asked me how I felt about holding an Indian card.

   
First of all many do not understand how the card came about. It was given to my people to prove they were Indian to claim their land that the Government took from them. And in doing this the Government was only giving back what already belonged to them from the beginning, and the only what little and what they saw as useless. So my people only got back part of their land and not always where it was taken from. Then they were given food to help them live for the government had already taken their crops and their way of life.

   
The next generation came. They tried to teach their parents that they owned land and they should fight to get it. So the parents let the children go and get what was theirs. But not understanding the ways of the whiteman and the true story of how this land was taken, they only were told that their land was held for them and to claim this land they must have proof. 

   
Proof they were from the Indian descent and that they were from the “family” that got this card given by Government.

    
I don't have a problem with this other than it was ALL our land in the beginning and that's another story which may never change. 

   
What truly hurts my heart and I think is a disgrace to my people is this: Right now and it has been this way for a while, there are some of our people who will ask to see your Indian Card in order to be allowed to set up at certain POW Wows, or even to join them in a prayer circle. 

   
This is a slap in my face it and it hurts my heart when I am asked to show my card. To prove “who I am not” by my heart but rather by a card given to me with a number on it. Is this not what the Germans did to the Jews? My people walked not by choice but just as the people of different races and/or beliefs in Germany did. They died from the oldest to the youngest, all across that hard land, rivers, snow – just as Indian were forced to in this one. And in both instances, they watched their loved ones die while the eyes of the world watched and said nothing.

   
Now we have our own people ask that we show our card to enter a Powwow or to walk in a circle of our own people giving Grandfather honor. Even to go and get poison the Government gives and says it is food or to go to inadequate hospitals and Doctors where we are expected to sit like mute tamed animals for hours on end with no right to opinions of our own. 

    
This is welfare the same as the white people get from their Government and also have to prove they cannot afford to survive without it. I may not say it the way it is., but it all is the same. It is a shame that we are asked by our own people to show our Indian heritage. 

    
My mother taught me to look into the eyes and one will see the heart; to listen to the words and one will feel the heart and know who is speaking the truth and who is not. 

   
I was never told to ask for a card to see if this person is of my heritage before I dance in a circle with them. When my husband does the gourd dance he does not look to see if the man next to him is Indian. He does not care, for he is giving his heart to all his Brothers white, black, red, yellow. And I am there standing behind my Brothers with my Sisters giving my heart and proud I can. 

    
So if I come to your circle and I am asked to show my card...I will spit in your hand and walk away for I will not show my card again. 

    
Now I must say...I do not blame anyone for going and getting food, hospital care or to see a Doctor. That is the way it is done and I do not see a change. But we can change the way we teach and we can go back to the way our Ancestors walked: Giving to anyone who wishes to learn our ways.

Wadv Snow Owl, for allowing me to share my thoughts upon this website and I hope I have not hurt anyone in doing so.

Opalmoon
September, 2002

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