It ain't easy being Indian (Sept 2012)

By Ricey Wild
September 2012

  At any gathering of two or more Indians some are observed using odd, furtive behavior by side talking and meaningful stares unknown to western European illogic, states a 10 year anthropological study by The National Research Institute of Questionable Indian Lore. That peculiar interaction has had scientists gripped up with wildly absurd speculations of exactly what that which was unknown to Pink society till now.

  As an insider, and by that I mean I am an enrolled tribal member, I was exposed early to certain interpersonal Indian codes ; one of which involves the very serious insider trading in commodity cheese. For those of yooz whom are unfamiliar with the subject matter our revered Ancestors signed treaties whereby the US government would provide foodstuffs like white flour, tons of white sugar, canned meat in place of fresh and gruel to replace our natural diet and eat like white people. Right away Indians began exhibiting symptoms of what they used to call the Sugar Diabetes.

  It occurs to me now that was yet another  insidious line of attack by High Pink society to rid Turtle Island of its original human inhabitants. Hai! That did not work either and right now I am salivating in anticipation of consuming vast quantities of moose meat. My Unk is taking me and my Gramma Rose out hunting this autumn. I feel very carnivorous right now. Ahem! To continue there are side dishes made with commod cheese that have helped sustain many generations now of your average Wilmer and Wilma Indian.

  Ask any Native you know about commod cheese and you will receive a big grin in response and if yer really lucky they will give you a good recipe that they, their Gramma or mother still makes. I can say this; the best mac n cheese dishes also incorporate commodity milk. Wink.

  Imagine a five pound block of an orange substance that melts beautifully on macaroni, bread, vegetables; heck, it goes with anything. The irony now is that in order to receive commodities an Indian must be under a certain income limit and that made commods, especially the chunk of American cheese, an Indian delicacy now in short supply. Hence, the insider underground trading network.

  It was Moosie who organized the first underground cheese scam; he had plenty of advice from another rezberrian, a former employee who was openly known to be stealing food from the Elderly Nutrition Program which is federally funded as far as I know. Yikes. Anyhow these days you hafta know someone who knows someone who has the connections to acquire portions of cheese, or, you can lurk around the commod parking lot and make bids. Just kidding Darlene.

  So Moosie came back to Rezberry to visit with his tribe of children commonly known as the Moosie Posse and be especially fatherly with the kids who were to turn eighteen soon and getting their per capita payment in a huge lump sum. Gawd he loves those kids! One of his sons bought a yellow double cab four door 350 Ford pickup truck. The skinny kid could barely see over the dashboard and gave one the impression that he was a fly on a pound of butter.  A daughter of Moosies got all tatted up after her payment, one tattoo said "I love_____" with the blank spot for whomever she was currently hooked up with.

  Well, who am I to tell anyone how to spend their money ennit? I'm just glad my tribe gives us monthly per cap payments; it's all I have right now.  And I got cheese too. I shall survive! When I got my commods I requested for as much fresh items as possible and I got FRESH vegetables, a bit of fruit and three cobs of corn that sadly perished in the fridge crisper from leaking water. Sigh! And food is only gonna get more expensive because of the drought and wild fires.

  I used to wonder why some elders used to, or perhaps still do hoard canned and powdered commodities.  Their generation experienced what we now call hardships cuz we're so spoiled; they simply made do with what they had and stockpiled for an uncertain harvest. I think there is a shift for going back to the basics of what is normal human behavior by sustainable agriculture and what is called 'game' meats. That way too we can kick the diabete off the rez and beyond. I'd rather eat dandelion stems than overly processed food anytime.

  I'm gonna get my hunting garb together. I'm thinking flannel, long johns, steel-toe boots and neon blaze orange. I bet them moose are already shaking with fear of me walking around with a loaded weapon. I've cooked up some delicious moose dishes and am anxious for more. Love to all yooz! It ain't easy being Indian, I know it, but yooz do it well.