I recently was questioned by a college student which I think are relevant questions to ask and many folks I believe have some of these same questions in mind.
I do well with question and answer formats and find that format a wonderful forum to share ideas. So here are some. Please feel free to submit questions or observations when they arise.
I will answer your questions as my conscience dictates and good sense has its way.
First I recommend “Where White Men Fear to Tread” by Russell Means - Where-White-Fear-Tread
I think if you pay attention this book will answer many of your questions for you.
Next, I am going to try to answer these questions for my people, not myself. What I think has varying degrees of relevancy to why my People react to a white society driven by a culture very different from ours. This is about my people not me.
1) Are there any American Indian gatherings/groups/organizations in the area that you participate in? If so, how often do they meet and do you find them to be beneficial?
In fact, I know of none in the area that I would recommend. I used to teach publicly for around 13 years but stopped once I got older and concluded that what I had to say was not affecting society to any great extent. I was very naïve about what would take society to wake up and see what they were doing to each other. The fact as our people see it is that there are too many heads in the sand to be assured that the message is being heard.
In addition, there can be and are many charlatans who have large egos and no understanding of our people or who see other people as a money source for them, which is just as bad.
2) Briefly describe the influence of your parents while growing up and the way they shaped the way you look at the world.
What I can say about this is that my parents had the effect on me to look further into my Spirit than most people do. Without that impetus who knows where I would be today?
3) Are there any significant people in our history who are not American Indian that you look up to and respect?
For certain Winston Churchill and John Kennedy along with Ronald Reagan.
4) What is one thing from your culture, history, ancestors, etc. (anything) you could enlighten me on that I would never find in a textbook?
What you can never find in a textbook is how to listen to your heart and what your higher Spirit is telling you. Of course there may be the word written but can they relate what it takes to modify the character?
We are all individuals with no two people in the universe with the same path or goals. Most of us can only guess what our goals are and still cannot define specifically what the Spirit’s have in store for us. Most folks will not tell you that you are not in control of your destiny – that the Spirit’s control who you are, how you react, who you meet and what you do when you meet them. No books that I have read other than possibly Buddhist philosophy will tell you to let go of yourself and your values of yourself and let life take over for you. You can learn much from Buddhism but even that direction has to be dictated by your heart, not how you fit within society. We must be eager to let go judgments’ and look for opportunities to demonstrate that ability to ourselves.
Dealing with an egoistic world is the hardest thing you will have to learn – book’s by their very nature in order to convince you to continue to read direct you in covert ways or not so covert ways towards an egotistical view point of the author or its purpose or play directly to your ego. Very dangerous stuff this!
5) For those who are not in a minority group and have not experienced what you have faced throughout the years, do you find it difficult to form somewhat of a connection with those people?
Not only is it hard to form a connection with these folks it is hard to form a connection with most folks.
The farther along a Spiritual path one evolves the more distant societal directed life becomes. You find yourself yearning to be alone as it is the only intelligible world that remains in sync with what has been defined for your Spirit. It is lonely and yet you are not very lonely! You begin to find that the trees, the grass, the water and nature are more than enough to keep you interested and you simply do not have time for those that are left behind.
Two Feathers - Kainaiwa - Blackfoot Nation