I‘M SURE you’ve all seen it: the offensive “Native” stereotype of the guy who has this long, thick, wild-flowing hair and intense, passionate eyes. Often he’s a lean, muscular type—again, passionate and earthy, mysterious, and sexually irresistible to women.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about that I found this week on Amazon.
This is a book about a time-traveling white female doctor who meets a hot and seductive Sioux warrior from the 1800s. The woman is mesmerized and basically surrenders to this sizzling chunk of Onkwehonwe.
I haven’t read the book, but I’m guessing the plot has something to do with going back in time to acquaint the Sioux of the 19th Century with basic Photoshop concepts, like Layering and Magic Wand. (Yes, that really is a Photoshop term.) Then, in her later novels, I’m guessing Pamela Ackerson will get into more advanced techniques like Masking, Polygon Lasso, Curves, Color Balance, and Lighting Effects.
LAST WEEK I WAS interviewed for a CBC program on the topic of Bill C-33, the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act. The name of the program is immaterial. If you look it up, you won’t find me. That interview was tossed, and another guest was found.
GREETINGS, PEOPLE. This is one of my regularly scheduled posts in which I address something happening in Indian Country. I encourage all of you to stick around, but let me be clear: I’m speaking to Onkwehonwe here, and only Onkwehonwe, and only on my own behalf. More specifically, I’m talking to Kanien’keha:ka, the People of the Flint, better known by some of you as the Mohawks. I am Kanien’keha:ka, of the Haudenosaunee – the People of the Longhouse, aka Iroquois, the name given to us by our longtime Huron enemies.
THE BLUE DOT MEME alludes to the February 7 Kainai High School ceremony which marked the education agreement-in-principle between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Shawn Atleo. As people came through a door, they were given a sticker to wear – either blue (not invited guest) or yellow (invited). The not-invited were seated in a separate room, where they watched the ceremony on a monitor.
The history of the Haudenosaunee (the people who are building a longhouse) is one of unceasing challenges, from without but often also from within. It was no foregone conclusion that the eventual five constituting nations of the “Iroquois League” would accede to the Peacemaker’s vision of unity. Suspicion and hostility posed an enormous impediment to the cause of peace. The impediment obtains to this day.
ALTHOUGH I KNEW at a young age that I should be a writer, little else would be sorted out until many years later, and then often by accident. When I was a child, say, ten to thirteen years old, I had only vague ideas about what a writer even was. I suppose I imagined a cold and dark room and a gaunt person at a desk, producing poems and novels, posting them to publishers who would promptly send back letters which read Thank-you, but no thank-you. In time I would have a more informed picture of a writer’s existence, having learned that publishers in fact do not send these letters, or any other, promptly.