Here on the Crow Reservation a guy was charged with taking an elk out of season and off reservation! Throw him in jail! Fine him! Seize his weapons of elk destruction! Hold on now – wait wait wait….something about a pesky Indian Treaty? Are those still valid? Come on this is the 21st Century – The Crow Rez, where I proudly live, jive and survive, was originally – get this – 38 million acres! (Fort Laramie Treaty 1851) Way to much land for one tribe! Sarcasm aside – it was reduced in 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty to a mere 8 million acres. Oh, but it does not stop – over the next years through “Congressional Acts” the reservation was reduced to a mere 2.3 million acres! So – 38 million minus 2.3 million equals ? Theft in the first degree! The Crow Elders were wise in respect to hunting and fishing and they slipped in this pesky little clause into the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty that states – Article 4 gives the Crow tribe “the right to hunt on the unoccupied lands of the United States so long as game may be found thereon, and as long as peace subsists among the whites and Indians on the borders of the hunting districts.”
Nice move Crow Elders! Clayvin Herrera, a friend and Captain of Crow Fish and Game was cited with fulfilling the wishes of the Crow Elders that wrote this clause into the Fort Laramie Treaty! He took an elk off the reservation but still within tribal hunting grounds. So, explain to me how this is a crime? The United States took 35.7 million acres from the Crow and now we are worried about elk? Or are we worried about Indians leaving the reservation to hunt? I say case dismissed! Don’t waste more tax dollars when native education, drug education, hunting education, and a myriad of other concerns need addressed. Or, to quote Ted Nugent – “Take your kids hunting so you don’t have to hunt for your kids” I encourage everyone to cruise on over to support Clayvin- and buy one of his cool t-shirts! He created this design to raise money and awareness for his fight to uphold the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty.
My birthday is coming up – the big five oh – 50! I am growing my hair and goatee long to celebrate and it will all commence on April 15th! One of my buddies asked me what if ya got $50k for your birthday – what would you do?
I thought about that all weekend long – the truck broke down again and looks like a water pump needs replaced. But wow, $50k kinda like lottery winner time. I know what I would do –
I would buy/mount an old Alaskan Camper to my old diesel truck – pack up my meager possessions and go out on the road. Chloe would ride shotgun and I would plot my course all over these backroads USA. I would visit Facebook friends, friends that supported me when I was down and almost out, one Hell’s Angel that saved my life, a Mormon kid that I owe, my old classmates, my old students, Curns, Hank Will – and my cuzins far and wide, my favorite medicine man in Arizona, not my ex-wife (cause I wanna live to 51) ! I would travel and say thank you to all the great people that created me and keep a log of all of it! Then publish that log in what is called a book!
Then I would come back to Lodge Grass, Montana and settle – because really this is my home. I love this rundown, poor community. Real people live here – good people – even tweekers with good hearts.
A man can dream….
So many years ago – teaching high school English and Creative Writing in Pinon, Arizona – one female student said to me “my dad would be a redneck if he weren’t an Indian?”. Her dad is a good friend of mine and it has left me wondering for the last fifteen years – because her dad is a redneck! (and yes, I am a card carrying Redneck and look at the term in a positive complimentary fashion – no hood required)
Today, out with my bro Claude Dawes here on the Crow Rezervation picking up hay bales left behind by the Westwood Ranch farmer. Waste not want not – and Claude pulls up in a Ford F450 hauling a tow-motor meant to lift bee hives on the truck – he careens down the side of the hill and we strap and load two, one ton, bales of hay! Claude is a redneck! He is the head of security for the Crow Tribal Chairman and drives a monster truck that I call Ta Tonka !
Fifteen years after the question – yes, I think an Indian can be a Redneck!
(Disclaimer: the usage of the color “red” in no way is meant to be pejorative as in Washington Redskins)
The Nightway ceremony is a major curative ceremony
which restores harmony. It invokes the Yeis, a
special category of Holy People who are inclined to
help the Navajo. A nine day ceremony, it is
performed during the cold months when there is no chance of being hit by lightning and when the snakes
are hibernating. ( http://www.rivertradingpost.com/yeibichai.htm)
Imagine a waking dream, held down by the lead Yei at a Yeibichai as he ritualistically cuts lines in your feet laterally one after another with an obsidian stone knife and daring not to move but in calm acceptance. A red ochre Indian suddenly appears and hold up his hand to – stop – and the Yei disappears.
My dream several nights ago has the oxymoronic symbolism of opposites. A Yei that inflicts cuts in a curative process and the one who is to be healed in red ochre stops the cutting.
I remember living in Greasewood, Arizona and waking at 2 am looking out the window and seeing a lone Yei walking in the night – but that was years ago.
A dream, my dream, the other night…
Time – Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.
Sometimes I wonder why people show up at my door? Why people want to spend time with me? I am a recluse that loves meeting people, hearing their stories, and then they go away – thankfully. Is this oxymoronic at best?
My life’s goal and dream is to own an old truck and old Alaskan truck Camper and just have enough money to travel place to place seeing and experiencing the mundane and ordinary and celebrating it! One friend says “you are so specific in your wants, in what little you buy – albeit expensive – but odd”. What does that mean? I could simplify to almost nothing and live.
Why do people come back – to have me entertain?I was friend requested by one person that actually interests me –
and the poignancy of Bukowski –
So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.
When I first moved to Lodge Grass, Montana, I kept hearing about the “Hoot” Colony that was my closest neighbor to the south. Visions of retired Hooters girls danced in my head! I figured it was a ” retirement colony” for all those beautiful (exploited-lol) girls. Last night, I had the privilege of a visit from the Hoots! Sorry guys, this is a Hutterite Colony of 30 folks that live in a communal retreat here in Montana. They were (I believe) originally from the AnaBaptist Sect that left Germany to flourish in the religious tolerance of our great country. ( http://www.hutterites.org/ )
Religious Tolerance and satire were alive and well in France till this last week when senseless slaughter of bright satirical minds led this writer to think of the two most important elements of our freedom and what guarantees them!
While our local Hoots are pacifist, they are protected by Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech – all guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment. I can satirically write about them and we can all laugh with visions of Hooters girls dancing in our heads!
Pope Francis yesterday condemned religious fundamentalism as a “deviant form of religion” that “eliminates God by turning Him into a mere ideological pretext,” I love this Pope – he does not play with words!
So, while I wrote on Facebook – ” Hmmmm, France has strict anti-gun laws…now how is that working out for ya?” I am thankful for our religious freedoms and our laws that allow us to carry a weapon if we choose. (not that I ever would)… Thankful I live in Montana surrounded by Native Crow people and beauty and yes…Hoots that personify a simpler time!
Now for all the guys that clicked the link because it said “HOOTERS”
I kept getting advertisements on Facebook “buy coffee from The Sasquatch Coffee Company” and I kept thinking Oh geez another company trying to make a fast buck off my buddy Squatch. I finally started tooling through their website ( http://squatchcoffee.com/ ) and somehow landed on the “free sample”! I enrolled because heck it was free and figured nothing would happen!
Bam, Sasquatch comes knocking on my door! Well, in the form of some good good coffee! Allow me to digress – 20 years ago, South Korea (pre Starbucks), and I had to send to the states for good coffee (Pete”s Coffee). So, I love love love good coffee! I opted for the Howl in the Night coffee “A dark french roast offering a caramelized taste accenting the pronounced earthy quality of Sumatran beans, complete with a deep deep complex body”. This coffee is so so so good! It has a taste that Sasquatch and I both enjoy – earthy, woody, with a long aftertaste that is so incredible.
I will have this coffee with me this next season of Squatching up in the Big Horn Mountains here in Lodge Grass, Montana – I know, I saw Sasquatch this last year near treeline up near Windy Point. Don’t try to 4wheel up because it is Crow Indian only! Reservation Sasquatch – and yes, he has been seen many times and I have listened to many stories involving the Big Horns and Sasquatch. Well, that is another story!
Thank You for the great coffee –
No, I don’t get paid for product reviews! Okay, no one ever asked me – and since this blog does cost me $$ – I probably would. (If you are in the mood to donate HIT the Paypal donation button!)
Emerson, American Scholar
This has been the theme of my life – I am by no means rich in the way people measure riches today. I am rich in experience, rich in former students friendship, rich in friends, rich in the knowing of the marrow of life. Sometimes, I look back today and wonder if I made the right choice – the choice to follow as Frost so aptly put it –
from: The Road Not Taken – Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. I rest happy in my choice -an old truck, a good dog, horses, Blessed!
Take a moment and read this great blog from my good friend!
Originally posted on Transform Siberia:
I am getting phone calls from a shaman.
Actually, she is a shamaness. Newly initiated. We’re friendly. I met her about a week before her drumming in. The morning of our meeting, I briskly packed my camera in hopes of shooting the annual shamanic ritual called “Closing Heaven’s Gates”. The previous day, I spied an announcement about the rite taped to a window in the tram. Right then and there I knew, I was going to the shamans.
The mystique of shamans is legend here in Siberia. I am sure they prefer it that way, a little swirling mystery, the potential of tapping power inaccessible to most is good for business. Shamans get respect, even from those who do not believe, because deep down inside, we wonder if, or fear, or hope their power is real.
In an effort to sidestep all the…
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