1. This blog is so right-on. I ‘ve been looking at it for several days, thinking of how many times I’ve seen this behavior imitated by copy-cats. Not the resmurs, but the abject exploitation of using ancestry or a tribal last name to con good people, indigenous and non indigenous. It makes my blood boil to remember all the times I witnessed one individual in particular. He would use a crying routine to sucker people in. He actually went to the house of a married couple and cried about how wronged his “people” were until he guilt tripped the guy so much he stole his wife right out from under him. One of his lines was. “Every time I go to that cemetery and see those names I know I am a genocide survivor.” He didn’t like it when I told him it was actually his ancestors who were the survivors. He had been raised by parents with money, his mother from a rich Danish family. I saw him at a MLK Day celebration hawking a book of “Angry Young Indian” poems he had written. He actually had the gall to tell people he and MLK had the same birthday! (A lie.)
    Every time he got a divorce he went on an independent local radio station and used his show to berate his ex wives. The station didn’t stop him because he was their token Indian. A group of us finally confronted him and said he had to “stop that shit” because he was giving the entire community a bad name. One time I asked why he didn’t date Native women. He said, “Because they are too mean.” = “They are hip to your $%!^” I almost fell on the floor laughing but I didn’t find him amusing. I just liked putting him on the spot. Ya, he signed his kid away, too so he could bail from one bad marriage into the next. The child was actually his cousin and both parents were in jail on drug charges. He expected ICWA to get her back but it didn’t. He used that child as a pawn with the first wife and let her be extremely verbally and psychically abused during visitation by the second wife. He didn’t care. That wife had the money. It amounted to psychic disfigurement against the child. So verbally mean and cruel. Again, a group of people who cared about her made sure we were close by as possible and did all we could to get time with her, too, so at least she realized there were actually people in the world who did care for her and would stand up for her. She stayed with the first wife and she’s a grown up twenty-year old now.

    • The quote that begins this blog is thought provoking, the more you
      think about it the more you realize the truth of it ,and for some it has
      become a code to live by.
      The person you describe sounds like a real piece of work-history
      cannot be denied but to employ it as a catchall is self defeating.
      Unfortunately following the examples set by the AIM leadership and
      in particular Russell Means a growing number of people employ the
      same line seeking donations to fund some effort they personally
      are mounting-overall though I believe people are beginning to wake
      up about such things.
      The downside may be those groups and projects with integrity may
      be impacted as well.
      It’s good that you and others are willing to confront such people and
      lend support to the abused…..another example of paying it forward.

  2. Thank you, Rezzie. I have to say this child had more resiliency than most adults I’ve met and that is a testament to her strong character. She went to many a powwow and even attended some camps from her tribe on the coast. We exposed her to as much art as possible and she is so incredibly talented she could sit down at a piano and start playing. Melodies just sprang out of her without ever having a lesson. I haven’t seen her for a while. She lives in another town and was being raised a Christian. However, I know she has a good grasp on who she is and is in the right location to revisit her roots if she hasn’t done so already.

  3. Pingback: Sick Spirits Feeding on Sick Spirits | Influenced to Death

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