Ricey Wild Column: It Ain't Easy Being Indian
"Just recently I was reading (I do a lot of that) where a Native Nation asked that the public (non-Indians) not refer to their creation stories as ‘myths’. I so agree with that! In my previous job I gave tours, told our Rez creation stories, old and new, and made sure that the un-informed had something new to think about after they left. I repeated the story of the Great Flood, how it must have really happened because not only does that story show up in all our world’s cultures, but there is now geological evidence to support it.

We all know the Noah’s Ark myth. Oh... I mean story. How God told this old guy with a long white beard to build an ‘ark’, which in pictures looks a whole lot like a boat. But who am I to question God’s verbal use of flotation devices? At any rate, I bet you can sing along with me how he loaded up a bunch of animals two-by-two. Hurrah! Hurrah! (Why they allowed woodticks to board is beyond me, but then maybe they were just stuck to the rez dogs who were included).

Well, I wish I could properly describe the expressions of the people whom I shared our Creation story with, their wide eyes, gaping mouths and gasps of surprise! Now, listen, these are good people, they just have no idea that there are other important and ancient religions in the world. Oh, they know about the major organized religions, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and of course, the one most indoctrinated into our culture, Christianity.

I got no problem with those who embrace a different religion than I choose to practice, let me say that right away. I do have a big issue with those who try to convert by coercion, force, trickery or downright lies. Look in your history books, the front line to the occupation of our Turtle Island were missionaries. In Rezberry’s case, they were Jesuits who preached fire and brimstone(?), and a miserable life in white man’s hell where no Indian had yet trod.

The Christians then gleefully reported back to their respective tiny kingdoms that the New World was peopled by red-demon worshipers, but they could be saved for X amount of money, and could you send it in care of the Pope (or whatever head of state)? Of course, the countries of the invaders had their own problems at home, they were running out of dry wood with which to burn witches, warlocks and the like."

Get the Story:
Ricey Wild: It Ain't Easy Being Indian (The Circle July 2008)