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Sunday November 19th 2017

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Wild rice

BY PETER MOLENAAR

“Ricey Wild” is the pen name attached to “It Ain’t Easy Being Indian.”  Ricey is a window to the world, as seen from the Fond du Lac reservation.  Her work is published in THE CIRCLE and as such, is part of the fabric of our community.

Only occasionally has Ricey vented resentment upon the surrounding White world.  However, in one instance, I was moved to respond from the perspective of an industrial worker (Smith Foundry).  True enough, us white workers are sometimes a tad “slow.”  Nonetheless, in our mutual confrontation with the money-power, unity is the requirement of all.  So, the learning process continues.

In her April 2016 piece, Ricey decisively leans toward unity by inviting us to become more “Indian.”  An example of her sound advice:

“Okay, the powwow rules.  When you see the Indians stand up, you do too. When they are quiet you zip it.  No filming…when spiritual blessing are going on…”  So, let’s get it right.

In the same article, an observation is rendered which is, to say the least, deeply ironic.

“In Native country there is always a Veterans’ Honor guard that leads the powwow to show appreciation for the people who chose to serve our country…per capita, Indians have volunteered for military service more than any other ‘race’.  I used to wonder why some did after all the U.S. government did to try and kill us, and got this answer:  This was our country first.  Even before we became U.S. citizens our people volunteered for the military and fought America’s enemies.  Let that sink in for a bit.”

Sunk in yet?

Similarly, in the aftermath of WWI, Black soldiers marched in honored formation, to receive only the blessings of Jim Crow terror.  WWII, same thing.  Oh yes, our peoples have exerted their cry for some measure of respect.

Hey, I once knew a man (a white man) whose juvenile exploits found him court-ordered to Southeast Asia.  He was dropped from the sky into the hills of Laos.  Later in life, he was a comrade to me, a blossoming student of the world-wide revolutionary process, until some self-righteous commentator drove him away.  Lord save us.

This year’s Fond du Lac Veterans Powwow will receive the Vietnam Traveling Wall, escorted to placement by hundreds of Bikers.

No doubt, these Bikers will become more Indian along the way.

Ricey concludes:  “We never left, we are still here and the Revolution has begun.”

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