Monday, October 15, 2018


My eyes are too bad to be posting because only non-use will let them heal, but I'll post this first since I've thought about it a lot.

1.  So far as I know I am not genetically indigenous but might have a bit of Metis on one side -- never admitted.  Certainly not enrolled. Closest I can come is my ex-husband had a daughter whose second husband was enrolled.

2.  It is impossible to determine "tribe" from the molecular genome that determines what proteins/consequences turn out to be the physical structure of any mammal. Tribes are created by culture and ecosystem, which develop AFTER the genomically dictated human bodies are formed.  Stories about early moving children from white/red or red/white end with the child becoming a member of the group that raised him. That's why we're stealing all those vigorous, genomically indigenous children and teaching them to be red-neck white.  

3.  Much of the reification of "blood origin" comes from the Eurasian continent where hegemony depends on descent -- i.e. the son becomes the king when the king dies.  "Indian" tribes tended to be meritocracies based on performance rather than inbred children of pre-existing royalty.

4.  Another distorting set of ideas are about raising livestock.  Careful breeding can create exemplary cows or race-horses.  But in the case of dog "breeds" inbreeding has created cripples and mini-monsters.

5.  Blackfeet are VERY careful about exogamy: marrying someone not related.  To the point of frustrating people who like their cousins very much.  (Many examples of outstanding Euros who married cousins: Churchill, Darwin, et al.)  For Blackfeet, a person who came along who was worthy and not related, got pulled into the clan as favorable.

6.  Rez education is double: partly old-time culture and partly state dictated curriculum.  Old-time culture is still valuable, still relevant, because it is based on the ecosystem of the rez.  Fish? Bison? Corn?  Eco means economic as much as species and aesthetics.  The recovery effort is worthy.  So can Warren make bannock on a stick over a campfire? Can she slice up a salmon for it to dry?  Can she cook with the "three sisters" of corn/squash/beans?  She doesn't get tasked with cutting up a buffalo unless her tribe did it.  (The Blackfeet who are relearning say it's harder than it looks.)

7.  Modern white culture -- and all others eligible to vote -- is about citizenship.  If you don't think about the nation's  well-being and use the machinery set up by our ancestors -- Euro but borrowing from the American tribes -- then you are not "white", but just undetermined.  Citizenship is not about pigment.  Nor pigs. 

8.  Getting elected is not about the genome (which is just a collection of molecules in a particular arrangement) or family heritage, though that kind of sentimentality is a story that appeals to some and turns others off.  Elections are about emotions.  Alas.

9.  The planet is telling us something.  Hurricanes have meaning.  The death of coral is our death.  The culture of the indigenous is aware and wants to respond, but mercantile culture interferes.

10.  Mafia is the ultimate mercantile culture.

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