|pepsi baby , by Christian Chapman, Ojibwe|
Who am I to judge? I grew up poor and some of my discomfort is the guilty relief that I got out. Some of it is a deep fear of knowing how easy it can be to go from one to the other and wanting to ignore that knowledge. Some of it is lingering colonization and related ideas around behavior and organization. Some of it is deep cultural beliefs around the poor and distinctions of the "deserving" and "not-deserving" that the collections of societal level data following the French revolution allowed us to construct and perpetrate. Some of it is being sheltered from how some people live. I know that many indigenous people live in poverty and I know that there is no shame in that state when it is the result of a systematic practice to take away the tools and resources indigenous people needed to succeed.
Are these events being run like church where people come for the food and they hope you leave with the cultural/religious practice? How do you bridge these two realities? Am I just naïve sitting here writing about theory and voice and abstract ideas? Am I really part of something or just wanting "indigenaity" as a handy consumable? (see previous articles here and here) Is any of my writing useful? Or is it part of creating another space which moved beyond the stereotypes of indigenous people? What do you think?