Since I have been a young boy, I have been a people watcher. When I was very young I've noticed that the public at large have always viewed Native Americans as something of a circus spectacle. I Mean that they have always viewed us as a 'special pet' or something that has lasted but is categorized as an non serious entity. Like a crying child, just give them something to stop them from crying. Land or special rights, but don't actually let them own them...not really.
The Native Americans have not been expected to have much longevity in our planet's existence. I've checked various cultural projections, and Native Americans always come out last. Is it the hard drinking our people have done through out the years, or the bad conditions of housing our own people give us? Could it be bad life management or what?
Never mind the underhandedness of the people that came here and took our land. OK, we're all way over that. In fact that's old news. We just want to get on with our lives. Live and watch our kids prosper etc. Most of us who have always lived off reservation have always done just that. But it seems like as long as there are Indians that live on reservations or colonies or what ever you want to call them, the thought pattern of people's minds still put Indians in a short light even when some tribes came up with the casinos. Now they call these tribes "Casino Tribes". Seems to always be some excuse for our characters and life styles. Always sweating us some how.
What will it take for people to start thinking of us as regular people? If we over achieve, people are scared. If we under achieve people seem to respond as if those Indians are smoking too much peace pipe. My grandma use to tell me if people are sweating you its because you have something they want. Actually, she said " if...people...in your business...means they want something you have." When you get down to it, the people who are always sweating us are the one's ancestors that corralled us, tricked us, put us on reservations and do not want to see us in the world succeeding.
There are more and more of us coming around each day. We are blended now, which in my opinion is what Father wants for us. We were all one people at one time. So we are here as much as we are ever going to be. Let's keep learning. Bring our children to the point of extended learning. Combine our efforts and programs to strengthen our efforts.We are people who have been able to perpetuate our customs and ancient practice in spite of our hurdles through out the years. May Native Americans shine on, brighter and brighter every year.