Warriors: A brave for the people…or a savage against them. I’ve spoken to many native brothers and sisters. Young and old. I’ve heard their stories, seen their lifestyles, payed attention to their beliefs, and also personally witness their great strengths and weaknesses everyday on the Rez here.This reflection of mine is on a topic I hear often by many, but am starting to fear is not understood at all anymore from a realist stand point. Many native tongues say the word “warrior” with pride. I am a warrior! It’s said. Yes, many many are. The road of life goes up and down but here we are still walking right? A little history. The men and women of long ago’s yesteryears wouldn’t I believe recognize the spirit of the same word used today amongst the people, “warrior.” In a rugged natural world where food didn’t come packaged, and there were no casinos, or motor vehicles to get u all over the state in a matter of hours the things people whine and cry about today would of turned their faces away in shame of someone trying to make such a comparable connection. Hospitals? Rez housing to come over and fix ur leaky tub?… are u serious? The elders tell of harsh winters, where men and boys still went out frequently risking exposer and death just to try and provide for the people the Creator gave them to care for. Hunting, trapping, fishing… all of it. U did these things or u died… truth. Today’s tattooed ogitchidaa? Won’t stop poisoning himself with weed, liquor, or a myriad of other illicit drugs because he’s got it in his mind that he’s a warrior because he lives hard, isn’t afraid to fight, and is still breathing even if it’s only after his own self-oppression. Won’t work because they’ll take too much child support, or it’s for lames who pray and pay and just not play all of the time. Making babies and bragging about their numbers, but never making time or manly effort to really be there for them at all. I’ve seen brothers in prison tattoo feathers and bear claws on them, then brag about how much money they make on their Rez from narcotics sold to their own people. One brother bragging about how he made a native sister have relations with a pitbull for some pills. Same guy going to sweat every week. Drugs, alcohol, laziness, fear of exerting effort to help ur own people or even ur children… these are ogitchiidaag?… My Ojibwe blood isn’t as “pure” as a man who was calling me a monkey and a muck years ago because I stood up for another elder he was harrassing. This is my land he shouted! Same man has a son wandering around my village high on meth holding a machete and talking to dogs, and won’t lift a finger to help him get right… but he’ll spend days in the casino begging people so he can play. I don’t honor this weak and false interpretation of Native pride. I see strength though here, outside of all this Facebook savagery, that I’m surely indebted to my maker for because it’s elevated me spiritually. Real warriors sacrifice for the people… young and old. They give… they don’t live to just take and take without putting something beautiful back. I’ve got to go people… think about it tho. Aho!

Published by Pack Redfeather

I am a walking contradiction of traditions some say. An African American and Native American Muslim poet with a personal life history as violently turbulent as a Storm. A visionary from the bottom of life’s social barrel striving to share the hope found in the light of faith through sometimes dark but real poetry. I’m a former member of the Bloods street gang, former serial bank robber, and both federal/state prison convict. I live on my mother’s tribal reservation of the Leech Lake band of Ojibwe in Minnesota.

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