Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fostering Native Children - Boardrooms & Big houses

I hope soon to be fostering children of native ancestory. Whether they are mixed blood like me, or full blooded, I look forward to the opportunity to help raise the next generation. Some friends asked of me what my goal was, what type of child I hope to raise. This is my reply:


If I have daughters I want them to be comfortable at the Potlatch and at the Ballet, I want them to be girly and strong, honouring and outspoken. If i have sons I want them to be strong, and know that it has nothing to do with muscles. I want them to be comfortable drumming their drums, and drumming their own paths. I want my kids no matter their sex to be happy being florists, firefighters, physicists, and everything in between.

I believe we as new parents have a different path then the parents that came before. We are the mixed blood kids, having mixed world kids and the generations before us were able to pick a world and live in it, but we need to be able to live, and each our kids to live, in all the worlds out there right now. Boardrooms & Big houses.

Boardrooms & Big houses these are the worlds we need to be strong in now. My kids, whomever they may be, I will teach you what I know, and I will be honoured to learn from you and with you, all we do not yet know.

We will dance when our laws command us to dance

“We want to know whether you have come to stop our dances and feasts, as the missionaries and agents who live among our neighbors try to do. We do not want to have anyone here who will interfere with our customs. We were told that a man-of-war would come if we should continue to do as our grandfathers and great-grandfathers have done. But we do not mind such words. Is this the white man’s land? We are told it is the Queen’s land, but no! It is mine.

Where was the Queen when our God gave this land to my grandfather and told him, “This will be thine?” My father owned the land and was a mighty Chief; now it is mine. And when your man-of-war comes, let him destroy our houses. Do you see yon trees? Do you see yon woods? We shall cut them down and build new houses and live as our fathers did.

We will dance when our laws command us to dance, and we will feast when our hearts desire to feast. Do we ask the white man, “Do as the Indian does?” It is a strict law that bids us dance. It is a strict law that bids us distribute our property among our friends and neighbors. It is a good law. Let the white man observe his law; we shall observe ours. And now, if you come to forbid us dance, be gone. If not, you will be welcome to us.

- O’wax̱a̱laga̱lis Chief of the Kwagu'ł “Fort Rupert Tribes”, to Franz Boas, October 7, 1886