Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Morning Coming Down

The holiday is winding down and I got some more work done around the house, I even walked my dog Koda a few times in the park.  If you ever come to our reservation, you won't hurt my feelings if you don't stop and visit me, but make a point to go see our park.  It just gets better every year.  If only they would put up a park bench or two for the older walkers to rest their old bones, it would be better yet.

In sports, KU lost big-time to Mizzou yesterday and ends a poor season with little promise for next year or at least that's what I saw watching that game.  Holton lost in the 4-A State Championships but they had a great season.  Silver Lake won the 3-A State Championship. Those are two local teams in this area.  I also watched the OU-OSU game last night and those big backs could put the fear in people.  They looked impressive. I thought boy that would be hell to try and bring one of those big OSU backs down after they got a full head of steam going.

Oh, when I was talking about KU, I meant the football team.  The basketball team is 6-0 and just won a tournament out in Sin City against Arizona 87-79.  They are going to be a rock solid team.  I'm afraid they won't win the national championship, but will make this another interesting 30-win season.  When the twins were sitting on the bench, the rest of the team stepped up to the plate and maintained.  They are deep on the bench and this will help in future games.  Jay Bilas of ESPN said they will the best team in the Big 12, but I say they have to work for it and they will. I just hope Selby doesn't upset the chemistry when he starts playing December 18. 

Oh, whatever happened to last year's superstars:  Collins is buried deep on the bench in Charlotte and Aldrich just got sent to the developmental league (oh, lets call a spade a spade, he was sent to the minors).   Maybe they weren't as good as we thought, huh?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday morning, golf and pow-wows!

Steve McDonald,one of our tribal members who can play the game of golf better than 99.5 % of the people in this tribe has won another tournament.  This time in San Jacinto, California.  He won the National Native American Senior Open Championships with a 213, 3 under.  Steve has now won more than 35 sanctioned PGA sectional tournaments and eight FNGA professional championships.  Steve has done well and works as the golf pro at Lake Shawnee.  He's always been encouraging to me by doing so well.  He is an asset to our tribe. In racist circles, they would say he is a credit to his race!

The We te se pow-wow went well.  We, as a rule, go sit in a corner and watch from afar.  They had several specials that didn't take as long as usual and people got to dance to their hearts content.  They honored a couple of veterans who are gone now:  Joe Hale and Teno Masquat.  I knew both of them and they were good people.  It is good for the families to see people still care and remember their relatives.  Also my sister was head lady dancer and I helped by getting in the way.  She handed out gifts to the older women there and that too is good. She didn't have a honor song, so I didn't have to do my shuffle out there in public, which is good.  My grandson Pat kos shuk said: "im rich because i got money from wa-ta-sa pow-wow and feeding my dog $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$"

We have a short work week this week with the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching.  It's turkey time.  In the Potawatomi way of life, we've already had our fall ceromonies and that is our thankgiving when we thank our Creator for giving us life, health and for what we received in our gardens.  But a true Indian will also not pass up on a good meal, hence the bird has to go.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Review that might help somebody!

I read this article in USA Today about ways to stop youth violence. I find this story more than interesting because when we were growing up, there was no information like this available and we indulged in many of the things mentioned in this story. That was not good!

The story covered the efforts of Miami running back Ronnie Brown who wants to make young people aware of the things they can do to prevent more violence. Brown said “All across the country, kids are resorting to violence. It’s becoming easier for them to make those decisions, and it’s sickening.” Brown wants to give back to his community and often talks to different school groups in his area. His own life was difficult. His parents were sent to prison for drug offenses when he was only 6 years old and he had to live with different relatives. Adversity made him stronger and now he wants to change the mentality that is so prevalent in the inner cities. In a sense, these presentations are therapeutic to Brown.

The economy or socioeconomic conditions are a factor. The article said “there’s more stress at home, and it rolls down. People are losing jobs, and losing homes. That goes from adults and families to the kids to schools.” A simple thing like free breakfast at school can relieve stress among young people.

Of course, all the violence isn’t confined to the inner cities, look at Columbine High School in 1999. Reservations aren’t exempt either. Look at the Red Lake shooting not long ago. The article said “We believe to shoot up a school, use drugs, have an eating disorder, it’s all coming from the same place: pressure inside of you.” And bullying is viewed as a method of releasing pressure. Some classify more than 10 types of bullies such as control freaks, and guilt-trip bullies as well as cyber-bullying which is now happening.

23 Ways to Stop Youth Violence

1. Walk away (Brown said “I think a lot of times, kids think, ‘if I walk way, I’m not tough, but if you walk away, you get to go on with the rest of your day…it’ really about giving yourself a chance to be successful throughout the rest of your lfe)”

2. See the big picture (for example a curfew allows young people to be indoors where they are safe and not getting hit by a stray bullet, but the young person who can’t see the big picture said that violence will only start earlier).

3. Give respect to get respect

4. Think before you act

5. Learn to manage your anger (a violent incident can occur in a split second – and forever change the lives of perpetrators and victims).

6. Talk to someone you trust

7. Listen & understand

8. What would your family say?

9. Tell the truth

10. Speak up

11. Exhibit tolerance

12. Speak with a professional

13. Lead, don’t follow

14. Adjust your attitude

15. Remember your faith

16. Think about your future

17. Know the consequences

18. Get involved at school

19. Who are you really hurting?

20. Stay in School

21. Surround yourself with positive people

22. Believe in yourself

23. Negotiate (anger management classes teach compromise and prevention).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Early Monday morning, politics and basketball!

It’s Monday and I can’t but help notice that the Republicans haven’t solved the fiscal crisis yet, plus Obama didn’t solve anything by going overseas for ten days. I rarely watch Saturday Night Live but I did over the weekend and they carried on about how much America owes China. This guy was playing the Chinese leader and he kept asking Obama if he brought a check to pay off the debt and the Obama impersonator kept stuttering and said it will happen soon. Then the Chinese guy start getting graphic and said America was going to put it to them. It was a funny skit, but I suppose politicians will find the answer at some point in time.

Since I did my Fall clean-up around my place this long week-end I’ve decided I will watch the tube again tonight. Of course, we have little choice since it gets dark about 5:00 pm. KU plays Valparaiso at 7 o’clock, so that will occupy my evening. I hate to get too up-beat on KU basketball again. They look good so far. You never know until they start facing better competition. They have the speed and talent to hang in there with most folks and will only get better when Josh Selby takes the court, although sometimes too much star power can hurt the chemistry of a team. Let do a recap and look at last year! Collin's thought he had to carry the team at all times. The truth of the matter was that he didn't have to and that hurt in the big games. I think KU has to use all their weapons and not rely on one person and this will only make them better when the big dance gets here.

Some of those weapons are Tyshawn Taylor, the Morris twins, Tyrel Reed and Travis Releford who I predict will have a solid year. Some of the bench could start anywhere else especially Jeff Withey a 7”0 center. Taylor can push them up and down the court and while there will be turnovers the overall game will be much better than last year.

It is a wait and see thing for us. Yet, as a general rule KU will win most of its games this year, but I think the disappointments of the past have tempered our expectations somewhat – kinda like politics!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day 2010

For many of us, we wake up to a holiday and a day off, but we can't forget why we are getting that privilege!  We coulda woke up under some Communist or Nazi regime and we sure wouldn't be enjoying any  of the freedoms we have today and its because of those military veterans who did their part to make this country great and free.

For this reservation, we have veterans left and many young people serving now and we are thankful for them giving up their time to guarantee our freedoms and as a result:  We can go to whatever church we want, pray if we want or not, bad-mouth politicians and  by gosh, sometimes we can get away with that- It's called free speech. We can move around this great country as we please, but of course under certain financial restraints.  Our kids can grow up free of persecution and oppression.  We are the only ones who can do that to each other.  We have freedoms to do whatever we want as long as it doesn't break the speed limit or offend some moral beast in people.  We can drink and smoke as long as it doesn't get out of hand.  They attach a few penalties to excesses these days. Well you get the picture.

Our reservation has also lost so many veterans.  They were good friends, good people and a real loss to their families, religions, and our tribe.  I miss them and think about them everyday and not just on Veteran's day.  Some have died fairly young and that doesn't seem like much of a reward.  I recently finished a Veterans booklet for the We te se and it will be available to veterans and I'm sure they will have a few extra copies for sale at the We te se Pow-Wow, November 20 in the big city of Holton. 

As I wrote this or gathered material for this publication, I was struck with the personal suffering many of these veterans went through and the pain they endured because of their war experiences.  Many around them couldn't understand their actions and like so many things in life,we aren't put here to judge others.  I think that is reserved for only one person.  I have a full appreciation for what they did for us and this country.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Camping 2010

Here is a picture of me, Juana and Voncile at a camp, an Indian encampment, last Sunday morning.  Mary LeClere and her hiker bunch were camping overnight and Pat ko shuk stayed with Eddie Joe.  We went over early to bring some bacon and eggs for the breakfast and if we looked cold, we were. In this picture, we were sitting there looking at the bacon and tators cooking and generally slobbering waiting -I was anyway .  It was the best breakfast we’ve had in recent memory, even better than the good ones we’ve grown accustomed to at home.  Ain't nothing like the real thing!  There had to be over 25 campers and I told them that they were tough Indians to camp all night in the cold.  Of course, I'm getting too old to stay out there all night, but my 10 year old grandson can take it and did.  He prayed for the breakfast when it was done in our language.  This group has been taking five mile hikes the last two weekends but not this time.  I guess there was way too much breakfast consumed (Picture by Eddie Joe Mitchell).