Be forewarned, I am very serious about not wanting “your” opinion on my rant. I don’t care what you think of my rant. It is my rant. And it has been stewing inside of me for too long.
Awhile ago, I had a conversation with a cousin. This said cousin is a born again Christian. This said cousin doesn’t believe that my being a first nations woman practicing my first nations traditions is right. She thinks it is the work of the devil. That being said, she also thinks that I should and I quote “Get your status so that you can get an education and do something with your life!”. It’s not okay for me to attend the sweat lodge, it is not okay for me to smudge with sweetgrass and sage, but get your status and milk the system for all it’s worth. That attitude is the exact reason I have never gotten my status to begin with. I don’t need the government assigning me a number saying I am an indian…now go forth and get those benefits! There are no benefits! The lies that your government has put out there for so long regarding all the “bells and whistles” that come with getting “status” is just such a load of shit. I have heard this argument my whole life.
“You should get your status.”
“Your a fool for not getting your status.”
“Look at the tax breaks you would have!”
All these lies that are put out by the government, and thrown in my face almost daily can get to be too much. Why is okay to you all that I have to have a status card??? Why do I have to have a status card? Do you carry a status card??? No. You don’t.
Why don’t you have a status card? Oh….because you are a landed immigrant. Your grandparents came to Canada from other countries, and you were born here.
But because my relatives were already here before your grandparents got here….I have to have a status card.
I am what is known as a stolen indian. I was stolen from my birth mother and given to the government. The government then adopted me out to an irish woman and an indian man that worked in the government.
So what that means is that in order for me to “get my status” I would need to find out about my birth family, which I did, and find out if I am registered with the band, which I am. Then I have to “apply” to the band for my status, and if they “approve” I get to have a identity card that states I am a first nations woman. Whoopie!
Here is the problem. Let’s pretend I get that said identity card that states I am status. Then society has an open door policy on ripping me apart for “all the benefits that those native get that isn’t fair!” Which I hear about on a daily basis anyway.
And then imaginary money will fall from the sky and all my dreams will come true. In your world that is what seems to be the disney answer.
In reality though….as a status indian everything must be approved by the band. Medical has a cap of 1,500.00 monies per year, which is lower than regular medical care that the province gives to the non status peoples. If I need new glasses, the band has to approve that. If I want to go to school, the band has to approve that. Are you getting the idea yet?
And as for this “housing” that is free…again…I would have to actually LIVE ON THE RESERVE, and the band would have to approve that.
Because this is how your government set it all up. Here indians, we will give you a spot to live on, but you have to do it this way. Our way. And if you don’t like that way, then you don’t have to do it our way.
So by choice I live my life as a common person. Without status. By choice. Because I don’t want the government telling me what I can and can’t do. Even through a band office.
And as for my choice about practicing my traditional ways, I seem to be doing just fine thank you.
Please stop imposing “YOUR” idea of what I am “SUPPOSE” to be doing.