Conquering the Dream Killers: Fear, Doubt, Worry, and Guilt

In November 1998, I attended a lecture in Lusby, MD, during National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. A Piscataway Indian showed us beautiful ancestral cooking pots made of clay and spoke about the different Potomac and Patuxent River clay soils used historically and now to make clay cooking pots. When I asked him where I could learn more…

Riding Songs

Granddad drove a burgundy Oldsmobile. When I rode with him, there was always a small bag of lemon drops and a pack or two of Halls Cough Drops stowed safely under the front seat armrest. I loved the taste of both. It took a lot of restraint not to eat a handful of lemon drops or two cough drops at…

Red Fire Ants

Among the hills and pines, teen problems swarm the land like red fire ants on their way to nowhere or somewhere, a motion known only to them, but determined and relentless.  We know where they came from, rode in on whisky crates and pack mules. For years they grew in numbers.  No one tried to stop them because they were…

Renewal of Faith

It all began with a return trip to my home reservation to seek monetary assistance for school clothes and supplies; my son was to begin his freshman year in high school in a couple of weeks. I wasn’t working that summer and had spent my monthly stipend from college on expenses. When my home reservation’s tribal council told me there…

Choosing to Forgive

When I was 6-weeks old, my mother left my father and moved to Minneapolis. She remarried a non-Indian German man named Mike, who loved me very much. I was raised calling this man Dad and knowing no other. They had decided to keep me away from my real father. I was given a new name and social security number. My…

Aaka’s

The TV was always on at Aaka’s, from the moment she first awoke in the morning and her plastic-bottomed Isotoner slippers swished past my room, to the late evening when she again shuffled the unusually long hallway back to her bedroom to fall asleep on her side of the bed, despite the fact that she was the only one to…

Racism

The very first time I experienced a racist incident was when I was in the seventh grade. It was the end of the summer when my family and I moved to this small town called Cando. I just couldn’t wait for school to start. I loved meeting new people. I was so excited the night before school started that I…