It ain’t easy being Indian… (Jan. 2015)

By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country

My heart is full because the Wolf hunts in the Great Lakes regions have been stopped by a federal judge. The horrific carnage of trapping, baiting and killing and continued disruption of the wolves’ families are no more; they are back on the endangered list where they will stay with the love, compassion and diligent advocacy of people who worked hard and long for their lives. To those of you whom were directly instrumental I am deeply thankful and so much for everyone who became active on the wolves behalf to speak for them.
  
An odd thing though, just a few days before the announcement I had called the Minnesota Fish & Wildlife office and spoke to someone who was directly involved with the so-called ‘wolf harvest’. “Harvest!” Aghhh. That **name for what is actually savage, bloody slaughter upon superior sentient beings disgusts me and I told him so. Then I told him a short version of how Anishinabe (First Man) and Maa’ingan (Wolf) in the beginning of time traveled the world together naming all animals, plants and places. Eventually they had to go their own ways and Maa’ingan knew Anishinabe would be lonely without him so he gave him Animoosh (dog).
  
That part always gets to me and I cried as I am doing now. No longer buried in my skin is my spiritual, cellular connection with Maa’ingan, it’s out now and I honor it as the most basic level of being that is love in the purest form. We both benefit. Maa’ingan will live their lives as Creator intended and I benefit by putting my vulnerability out there for all to see and in my own eyes I become a better person for having done so.
  
When I was talking to the State official I also emphasized that the wolf hunt was not only vile cruelty but entirely unnecessary to ‘manage’ their populations. I said their own studies verified the fact that killing wolves in fact increases predation upon domestic animals because the pack was destroyed; that wolves know how to control their own pack numbers in their territories and have been doing fine managing themselves without arrogant, entitled ill-meaning people hell bent on killing them all for sport.
  
The official did listen to me and was very polite but some comments he made were condescending like he “understood from some other people (Indians) that there is a deep spiritual connection with wolves” (which I understood to mean we are not experts on wolves like they are) and then said what seemed to me to be an oft-repeated persuasion as to why a wolf hunt was necessary. I’m not calling the official out though, sad as it is he was doing his job as instructed by his superiors who were told what to do by the legislators who were, in my opinion, bought by gun lobbyists and wealthy trophy hunters who contributed heavily to their campaigns.
  
So thank you for taking the time to read this, I really appreciate yooz when you compliment my writing and far from feeling too exposed I am comforted by how many of you take the time to consider another perspective unlike your own. That’s how I learn about life for sure and by doing so I am opening my mind to the world. No, I don’t like all I see but I am empowered now to make a difference and I am energized and grateful I won’t stand alone because The People are Rising! We are who we’ve been waiting for. Let’s do this.
  
Well, I think that the above is my holiday present and New Year’s wishes all wrapped up in a shiny happy bow. Miigwech Giichi Manidoo!
  
I announce with a trembling, happy voice that I will become a grandmother this year. Because of course it’s all about me! Just kidding jeez! I am thrilled and so happy that my Son And his fiancé Christine are expecting a child around July this year; thank you both for making my Gramma dreams come true. My peers have already become grandparents but I am relieved my son Steve took his time to find the right woman.
  
Recently however my heartstrings began to twang and I began to become anxious when I saw my friend’s pictures of chubby brown baby cheeks, crazy black hair and soft dribbling baby mouths smiling just big. I remembered what it felt like holding my son as an infant, his sturdy breast-fed body, every new smile and accomplishments and I wanted that again. So, I will become a happy member of that most esteemed group and in the meantime I have become an “Insta-Gram” to Christine’s wonderful 4 year old daughter Indannis.
  
I’m so very grateful for all my gifts.



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