I started this blog because I wanted to document my journey towards de-colonization. I have been a Mechoopda tribal member my whole life. However, I grew up far away from our ancestral homeland and my parents did as well. Our culture, heritage, and practices were not well preserved and not passed down. This grieves me still. I have lived years not knowing my true self. I am an indigenous man and yet have lived a largely colonized life. I did not have a name, history, knowledge, or the understanding of the practices of my ancestors. There is a lot of history as to why this happened and I will discuss that in more detail in later posts.
For now I want to discuss what has begun me on my journey towards de-colonization. It began with a movement and a song. It started with the movement at Standing Rock. I saw the tribe at Standing Rock pushing for their rights and protecting water. Mni Winconi! Water is life! This became the cry of peaceful protest to protect mother earth and it reverberated throughout indigenous communities not just in the United States but also the world. This drew my attention but most importantly I found a song on Youtube. I have the link right here. The beats, the message, and mostly importantly the drums pounding through my ears directly to my heart. My indigenous soul was awake. A dormant hidden part of myself I never knew came alive. One of the artists that worked on the track is named supaman and his album illuminatives was the first time I had heard indigenous pride music. From there I found Frank Waln, Red Eagle (jesse robbins), Drezus, but mostly importantly I found Nataanii Means. Nataani means is the son of the Activist Russell Means who lead the Wounded Knee Incident and was a founder of the American Indian Movement. If you don’t know what the wounded knee incident is here is the wikipedia article about it.
All of this inspired me to research more about the history of my tribe. As I researched I couldn’t help but feel I was finding a part of myself I didn’t know was there. I continue to learn and with the help my uncle who is acting as my mentor I am beginning to learn how to make the traditional regalia of my people. I am on a journey to re-learn my culture and heritage, to honor my ancestors who sacrificed greatly so that I could be here. I hope to pass along this knowledge to my children. As I have been on this journey I discovered a new name. Hidden Bear. It speaks to the hidden indigenous soul that I discovered. And the bear is a critical part of my tribes culture and resonates in a deep part of soul. I will document about this journey through the articles and poetry posted here. I hope you will join me as I travel.