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Monthly Archives: March 2013

rr track fogfog 2fog bridgeHyland ck tilt trunkroad in  hyl crktrunk leavestrunk a nd tree 2m walks homeSo 2013 has turned out to be really good year so far.  Next Friday, March 22nd, I will travel in a loaned out van to the Ruckus Festival in Kelowna BC with Mercedes, a poet-writer, Ann Hart Baker, a poet-writer and the other actors who will perform in the Cannibal Women Camp Out play, which Ann Hart Baker wrote.  Tomorrow evening will attend a book launch in Vancouver for Mercedes and Marie Ann Hart Baker for the opening of their new published books.  Next day will attend a dress rehearsal for the play.  The play is short.  Be a theater reading of the play, but certain things will be memorized.  I am glad to be invited as an actor in the play.  I am not primarily an actor but I can do it.  It does not happen often to do such artistic events with people.  I like to do these things:  primarily making films/videos, still photography, open mic – the written world: poetry, essays and writing/singing songs plus singing some covers, being an actor, who happens; also to think about issues. 

Latest with videomaking is to edit video and still shots of sockeye salmon that returned to Hyland Creek November-December 2012. I shot a lot. I showed footage to the still photography workshop teacher @ Ewma and she gave me good suggestions. Will try her suggestions first.  That is why I took the workshop, too. I know not anyone else in still photography in the Vancouver Regional District who has an educated and practiced eye in still photography to relate feedback about what I do. Surrey has a few artistic things going but not a lot compared to Vancouver. Surrey is empty.  Still photography instructor is one of the few who knows.  I was thinking to use the poem Salmon Pause, approximately eight minutes for the voice narration of the video and still shot footage, but I do not have any editing software to edit with. My computer died on me December 2011, but I will find a way.  I will. 

February 23, 2013 night I read poetry with other poets at the Rhyzome Café in Vancouver. I read two poems, Salmon Pause and Home. The cafe was a full house.  The fund raiser raised some dinero. The poems and poets were good. I was nerve wracked, but I always feel that way when I read a speech, poem, sing a song or perform in front of an audience.  I have heard other performers feel the same. Normal. I rarely read poetry at an open mic anyhow.  Open mic is open mic whatever it is for; for example, when Mark and I sing-play songs, cover songs and original material, we perform our songs and poems in front of a crowd. Always a person is on.  When something goes wrong, need to think quickly on the feet to make the performance look seamless as if not anything happened. 

I had a response to the Salmon Pause poem from Woody who is Haida from Canada and U.S.  He reacted to the salmon section when I described: “She’s never seen big fish swim in small streams in a nearby park.”  He said salmon that swim in small streams were Coho.  I did not know that.  His people the Haida have ceremonies for the salmon so they could return each cycle.  In “Where the Salmon Runs,” 2012 book about a Native American Washington State activist Billy Frank from Frank’s Landing campaigned for Indigenous people’s right to fish which was written in a treaty. His father Frank senior started a resistance and Billy Frank in the early 60’s continued it until now. He said  Indigenous had ceremonies for salmon.  So much to learn about salmon because I am a Dine’ from the Southern U.S. I do not know much about the Indigenous who live here. 

February 28, last day of 2013, visited the Discovery Centre, a museum in New Westminster located on the Fraser River.  There was an exhibit about the salmon. Small. The Sto:lo people have a ceremony for the salmon. Therefore, possibly most all Indigenous people who fish for salmon in Northwestern U.S and BC, Canada, especially where the Fraser River and small streams run in BC, have ceremonies and their own creation stories about how the salmon came to be.  Every Indigenous First Nations or Native American tribes in the Americas have their own creation stories about how they came to be as a people, lives and cultures.

From the information presented, one idea struck me a lot. I heard it before with Dine’ from Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, “We were always here. We always lived here. We never migrated to this land.”  The traditionalists express this.  I know the other side, the scientific side: the Indigenous people migrated from Siberia to North America during one of the ice ages.  I know most people in the mainstream who are anti-Indigenous or who are against immigration of Indigenous and people from Mexico use that line to prejudice against Indigenous people who reside in North America: another paternalism.  I feel: don’t lump us Indigenous with your thought.  We are not immigrants.  Mainstream America wants to convince the public that Indigenous people are immigrants like the rest who “immigrated here,” but technically we are not.  We are a different story. We always had sovereignty which the governments in the Americas never recognized. My ancestors lived in B.C. Canada long ago.  The First Nations from Canada, especially Carrier and Chilcotins from BC speak the same athapaskan language as the athapaskan Dine’ of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah: how we are related.  Certain vowels and consonants are shorter in the north compared to the south said Leroy Morgan, a Dine’ speaker and language teacher.  I have seen still photographs of the people in BC.  The physical features especially on the face, looks very similar to the Dine’ in the Southwest, but aspects of the culture and climate are very different. Dine’ from Arizona, New Mexico, Utah live in the high desert, although ponderosa pine, sage and other plants grow and cougar and other animals inhabit and live.  Climate is more drier than here.  The Mexican people taught the Dine’ Hopi, and Zuni and others how to silversmith jewelry in the Southwest.  Dine’ raise and herd sheep as their traditional main food source: mutton.  Of course Dine’ hunt other animals, while the Dene in BC salmon is the heartland and main food source that travels in the Fraser River and small streams.  Denes hunt also moose, beaver, deer and other animals.  Lives were built around the climates in both places.  Peoples’ bodies and mentalities adapted to each particular environment through many years. Ceremonies adapted as well. Also, contemporary everyday life is another complicated story. Only now I understand the histories and cultures better.  White people expect Indigenous people “to know it all” about each Indigenous people. There are many First Nations and Native Americans who live throughout North America, Mexico, Centro and South America. Not possible to know everything. Most White people and immigrants from the Americas are not aware about their colonizer’s histories, manifest destinies; for example in North America, how Great Britain, France and Spain colonized the Indigenous peoples who lived here first.  Most mainstream Canadians and Americans are very ignorant about each other.  It could be better.  Also, Indigenous people from the U.S. South are ignorant about the Indigenous who live in the North, Canada. 

I do not read fast but I read and understand as fast as I can a lot of books.  Lately I read: Elsewhere – a Memoir 2012 by Richard Russo, Geronimo by Robert M. Utley 2012, A Great Aridness – Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwestern 2011 by William de Buys, Enemies-History of the FBI 2012 by Tim Weiner.  

Read a section about Geronimo by Robert M. Utley 2012: how other Apache chiefs fought the raids against the U.S. military and how the U.S. military lied to Mangas Coloradas, a principal Apache chief at the time among a few Apache chiefs—Geronimo included. On January 17, 1863 Mangas Coloradas was tired of fighting. He wanted to call a truce peacefully with the Americans, U.S. military.  Mangas agreed to meet and talk with a white man called Jack Swilling a new general.  Mangas and his people would have to give themselves up to the military.  At this so called meeting Swilling turned Mangas over to Joseph H. West: deception.  Mangas knew at this point he was going to die.  Soldiers guarded him at night. Mangas was cold.  The soldiers fired and burned their guns onto his feet and legs—torturing him.  Mangas protested his treatment. The soldiers fired into his chest. As Mangas stood up, another soldier fired into his head.  The other Apache chiefs did not trust the U.S. military for this so-called peaceful resolution.  Geronimo distrusted the White people and U.S. military. The Apache chiefs were right. I say: Who would?! The U.S. lied, made up, wrote up a toned down report about the murder of Mangas Coloradas by the military to the U.S. military higher ups.

January 26, 2013 I interviewed people I wanted to meet for the Human Library held at City Centre library from 1l:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. I interviewed a Muslin scholar, recovering alcoholic, gay RCMP and an exotic dancer.  I liked best the recovering alcoholic and exotic dancer who were the friendliest and warmest. I asked the gay RCMP man: since the RCMP is composed mostly of heterosexual men, is it very machismo? He said no.  I do not think he was open with me. I told him that I followed the missing women.  He commented that: there were few bad apples in the RCMP.  Mostly his answers were cool towards me.  I could feel it but I did not want to get too involved or go into any detail anyhow with him.  Why try if he closes up like that? I think the police are very heterosexual machismo.  I have met enough police men to know. The few times I met police, I have not had good experiences. I have not met any police men as human beings to talk to and get to know.  The police occupation is the least I know about. 

Marched the February 14, 2013 March for Women in down town Vancouver BC.  Inspiring.  I arrived late and had to find the marchers but eventually I found them.  A tent and audio equipment were set up for the two women speakers to express their experiences in front of the Vancouver court house. Also, this was set up for the police to hear these voices.  Vancouver police station is a building near the Carnegie. It was cold that day.  Rained a little.  At Oppenheimer Park at bottom of the totem pole, people said prayers and lay flowers to commemorate and remember the missing women.  Some people set up hot chocolate for people to drink. My fingers hurt a lot.  Glad to hold a hot cup in my frozen hypothermic fingers that eventually became unthawed. Last stop was the Japanese Hall where a meal was provided: salmon, rice and carrots with tea or coffee.  Great. In previous marches the organizers provided hot chili in cups.  Marlene George and two other women were given blankets with Coast Salish designs.  Marlene may retire from organizing the March and her job.  I wish she continues a positive life onward.  Three women were honored.  A Plains culture drum group played.

Missing women issue is related to police issues in the Vancouver Regional District.  I read and listen to the complaints by Indigenous women about how they are treated by the police.  Biasness, prejudice based upon the color of skin, stereotyping assuming Indigenous women do not finish high school, etc. anything which is not equal.  I know because policemen have judged me to be less than in North America.  Therefore, if police have attitudes such as this, when I asked the gay RCMP police at the Human Library: “Since the RCMP is composed mostly of heterosexual men, is it very machismo? He said no.  Well I do not think he was open with me. What I observed about police: there is a “brotherhood of the police” who are not going to snitch or tell on each other even if some guys are guilty of certain crimes or wrong doings. How will this break the barriers to find out the truth about the missing women in Vancouver?  This present day situation such as the missing women in BC among the Indigenous women, their issues with the police RCMP and Vancouver Police never gets resolved. Tired of excuses and blocks these people give to Indigenous people in Canada.  Never ending systemic racism and sexism in regards to who murdered the Indigenous and non Indigenous women in Vancouver, surrounding areas, and the Trail of Tears in Northern BC.  Pickton is not the lone instigator. Such a sick messed up society we live in to find out the truth about what goes on in Canada in regards to Indigenous people.  How to resolve the biasness?! Canada is not the only country.  U.S. has huge problems with Indigenous people, untold censored stories that need to be told. It began when colonialism started. Basically the entire world has rotten scoundrel leaders. There are very few descent leaders.

Up to this point I prefer Obama over Mitt Romney in reference to the November 2012 presidential election, even though Obama still has some imperfections to fix up.  Obama has to improve a lot especially with Indigenous people. We would be back to square one if Romney became elected. Bush again!  No way!

abDon’t get me wrong. Not all pessimistic.  I can be happy, but happiness is far and in between. Sure can be optimistic sometimes for example such as when I ran into Kuei-ming Lin at the Vancouver Central Library last Tuesday evening after the still photography workshop. It was so good to talk to her.  Well, I never get to speak and expresss myself with people as her.  I really give certain people my heart and soul about myself and the world.  Otherwise I do not because people are not friendly in Vancouver and Surrey BC. That’s it and why.  The meeting of Kuei-ming  made me feel good as a human being because she cared to listen to my p.o.v. and emotions.  It is rare people will converse and exchange point-of-views.  Kuei-ming is a friend of Ann.  I am just a serious human being who just happens to be a Dine’ filmmaker who incorporates artistic pursuits in her world such as still photography, open mic – the written world: poetry, essays and writing/singing songs plus singing some covers, who happens; also to think about issues.  I am not good at all about being surfacey.  I am pretty blatant which I think turns off people, most certainly Canadians at that.