What does a "real" Indian look like? Must we be very dark skinned? Must we be bronzed colored - ah - the term I will not use here, but which was used to describe this land's original inhabitants.
What are we suppose to look like?
I recently read an article written by a Lakota woman who spoke so wisely upon the most recent issue of "blood quatum." How only "full bloods" are entitled to this or that - and how she said so eloquently, our Sacred lands and mountains are not for sale. We are the "keepers" of this land. We, have a deep and abiding connection to this land. Now here we go again, some of the "real Indians" will say, ummm "twink alert" - simply because I have said what I believe and what I know to be true - we are connected to this land and to all creation.
It really disturbs me to see such disunity - it disturbs me to see some very vocal people try to represent and at times, dictate to others what we are suppose to be - and they have appointed themselves judge of who is or who isn't. This is not how we live - this is not what being "Indian" is all about. The Cherokee are not insulted when referred to as an American Indian, although we call ourselves Tsalagi or Cherokee.
The life depicted here - the corn - the staple of life for many native peoples at one time - represents the life of our people. I wrote a poem about the corn, from my memories of my Grandparents' farm in West Virginia and how I remembered Grandpa's corn fields. Ah! The smell of fresh cornbread! The memories I have of going into the big old barn and grinding the corn meant to feed the farm animals - how I loved to do that when I was little!
This represents life.